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Friday Favorite: The Old Sugar Maple

October 19th, 2018

We have an old sugar maple across the driveway, no doubt it was tapped for syrup by the original homesteaders back in the late 1890’s. It’s huge, it provides us with lots of maple syrup, and it’s a stunner in the fall. The other day, we had a storm roll through right at sunset. As it moved through and the skies cleared, the golden sun was highlighting the tree.


It was a fleeting moment, it was only highlighted for a few moments before it was gone. I’m glad I got a photo of the wonderful moment.

What are you enjoying this season?

All Grown Up (well, mostly)

October 17th, 2018

The tiny little chickies that I got from Murray McMurray back at the end of August are pretty much all grown up. Typically I let one of my broody hens hatch out little ones, but I’ve been wanting to add a wide variety of colorful eggs to my egg cartons. The folks that buy the eggs get all excited about the colorful batches. For a while I had a nice selection of olive and blue eggs, but those chickens have all gotten too old to lay or have been nabbed by predators.

Since chickens don’t start laying eggs until they’re 3-4 months old, I decided to get chicks in the fall so they can start laying straight away next spring. Most chickens don’t lay very well during the winter months when light levels fall below 12 hours of daylight.

These little nuggets hatched on August 26th, they’re just over 6 weeks old, still months away from laying, but they should be just maturing to kick off late winter laying in style.



For my selection, I ordered: Whiting True Blue (blue eggs), Whiting True Green (green eggs), Black Star (brown eggs), Single Comb Brown Leghorns (white eggs), and Black Andalusians (white eggs). I will still add a few red production hens to the mix next year, they are great layers of brown eggs and lay better through the winter than many of these other breeds. It’s always a challenge to try to have hens producing eggs throughout the year in the quantities needed for the egg customers and for our household.

Do you purchase eggs from a local source? Any colored ones in the batches?

Fall Beauties

October 16th, 2018

The New England asters are really putting on a show this year and the pollinators are loving them. I’m not a huge fan of these flowers in a border, but in native areas around the gardens I find them quite attractive. For me, they’re a bit floppy and weedy looking in the border.


I like that they come in varying shades of purple, lavender, and pink. This time of year they provide a burst of much needed color right before the landscape becomes dominated by brown.

What are loving in the fall garden?

A Stunner…

October 15th, 2018

This past summer, I got a few new dahlia bulbs at the farmers market. I’m not sure of the name of this beauty, I forgot to look at the tag and I can’t seem to find the photo of when I purchased it (I always take photos of new plants with their tags to keep track).

It’s a short plant, which I really like, not growing over two feet. So many of the dahlias I’ve grown in the past blow over in my very windy garden. This one is perfect because of its short stature. My dahlias suffered from the drought and heat this year, they haven’t been as pretty as they have been in the past. In fact, two of mine haven’t even bloomed yet and I’m not sure if they will before frost.

What flowers are you particularly loving this summer?

Falling for Verbena Bonariensis

October 11th, 2018

I remember the first time I noticed verbena bonariensis, it was in the Nearing garden at The Good Life Center in Maine. It was stunning in the late October garden.



I bought seeds and tried growing in my Ohio garden, which it didn’t really like it. Then I remembered this beautiful and beneficial plant a few years ago. I started seed and it grew beautifully, providing a much needed late food source for pollinators.


I no longer have to start seed, seedlings pop up around the main garden in June. These are transplanted all around the garden, every year I grow more and more. At the moment, the monarchs are loving them. Next year I’m thinking of doing a mass planting of this beauty surrounded by lamb’s ears. The two colors and textures should work beautifully together.

What flowers are you loving right now?

Seeds and Sundries
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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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