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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?

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?

Fresh Raspberries in October

October 10th, 2018

This past weekend I harvested my first berries from the ‘Caroline’ canes I got from Nourse Farms last year. Caroline is described by Nourse as “this raspberry has a larger berry than Heritage and is more productive, with a rich, full, and intense raspberry flavor. It is a very vigorous variety, with more tolerance for root rot than Heritage. The farther south you grow it, the earlier it will ripen. Caroline is widely adapted, growing everywhere from the East Coast to the West Coast. This variety does not tolerate high heat and drought.”

The deer browsed them heavily this past winter and we had a hot, dry summer, so I was worried I wouldn’t get any berries at all. It looks as if we will get a decent little harvest this fall. I really wanted a raspberry that produced in the fall so it was ripe when the rest of the garden was waning. These are perfect and are coming on just as the summer garden bounty is drawing to a close. We’ve enjoyed every single berry and look forward to harvests for years to come.

Do you grow raspberries in your garden? Any favorite varieties to recommend?

Compost Pile Harvest

September 18th, 2018

I haven’t planted any potatoes for the past couple years, but I’ve still been harvesting them from the compost pile. This year, I’ve harvested about 30 pounds so far of all colors, shapes, sizes from the compost pile.

Next year I hope to buy seed potatoes once again and have a spot in the garden dedicated to my favorite varieties. Potatoes are so inexpensive to buy at the farmers market that I quit growing them for a few years. It’s difficult to find fingerlings and ‘Purple Viking’ potatoes (which are my favorites) so I think I’ll start growing a few once again. Not many, just enough to eat new potatoes and fresh in the fall/early winter, as I can fill in with the ones from the market during the winter and spring.

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

Peppers to Dry

September 5th, 2018

This year I grew two new varieties of peppers just for drying. We’ve eaten a few of them fresh, but they are two varieties specifically developed to dry. One is ‘Red Ember’ and the other ‘El Eden’, both from Johnny’s Seeds.


Since I only have one plant of each, I’m not keeping them separate. Both are getting trimmed and dried with plans to grind them into pepper powder. Neither pepper is very hot, so I’m hoping that mixing them will be a nice chili powder to use in the kitchen. So far, I’m pleased with both varieties and will continue to grow them each summer.

Do you grow any items to make spices from?

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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