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Out With The Old

July 11th, 2018

The strawberry patch was in need of removal last year, which didn’t happen because I spent too much time traveling in the spring/early summer. I started pulling the plants last fall, but didn’t get that far. Now that strawberry season it over, all the crowns are being removed to make way for other produce.



We will still have strawberries, they will just be in raised beds in the new soft fruit section of the main garden. I purchased 50 new crowns this spring. We also have a few ‘Old North Sea’ strawberry crowns that will be transplanted and propagated. Next year we will have a small harvest, but the following years should be decent. We are looking to reduce the number of strawberries but add other soft fruits, like red and black raspberries, currants, and blueberries.

Do you grow strawberries in your garden?

Sienna Peas

June 27th, 2018

I’ve always grown ‘Green Arrow’ or ‘Little Marvel’, this year I was low on seed and decided to try ‘Sienna’ from Johnny’s Seeds.


So far, I’m quite impressed. They vines are loaded with flowers and small peas. It looks like they will produce peas about 2 weeks ahead of the ‘Little Marvel’ I have planted in half the row. The proof, of course, will be in the flavor.  I’ll let you know when that time comes, which looks like possibly next week.

Do you grow English peas in the garden? What’s your favorite variety? 

The Chicory Patch

June 19th, 2018

Chicories are notoriously difficult to grow, they can be overly bitter if the weather is too warm, or really tough if not blanched. They are picky about the amount of water that hits their leaves and will turn into a slimy mass if it’s too wet. Even though I’ve had my share of failures, that doesn’t stop me from growing a variety of endive, escarole, and radicchio each year.

My various spring started chicories are looking particularly great this year. I’ll be starting to harvest them this week. This year I’m attempting to blanch the endives under terra-cotta pots. This should help keep them drier to avoid any browning and sliming.

Even though we don’t always get fresh chicories from the garden, I always grow them in part because they are beautiful plants. Some years they are inedibly bitter for the humans, but the chickens always find them delicious. I find that the newer hybrid varieties do much better in the garden, they’re often bred to withstand less than perfect conditions with a bit more grace. I’ve had much better success since transitioning to varieties from Johnny’s Seeds.

What are some of your most loved difficult to grow vegetables?

Strawberry Bed Refresh

June 7th, 2018

Our strawberry patch is 6 years old now and in need of a refresh. With the redesign of the main garden, they need to be moved to make way for a walkway. Instead of digging up the plants we have to transplant, I decided to purchase new plants.

Since ‘Sparkle’ are our favorite berries, I ordered 50 crowns from Nourse Farms. They are my go-to source for asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, and other soft fruits.

Since the area of the garden where I want to put all the soft fruit is new and the soil hasn’t been amended, we decided to try some of the strawberries in raised beds. I got this cedar from the local mill, I was able to trade eggs for it. These new plants won’t produce berries this year, but we still have the old patch for that. We’re looking forward to lots of berries in years to come.

What’s your favorite soft fruit?

Look at THIS!!!

June 6th, 2018

The ‘Pizza my Heart’ pepper from Renee’s Garden that I grew in a pot last summer and overwintered in the house is producing peppers like mad. I’ve been harvesting a few peppers each month, yesterday I harvested a big handful to put on pizzas.

I’m going to pop this plant out of the pot, prune it a bit, then plant it in the garden. No doubt, it will respond with delicious peppers in 6-8 weeks. This fall I may dig up a few other peppers and overwinter them in the basement to see how this works on a slightly larger scale. Peppers are a staple in our household, if I can harvest fresh ones for 6-8 months of the year I’ll be one happy cook!

What are you harvesting from the garden today?

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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