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A New Favorite Tool

May 3rd, 2016

A few months ago I purchased a four pack of these thermometers with probes. I needed them so I could put the probe in the low tunnel and the thermometer outside, that way I’d be able to monitor the temperature difference. They quickly became one of my new favorites tools and I’m so happy I got four of them.
There’s on under the grow light, with the probe monitoring temperature directly under the grow light and the other the temperature outside of its light. There’s another one on the back porch where I keep seedlings. It lets me know if the porch is warm enough to protect seedlings or if I need to bring them indoors for the night. The third is used with the low tunnel in the garden. I have a fourth that is not in use yet, I may give it as a gift so someone else can share the love of one of my new favorite things!

Have you discovered any new great tools for gardening recently?

Friday Favorite: Watering Cans

July 13th, 2012

Up until four or five years ago, I’d never found a watering can I liked. I kinda felt like Goldilocks, they were all: too small, not balanced properly, water sloshed out while walking, or they just weren’t quite right. Then I found this one. I ordered one from I purchased a watering can from Gardener’s Supply after reading all the glowing reviews and fell in love.

I proceeded to order another one for myself and a few to give as gifts to my mom and a few gardening friends. Sadly this watering can is no longer available so I don’t know what I’m going to do when mine crack (they are plastic after all). I certainly wish I could have purchased these in galvanized metal so they would have lasted the rest of my life.

I LOVE this watering can because:

  • It’s perfectly balanced, seriously – you can barely tell you’re carrying 25 lbs of water!
  • Holds 3 gallons of water, reducing the need for extra trip and builds nice biceps in the process. I carry two at once which allows me to water a fairly large area with one trip.
  • Easy to fill, easy to carry, easy to use, easy to clean.
  • The crown comes apart for easy cleaning, which let’s face it, needs to happen often, especially if you harvested use rain water!

From what I hear, Haws watering cans are nice, but pricey. Perhaps when these finally give up the ghost I’ll spring for a Haws to see if they’re all they’re cracked up to be.  So now I’ve got you wanting this watering can that you can’t find any more.  Perhaps if enough people ask, Gardener’s Supply will start carrying them again.  If they do, I’ll be buying a few!

How many different watering cans have you tried? Do you have one you like that you’d like to recommend?

Friday Favorite: Seafood

July 6th, 2012

I love seafood and fish, really any kind of thing that lives in water. If I have the choice, I’ll always choose fresh seafood over any other kind of protein. Here in our small town it’s tough to come by good seafood. I would drive to Cleveland on the days it’s delivered at West Side Market, but it’s still not quite as good as it is closer to the ocean and it would be 3 hours of driving.

I grew up eating really fresh fish. My grandpa had a boat and we’d go fishing on Lake Erie often, we enjoyed lots of walleye and perch when it went well. When we lived in Colombia we ate all kinds of different fish and seafood, huge river fish and seafood when we were up on the coast.

One of the things I’m super excited about when we move to Maine is the fresh seafood. I was talking to the people we bought the property from and they said there’s a seafood CSA close, which I’ll be joining as soon as possible!

While in Maine we stayed at the house with the couple we purchased it from and they fed us all kinds of great fresh seafood. After signing the closing papers we went down to Youngs Lobster Pound to get lobster & steamers for dinner that evening.

Wednesday for lunch we had leftover lobster on a salad. That night for dinner we enjoyed Maine shrimp in a stir fry of local vegetables. We only ate 6 meals in Maine and 3 of them contained something from the sea – sounds like the perfect ratio to me.

The chickens seem to enjoy seafood just as much as I do.

Are you a fish/seafood lover or do you prefer something else (or are you vegetarian)?

A Lesson in Patience and a Giveaway

October 20th, 2011

I’m an avid reader and reading, on average, a few books per week. I have a few favorites that I read over and over again, Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill being my most favorite and the one I’ve read most (with East of Eden coming in a close second). I first read this book many years ago and fell in love. Not only do the authors portray a beautifully simple seasonal lifestyle in their kitchen garden, their way with words is perfect, almost better than photos. I keep checking this book out of the library over and over again, and each time I notice there are fewer and fewer copies in my library consortium. This past time there was only one, I decided it was time to buy a copy for my library.

I’ve been eyeing this book for years on Amazon and checking at any used book store I visit, searching to find it at a good price without any luck. I also added it to my wish list on Paperback Swap even though I’ve never seen a copy there either. Usually it’s being listed for $150 or more anywhere they have it, that’s a bit out of my price range for a book, no matter how much I love it.

Being threatened with the risk of not being able to read it again if the local libraries lost or sold their only copy, I decided it was time to finally buy a copy. I found one used for a price I could afford. Even though I paid more than I usually do for a book, with the number of times I’ll read this book, the price actually seemed reasonable for the amount of joy and inspiration I find in it’s pages.

Ironically, while still waiting for the book I purchased to arrive in the mail, I received an e-mail from Paperback Swap that another member sent a copy of this book to me. That means I got a copy of the book for FREE. I was flabbergasted!

Generally, I’m very patient person, waiting for quite a while before purchasing anything. This patience has saved me thousands of dollars in the past, on everything from t-shirts to land. Maybe I was impatient in my purchase of this book, or maybe I valued it enough to finally spend the money on it. Either way, I’m happy that I have two copies because now I can share this book with someone else. It certainly is a good reminder to be patient and to remember that the phrase “Good things come to those who wait” is very, very true. So faithful readers, my impatience will reward one of you.

Comment below for your chance to win my extra copy of Living Seasonally. For extra chances to win: use the icon below to tweet this post with the hashtag #chiotsrun or head on over the my FaceBook and share this post.

We have a winner! KimH a fellow Ohio gardener has won (if you didn’t get my e-mail make sure you contact me through the link in the sidebar).

Are you a patient person? Have you ever had an experience that reminded you of the important of being patient? Do you have a favorite book you’ve been trying to find a copy of for your library?

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.