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Ding, Ding, Ding…

February 16th, 2018

For my birthday this past summer, a friend gave me this lovely wind chime for the garden. It’s made from vintage silverware, silver plated silverware, which always makes a lovely sound. I was worried it would be a bit bright and harsh, but it actually sounds lovely.



It’s right by the front door, hanging in the old apple tree. I can hear it when I come and go. My grandmother always had a big windchime in her garden, the kind with the giant pipes that played low melodious notes. Every time I hear one I think of her. Someday, I may get one like that.

Do you have wind chimes in the garden? Do you like them?

Tap, Tap, Tap…

February 15th, 2018

When we lived in Ohio, Valentine’s day was always the day we tapped our maple trees. We’d put in one tap and wait until it started flowing, then we’d tap the rest of the maple trees. Typically, I tap the trees in late February here in Maine. When Mr Chiots looked at the forecast, he said it looked like perfect sugaring weather.

I decided to tap one tree to monitor the flow, as soon as I started drilling the hole the sap started flowing.

I ended up putting in 8 taps yesterday, all but one was flowing. I may add more tomorrow, but I may stop at 8. Coincidentally, Valentine’s Day is also the day I fertilize all my indoor citrus trees as well. I find setting major holidays as dates to do certain chores works very well for me.

Is maple syrup produced in your area? Do you have set holidays when you do certain chores?

If you’d like to read more about small scale maple sugaring, I highly recommend this book: Backyard Sugarin’: A Complete How-To Guide (4th Edition)

Tiny Seedlings

January 29th, 2018

Last weekend, I started a few flats of seeds. One of spicy micro greens, one of cilantro, one of a mix of lettuce, and one of arugula. They all germinated quickly and are growing nicely. The light stand is located in my office, which is COLD. In fact so cold one morning that my computer wouldn’t come on.

I had plans to be growing greens and cilantro under the grow lights all winter, I just never really got around to it. Perhaps next winter I’ll do a bit better and actually be harvesting a few salads a week from the indoor garden.

Perhaps if I kept it a bit warmer these little guys would grow a bit faster, but I’m not really in any rush.

Are you growing anything edible indoors?

The Garden In Winter

January 24th, 2018

I’ve been thinking more and more about the garden winter. As I look around outside, I notice things that add structure and interest to make the garden shine in this dormant season. My two favorite things this winter are the trellises I left in the garden (usually I take them in) and the ornamental grass.




Both are adding much needed interest in the winter landscape. The boxwood hedge out front adds some, not as much as the one around the garden will when it’s filled in and trimmed to neat boxes. Overall, the winters get better and better as I add things specifically for interest in the winter months. Even small things like pruning a shrub or small tree in a very specific way can add some much needed interest in the dead of winter.

What’s one of your favorite ways to add winter interest in the garden?

Getting a Head Start

January 22nd, 2018

This weekend, I started four flats of seeds! YAY!!! My plans were to have flats of greens going under the grow lights all winter, but I never got around to it. On Saturday, I managed to get three flats of green and one flat of cilantro going.

For some I used soil blocks, but for others I just put soil in the flats. I’ll see which ones works best for this method of growing.

While I had the kitchen table turned into a potting bench, I decided to make a few flats of soil blocks to have ready for seeding. Last year, as I sowed seeds, I kept thinking it would be handy to have flats of block already made for quick seeding.

Now I have a nice little stockpile of flats of blocks. I managed to make three large flats and four half flats of soil blocks. I thought about making more, but decided I’d better see how this works before investing too much time this early.

Did you manage to get any garden related things done this weekend?

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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