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Cultivate Simple 67: Good Morning and Good Bye

March 3rd, 2014

Tips for brewing a great cup of coffee!  We roast our own beans, head on over to see the process in this post I wrote a few years ago.
Coffee Beans

  • Figure out what kind of coffee you like, do you like dark and chocolatey or bright and acidic. Fine tuning your tastes will help you settle on the best coffee for your palate.
  • Buy beans in small batches or roast your own.
  • Use them up. Don’t let them sit around
  • Store them in an airtight container (don’t put them in the freezer). If you buy a large quantity keep some in a small jar for daily use so that the majority of beans will not be exposed to the air. We store ours in a Le Parfait Glass Jar

Camano Coffee Mill 1
Buy a good grinder

  • A burr grinder is essential. Uniform size won’t let the water get through the coffee faster than it should.
  • Only grind what you are going to use
  • You can get a really nice hand cranked burr grinder from Red Rooster Trading Company

Try different types of coffee makers

  • Espresso
  • Chemex
  • French press
  • Cold brew coffee
  • Vacuum Brewers
  • Moka pots
  • Drip coffee makers

chemex coffee
Maintain Your Coffee Brewing Device

  • Clean your machine
  • Filtered water
  • Drink after brewing. Don’t brew ten cups of coffee and drink them throughout the day. Better to brew twice and have good coffee all day.

roasting_coffee_at_home 1
Sources for green coffee beans:
Sweet Maria’s (this is where we buy our beans)
Dean’s Beans
Sweet Maria’s article about Getting Started Roasting Coffee at Home. Here’s their article about using a hot air popcorn popper to roast coffee. Finally a link to a great article on the health benefits of coffee.

If you really want to use up several hours, visit Coffee Geek or Home Barista and check out the forums. At 10 people, get 12 opinions.

Are you a coffee drinker?  How do you take yours: cream, sugar, black? 

Cultivate Simple 64: We’re Having A Party

February 3rd, 2014

An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a more simple life. This is episode and today we are talking parties!

holiday cookie party

Books of the Week

What theme have you used for a party

Cultivate Simple 61: Fermenting for the Flock

January 13th, 2014

In this week’s episode we discuss fermenting your own feed for your chickens and other animals.

fermented chicken feed
Why should you consider fermenting chicken feed?

  • it increased availability of nutrients for the chickens
  • it actually increases the amount of vitamins in the feed and produces new vitamins
  • makes the food easier to digest because it’s soaked and soft
  • provided beneficial probiotics to help chickens absorb more nutrients from their feed and keeps them healthier
  • decreases risk of diseases like salmonella and healthier digestive tracks
  • decreases the amount of feed chickens are consuming and they produce less waste
  • makes poop small and less stinky (I know amazing).
  • egg yolks are bigger and shells are stronger.
  • your chickens will be healthier and happier!

Here’s a post from Scratch Cradle with all the scientific studies linked – etc.

In fermented feed phosphorus levels are increased and sugar level decrease, fermenting the feed also increases protein content in the feed by about 3%.

There have been studies to show that hens fed fermented fed develop more villi in their intestines and thus absorb more nutrients from their feed making them more efficient at feed conversion.

Books of the Week

Cultivate Simple 59: New Goals for the New Year

December 30th, 2013

Today on the show we discuss our process for setting goals and achieving them. Here are some tips we discuss on the show:

  • Be realistic, but don’t be afraid to dream, just be able to put goals on the back burner
  • Break a task down into manageable pieces.
  • Figure out what you’re going to have to invest to reach your goal in time and money
  • Set a deadline
  • Map your progress (make a list and check items off)
  • Celebrate success or failure


Brian’s Geeky Corner

Google Search Tips

What are your goals for the coming New Year?

Cultivate Simple 53: Reading is FUN

November 11th, 2013

On this weeks episode talk about some of the books we love to read and listen to. We also answer some questions from last weeks podcast. If you add any of these books to your personal library, be sure to use our Amazon Affiliate Link. It doesn’t cost you anything but put a bit of change toward the blog and podcast.

For those of you looking to increase your cast iron collection and want a larger pan, I highly recommend the Lodge Cast Iron Pizza Pan. It’s a nice size for cooking loads of food, works beautifully for roasting in the oven and I use it on the stovetop for heating up our pizza.

For those of you wanting the skillet cookie recipe here it is: One Pan Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet

Some of Susy’s favorites:

Some of Brian’s favorites:

Classics that we LOVE

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.