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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?

A Whirlwind Weekend

November 7th, 2017

This past weekend, Mr Chiots and I were back in Ohio for a wedding. We happened to be in the Columbus and Dayton areas visiting with friends, eating good food, and learning a bit of history. While in Dayton, we visited the Carillon Historical Park and really enjoyed learning about the history of business in the Dayton area. I knew some of Dayton’s history, but not how much of a role they played in so many aspects of our current lives (air conditioning, cash registers, and bar code scanners were invented there).

We saw the Wright brother’s plane of course, being an Ohioan, we knew all about the Wright brothers. It was a great place to visit, I highly recommend the Carillon Historical Park if you are in the area. The tavern located on the grounds is also a great spot to grab lunch.

Naturally, we visited a few nostalgic spots that we loved, Graeter’s Ice Cream being one of them. I consumed a lot of their ice cream while I was at college in Cincinnati.

Do you have any trips planned? Any great historical sites/museums to recommend?

Weather Station in the Garden

November 3rd, 2017

This Friday Favorite is for Mr Chiots. He’s been dreaming of getting a weather station for year, talking about it, researching, and planning it. Last month his dream came true when he finally got one.

There’s a little monitor indoors which shows us all the pertinent weather information. On Monday morning, it recorded a 50mph gust of wind during the big storm that rolled through. It tracks and stores all kind of information. So far, he’s enjoying it immensely. One of these days we will get around to putting a little widget in the sidebar of the blog that pulls in the information from this system.

Are you interested in the weather?

Harvesting Seeds

November 2nd, 2017

This year I’ve been harvesting more seeds than I ever have. There are paper bags, bowls, plates, and various trays filled with seeds in my office and in the dining room. Most recently, I harvested ‘Scarlett Runner’ beans.

These were one of my mom’s all-time favorite garden plants. Each year she planted them just for the hummingbirds. When she died, my dad gave my sister and I each a packet to grow in our gardens.

They grew and bloomed beautifully, and the hummingbirds loved them all summer long. I’m saving seed to grow them again next year, a few packets will be available for sale here on the blog later this winter. Seed packets have been ordered, stamps are coming soon, and websites are being worked on.

Do you save seed? Any favorite family varieties you’ve been saving for years?

Reading & Watching

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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.