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Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening

January 28th, 2016

When I was contacted about reviewing and doing a giveaway of ‘Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening’ by Peter Burke I knew it was something that I would enjoy and definitely something you would enjoy hearing about. This is not a book about growing sprouts, this is a book about growing greens in small containers of soil. No multiple rinsing daily, not as much risk of mold, not as much maintenance. It is also not about growing micro greens, which can take much longer than the 10 days it takes to grow the kind of sprouts Peter is talking about in this book. This book is essential an in depth how-to guide to grow “nutrient-dense, soil-sprouted greens in 10 days or less”.
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As I’ve been reading through the book I’ve been trying to figure how to incorporate some of the methods into my schedule in order to grow a few greens during the cold, winter months here in Maine. The truth is that I LOVE salad all year long and I buy a decent amount of it during the winter months. If I could grow it myself, I could not only save a little cash, but I could have healthier salads since the greens would be harvested right before eating. While you don’t need any additional lighting for his growing methods, he does recommend some window light. My windows are packed out with overwintered plants: bananas, citrus, herbs, etc. I also have the issue of having loads of cats running around the house eating greens they find delectable, which I’m thinking they’d probably find these tasty little greens.
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The technique is simple enough, though I think getting the workflow that works best for your current situation would take some trial & error. Essentially, you need 10 containers. Each day, you plant one or more trays with seeds and follow the protocol (putting in a warm, dark closet for 4 days then uncovering and waiting 6-10 more days until it’s ready to harvest). At it’s core, this is a super simple method. Finding the right workflow for your house/time/needs is going to be the most difficult things to achieve. This method would work very well for someone who loves schedule and order. I could go on and on explaining Peter’s process, but in reality, you’re better off reading the book. It answers just about every question you will have and have loads of photos and wonderful explanations. One of you will be lucky, because we’re doing a giveaway of this book. Comment below for your chance to win, in a week I’ll randomly choose a lucky commenter to win a copy of this book.

What’s your favorite type of salad dressing? 

And our winner is:
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Book Review: Eating on the Wild Side

July 30th, 2013

A few months ago I was contacted by the publisher about reviewing Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health. Since I’m very keen on growing my own food and eating healthfully, I figured it would a perfect book for me.
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After reading it, I really like this book and heartily recommend this book to all gardeners who are interested in growing the healthiest edibles. Even if you’re not a gardener you will find great advice in this book. Each chapter focuses on a different type of vegetable (like alliums, tomatoes, potatoes, etc). After explaining the history of each vegetable group, the author gives advice on how to choose the healthiest option of each whether you’re growing it or buying it. For example, when it comes to lettuce, the dark red varieties contain the most antioxidants.  She also recommends enjoying greens that have a peppery taste or a slight bitterness, like radicchio and arugula. Since Jo is a gardener, recommendations for the most healthful varieties to grow in your garden are included in every chapter, which is in my opinion extremely valuable. She even includes options to look for at the supermarket so you can maximize your grocery dollars by selecting the most nutrient dense vegetables.
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I also corresponded a little with the author. She sent me some beautiful photos of her garden in Seattle to share with you. Her gardens overlook Puget Sound and Mt Rainier, talk about a great view while gardening!
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What I love about the recommendations in this book is that not only are the vegetables healthier, they’re stunning! Why wouldn’t you want to add these healthy, colorful vegetables to your garden?

What’s your favorite darkly colored vegetable?

Book Review: The Small Scale Poultry Flock

November 23rd, 2012

If you don’t listen to the podcast, you didn’t hear my review of The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers. Since I love this book so much, I wanted to make sure to sing it’s praises here in case you didn’t hear my glowing reviews on Cultivate Simple.

Just about every chicken related book in print has come across my coffee table, many of them were good, this is the best overall. Most other chicken books I’ve read are what I would call “fluffy” full of useful information, but to a lot of meat. With this book it’s chocked full of just about everything you want to know. There’s definitely a lot more substance to this book making it well worth it’s cost.

How good is this book? Good enough for me to buy for my library. No other chicken book has received a place on my bookshelf. If you’re at all interested in raising chickens, ducks, or geese I cannot recommend this book enough. It covers everything too, from rearing chicks the all natural way and mixing your own chicken feed, to how to use chickens to till your garden and how to butcher them when the time comes. This book has it all!

The funny thing about this book – I purchased a copy right after we moved and accidentally forgot to change my address at Amazon. Since I was so keen on getting the book and didn’t want to wait the month until I headed back to Ohio, I purchased a second copy. The Ohio copy was given away as a prize on the podcast. We had the listeners comment and use the word chicken or one of it’s derivatives in the comment and we chose the most creative one. If you didn’t listen or read the comment head on over to this post to read them, some folks were very creative!

Do you have any great reference books to recommend that are worthy of a place on the library shelf?

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About

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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