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Friday Favorite: This Dish Brush

August 24th, 2018

We’ve been washing dishes by hand for year, even when we had a dishwasher. For a while, I used Twist sponges, they’re made of natural materials and compostable. Then they became difficult to find and I went searching for a better option. I came across this Redecker wood & natural bristle brush many years ago and we’ve been using one to wash dishes ever since. Not only is it made of wood and natural bristles, it lasts FOREVER and never gets stinky like regular sponges do.  In fact, I just replaced the old brush we were using, it gave us almost 3 years of service washing all of our dishes.


Considering the cost of one of these brushes, that’s an amazing amount of money saved on kitchen sponges and on waste produced. They’ve changed the design a bit since I purchased mine. I have a few other products from Redecker as well (including the toilet brush) and have been super happy with them. Whenever possible, I like to purchase/use products that are wood/natural instead of plastic. Not only do they usually last longer, they often clean better and don’t scratch surfaces. When they’re worn out, we typically put them in the woodstove, but they can also be composted.

Have you discovered any great household products lately?

Homegrown Lemons

May 22nd, 2018

I purchased this meyer lemon tree a year or two ago to add to my collection of potted citrus. It bloomed last year and set 9 lemons. Considering I have a lemon tree that’s over 10 years old and has only set 1 lemon, I was AMAZED.

I’ve been harvesting the lemons and using them in drinks. It’s such a wonderful feeling to plug a lemon straight from the tree and squeeze it into some fizzy water.

Even though I’m still harvesting ripe lemons, the plant is getting ready to bloom once again. Now if only my other citrus trees would be this productive.

What fun things are you growing and harvesting?

Friday Favorite: Houseplants

May 18th, 2018

I love houseplants and have lots of them in every room. Perhaps I got this love from my mom, our home was always filled with different kinds of houseplants in all shapes and sizes.  Houseplants are pretty easy care, though every now and again then can use a bit of love. This pothos sat on the stage at our wedding, 20 years ago. It’s been growing in the same container ever since. Earlier this week, I decided it needed a new pot and needed to be divided.

The majority of the foliage was removed, then it was turned out of the pot. This plant was potted up and growing in this container when I purchased it. In the bottom of the container, I found lots of styrofoam peanuts. Also, about midway down in the container, I found this plastic disk. Clearly, it was repotted from a hanging basket and whoever planted it didn’t know this should be removed. I’m pretty surprised that this plant has thrived for so long. It’s definitely a testament to the hardiness of this plant.


The root ball was cut in half and trimmed, then I repotted it into a new container with fresh potting soil. I don’t add time release fertilizer to my houseplants, I figure they’re just fine with a bit of liquid kelp in their water every now and again. I find that the chemical fertilizers seem to leave a salty/mineraly residue on containers and water reservoirs.

This plant should have a new lease on life. I’m hoping it survives for another 20 years at least.

Do you enjoy having houseplants around? Do you repot them on occasion? What’s your favorite way to fertilize houseplants?

Inspiration

May 16th, 2018

Typically, I spend all winter reading about gardening and looking through my collection of various gardening books. This past winter, I was busy with a lot of things and spent most of my time reading novels. As the weather warmed, I found myself missing my garden reading.

I’m a huge Monty Don fan, which means that I purchased his new book ‘Down to Earth‘ and have been reading through it. It’s fantastic, as are all his books (‘Gardening at Longmeadow‘ and ‘The Ivington Diaries‘ are my two favorite gardening books). On my stack this week, I also have ‘Earth on Her Hands‘, an older, out of print book that highlights the gardens of many different women. It’s one of my favorites it look through each winter, as the gardens aren’t show gardens, but real gardens made by real women. ‘Gardens of Spirit and Place‘ is another favorite, though the gardens featured in this book are more designed and much more elaborate.

The New Homesteader‘ which features the beauty of Walnuts Farm in England is a feast for the eyes, especially if you love traditional English potagers. There are many more books that I’ve looked through and put back on the shelf. I’ll share some of those in the comings weeks. I find books about gardens are one of my favorite ways to find inspiration for my garden.

Do you have a favorite gardening book that you refer to frequently for inspiration?

Green Thumb?

May 14th, 2018

I often hear people say that they don’t have green thumbs, that they always kill plants.  I’m not sure that my thumb is any greener than any one else’s thumb, I have probably just grown more plants.

Take these boxwood cuttings for example. They were being overwintered in the basemen and I completely forgot about them until they were way too dry. I lost about 75% of them. It’s not a huge deal since they were free, they were however 2 years in the making up to this point, so I did lose some work. That’s how gardening goes though, sometimes you lose plants because of something you did, sometimes plants just don’t like the location or they get diseased. Dead plants is just part of gardening.

Have you killed any plants recently?

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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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