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Snug as Bugs

November 7th, 2018

Two weeks ago our weather started to dip down into the 20’s at night. Before the cold snap hit, I covered my fall broccoli and my lettuce with low tunnels and plastic (the lettuce has a layer of agribon on top of the plants as well as the plastic). It has since warmed up a bit again, but I still have them protected under their warm blankets. Yesterday, I headed out to see how things were doing.

The lettuce is looking GREAT, as is the broccoli. I won’t get any large heads of broccoli, but that’s OK. Once we harvest the heads that are there, the chickens will enjoy the leaves. I’ll wait to pull them until the snow flies and the chickens are pining for something green to eat. The lettuce we will harvest here and there as we need it. None of these varieties are particularly cold tolerant, so they will all be eaten before Thanksgiving. Overall, it’s been a decent fall gardening season, especially since I didn’t really plan on doing much at all!

Are you growing any winter vegetables? any favorites to recommend?

So Long Garden

November 6th, 2018

The 2018 garden season is pretty much officially over. I have to plant garlic and harvest some lettuce and broccoli, but other than that it’s pretty much clearing out the dead plants and seeing how high I can get the compost pile.

There were grand plans of adding hedges around the main garden and perhaps even starting the main walkways as well, but time seems to have slipped away quicker than we realized. As much as I really enjoy the gardening season, I’m ready for a bit of hibernation. I’m ready to get my sewing room moved and to start working on all the sewing projects I’ve been saving and planning over the summer. While the days get shorter, there’s still plenty to do to tidy up the garden. I’m busy pulling in all terra-cotta pots and organizing them into my gardening area under the garage stairs.

The longer evenings are allowing more time for reading, something I don’t have tons of time to do in the summer. In the evenings you will find me warming myself in front of the wood stove reading a book, most likely with a cat sleeping nearby. There’s something lovely about living in a place with very different seasons, it helps us appreciate and enjoy the things each one has to offer.

How’s your garden waning as winter comes along? Do you have any favorite winter activities that you can’t do during the busy gardening season?

The Majestic Oaks

November 5th, 2018

We have a lot of red oak trees around our property. Our back field is surrounded by a row of lovely oak trees. This time of year, they turn a beautiful russeted amber. They’re not a flamboyant in their fall color as the maples, but they bring a lovely brightness to the darker days.

At the moment, I’m trying to soak up all this lovely color before all the leaves are gone and things are brown until the snow flies.

Do you have a favorite tree?

Friday Favorite: Brussels Sprouts

November 2nd, 2018

I used to try to grow Brussels Sprouts and never managed to do a good job of it, until a few years ago. Now we always have a nice harvest to eat during November & December. Brussels are great because they can take the cold. They will patiently sit by, coming through the coldest nights with perfect poise, waiting for all other vegetables to be exhausted. Just when all other vegetables are a distant memory, brussels are ready to eat with glorious abandon, which we do for a month.

They will keep for longer in the root cellar, but we enjoy them most within a month of harvest. This year I have 8 nice stalks to enjoy. For the most part, we eat them for breakfast, with onions, balsamic vinegar, bacon, and fried eggs on the side. It’s a hearty way to start a dark, cold day.

Do you like Brussels Sprouts? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

Harvesting California Poppies

November 1st, 2018

This was my first year for growing California poppies. I grew them for two reasons, their beauty and their medicinal value. Being an insomniac, it is said to have properties that help you fall asleep more quickly. Since it’s pretty expensive to buy the tincture (I purchased this kind to try a few years ago), I figured it would be cheapest to grow my own.

I harvesting the entire plant, leaves, stems, and flowers, cut them up and put them in a mason jar. I also harvesting some try dry to make tea.

The mason jar was topped off with grain alcohol and I put it in the pantry. It should be ready in 6 weeks. I’ll let you know how it works, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it helps me fall asleep quickly.

Do you grow any medicinal herbs and make tinctures? What’s your favorite?

Seeds and Sundries
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Berkey Water Filter

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.