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Grow Light Salad

February 12th, 2018

A few weeks ago, I seeded four flats of various types of greens. Arugula won the race to the dinner place, we enjoyed a delicious salad on Saturday morning for breakfast.

Being one of my favorite greens, I’m happy that arugula won the race. In fact, we could have harvested enough for a salad in the middle of last week, I just had some greens from the grocery store in the fridge already. It’s exciting to be harvesting things from under he grow lights. In the future, arugula is going to be my go-to winter grow light crop.

Are you harvesting anything for your plate at the moment?

Pounds of Pumpkins

December 12th, 2017

If you remember, my ‘Musque de Provence’ pumpkins did quite well this year. In fact, from the four vines I planted, I ended up with 30 pumpkins. The average weight of these pumpkins is about 40-45 pounds. Some are smaller, some are larger. The largest one I can barely pick up, and I carry around 50 pound feed bags all the time, so I’m not weak. These pumpkins are super meaty (as you can see). The flesh is thick and sweet, it makes delicious pies and soups.

I gave some away, we will eat a few, but many of them will be fed to the chickens. One of the reason I grow so many pumpkins is for the flock. They love them in the winter and reward me with lots of beautiful eggs with yolks almost the same color as the pumpkin. It looks like I’ll have a pumpkin to feed the flock almost every week this winter, no doubt they will appreciate my efforts.

Do you like pumpkin? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

The End of the Season

November 24th, 2017

Last weekend I harvested the rest of the brussels sprouts from the garden. This year, I both grew ‘Churchill’ and ‘Diablo’. (I got my seed from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, a great local seed source for me here in Maine).

‘Diablo’ came out way ahead, it’s a much better variety for my garden. I like the sprouts much better as well, they’re tight sprouts and are more evenly sized. I also found that they had fewer issues with late aphids. If the plants were attacked, the sprouts are easily rinsed off and eaten since they’re so tight. It also held better in the field, without sprouts becoming overgrown and huge. Cold tolerance is also a big bonus for this variety, we regularly had temperatures in the teens and it didn’t mind at all.

The stalks will be left in the garage for a few weeks, then any remaining will be moved to the basement. Most likely, they won’t last long. We’re big fans of Brussels sprouts, our favorite way to eat them is with a balsamic cream sauce, which we had at a local restaurant. Lucky for us, the restaurant chef published a cookbook and it contains the recipe. If you’re interested, see the ‘Brussels Sprouts; The Disregarded Vegetable’ in Comfort Food. I’ll try to share the recipe in December sometime.

Are you a fan of Brussels sprouts? What’s your favorite way to cook them?

Book referenced above, every recipe I’ve tried has been fantastic, which is not a surprise since it’s my favorite restaurant.

Fall Crops

November 9th, 2017

Our temperatures are finally getting down in to the twenties, this Friday night it’s supposed to be in the teens. With the persephone period at hand, crops aren’t growing any more, just sustaining. That means it’s time to harvest various crops that can be affected by the cold weathers. The day before yesterday I harvested lots of things: cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, and fennel. The lemongrass will be harvested today, along with a few other greens.


I’m amazed at how well my fall crops produced this year. If I had planted them a month before I did, they would have done much better, but overall I’m quite pleased. The cauliflower is the size of a small cantaloupe, the broccoli has headed up nicely. The fennel is small, but tender. The butterhead lettuces produced nice small heads, the spinach is perfect for harvest. Overall, I’m very happy with my fall harvest. Each year I get better and better with gardening throughout the seasons. Succession planting is becoming easier and easier.

What are you harvesting this week from the garden?

Indoor Gardening in Winter

November 8th, 2017

I always have pots of herbs, citrus trees, and a few other greens under grow lights during the long winter months here in Maine. This year, since I grew this ‘Pizza my Heart’ pepper in a container by the front door, I decided to bring it indoors for the winter to experiment with growing perennial vegetables in this method.

A few weeks ago, I read about a guy who brings in a lot of his peppers and simply replants them after risk of frost is past the following summer. He claims that they start producing peppers earlier and produce more peppers when treated in this manner. Instead of trying to bring in all my pepper plants, I figured I’d start with one; the one that was already in a container.

This pepper has flourished in this container all summer, since it was still growing, flowering, and producing well, I figured it was a great candidate for this experiment. This variety (from Renee’s Garden Seeds) is well suited for containers, which should increase my chance of success. I’ll keep you up to date on the progress of this lovely plant. At the moment, I’m not 100% certain where it will reside this winter. I have three lighted growing areas in the house, each with different climates. I’m thinking this pepper will appreciate the upstairs area since it’s very warm and gets lots of morning light.

What are you experimenting with this winter?

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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