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Trail Maintenance

February 5th, 2019

My goal this winter is to do some trail maintenance every time I head out for a snowshoe. It won’t be much, maybe 10-15 minutes a day spent cutting down saplings, dragging downed branches off the trails, and marking the different trails on the property. Yesterday, while out, I noticed the top of an aspen tree that came down at some point this winter, it will make for some nice firewood.

Luckily, it’s right on the trail and fairly close to the house. I also try to take notice of any interesting and beautiful things along the trails. This old tree was amazing, as was the ice flowing over this rock.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already 5 days into February, before long my free time will be spent seeding, planting, and working in the garden. I’m trying to soak up as much of this off season as possible. I often feel seasons help us appreciate each thing for what it is. I enjoy gardening, but also enjoy the bit of break to focus on other things I enjoy during the off season.

What are you enjoying during this off season from gardening (if in fact you live in an area where you have an off season)?

Jack Frost Nipping

January 15th, 2019

My office windows are sometimes covered with the most intricately beautiful frost. The patterns are mesmerizing. I’m not sure what the exact conditions are that cause this particular type of frost, some mornings they’re just covered with the white sheet of frost, but every now and then I get this:

Winter brings such beauty and wonder, I find myself noticing all the beauty that comes with this frigid season!

Friday Favorite: Fresh Snow

December 21st, 2018

One of my favorite things is a fresh coating of snow. It makes everything lighter and brighter, especially when the sun shines! Earlier this week, we got a few inches of snow.

Sadly, we’re supposed to get 2″ of rain today, so it will all melt away, leaving behind an icky brown mess and there will be no white Christmas.

Do you live in an area with snow?

Still Harvesting

December 5th, 2018

On Monday I harvested that last of the vegetables from the garden, it was a mess of lettuce that I had under a plastic low-tunnel with an additional layer of remay on top of the lettuce itself.

The ground inside the low tunnel isn’t frozen at all, in fact it’s still soft. We’ve had a lot of nights in the teens and a few nights that were only 3 degrees, which means this lettuce did a great job surviving such cold temperatures.

I ended up with quite a harvest, at least a week of salad for dinner. Some varieties did better than others, I didn’t specifically plant cold tolerant varieties for this experiment, I just used seed I had on hand. The variety that performed the best was ‘Alkindus’ from Johnny’s Seeds. Next winter I’ll most likely try to find a cold tolerant variety or grow mostly the one variety that did really well in my garden.

Are you attempting any winter gardening?

Digging up Dahlia Tubers

November 21st, 2018

I wasn’t going to plant any dahlias this year, in the past I’ve always grown the dinner plate dahlias from inexpensive tubers I purchased at the local discount store. They never held up well to the windy conditions in the back garden and the earwigs chewed them to pieces. This past summer, there was a vendor at the farmers market selling tubers to small dahlias, beautiful ones. I purchased three tubers and planted them in the garden. Since they were so small, they didn’t bloom much (that and I planted them late).

When I dug them up this fall I have really nice tubers that should produce lush plants with lots of flowers next summer. I typically overwinter mine packed in cedar shavings in the basement. It is a bit of a pain to dig them up, overwinter them, and plant them once again, but they are well worth it.

Do you grow dahlias? What’s your favorite variety?

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.