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Friday Favorite: Creeping Thyme

June 16th, 2017

In Ohio I had a lot of varieties of creeping thyme, from the super micro variety that grows less than a centimeter tall, to the variety that’s about 6-8 inches tall. I started adding a few varieties to the potager and between the rocks by our front door. They are filling in nicely and providing a lot of interest, for both us and the pollinators.

One thing I love about thyme is that it thrives in difficult locations. The space between these rocks grew weeds and was a bit of an eyesore if not kept weeded or clipped. I figured thyme would be perfect to fill in and thrive in these difficult conditions. I have four different varieties in here so far, purple flowers, white flowers, wooly thyme, and a very low growing thyme was just planted in another section.

Thyme is a favorite plant of mine, I find that it seems to always be of great use in places other plants might not work. The fact that it blooms beautifully, comes in a wide variety of heights, bloom colors, and textures is another benefit. It spreads nicely (without becoming invasive) and divides very easily which means you can end up with lots of plants from one initial plant. When you add the food in provides for pollinators it rounds out as a perfect plant. If you don’t have any in your garden, try to find a spot to tuck one in. If you know a gardener that has some, ask them for a division.

I even planted a few of the taller varieties under the front porch door, it’s a weird spot and grows weeds. If it get enough sunlight, the thyme will love the dryness of this location. Later this summer I’ll post photos if it survives and thrives. At the moment it’s looking good and I have confidence it will be the perfect way to add something delightful where a problem existed, just like between these big rocks.

What’s your favorite hard working plant in the garden?

Friday Favorite: Brussels Sprouts

December 9th, 2016

I’ve been trying to grow brussels sprouts for year, they always seem to get eaten by something. This year, I planted them in the front corner of the main edible garden by Tara (our Anatolian Shepherd garden and livestock protector). That seems to have done the trick and my sprouts finally reached maturity.
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Brussels sprouts are a favorite vegetable in the winter months and we are happy to have a very large harvest of them to enjoy for the next month or two.
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This year I grew two different varieties of sprouts, ‘Diablo’ from Johnny’s Seeds and ‘Long Island Improved’ from Baker Creek. Both varieties did well, the ‘Diablo’ produced taller stalks with larger sprouts, but the sprouts weren’t as tight at the others. I will continue to grow a few varieties, next year I’d like to add a purple for a little variety. Stay tuned, next week I’ll share a favorite recipe for sprouts.

Do you like Brussels Sprouts?

Onions, Onions, Onions

February 25th, 2016

I love growing onions, of all colors, shapes, and sizes. I love starting my onions from seed. I love, love, love eating onions.
starting onion seeds 5
onion braids 1
Onion Harvest 2
onions (1)
planning for onions all year long 2
Each year I grow loads of onions, loads. Generally I harvest around 200 lbs of onions to eat throughout the year. That number doesn’t include green onions and leeks. We eat an AMAZING amount of onions. Many years ago, I decided to start growing them from seed myself, both because it saved me money and because you can find so many interesting varieties. In my experience, starting them from seeds makes them store longer. This past week I started 3 flats of onion seeds, I still have 3 more to get going this week. Onions are probably one of my most favorite crops to grow.

Do you grow onions? Have you started them from seed?

A Garden Update

August 7th, 2014

I feel like this summer has flown by in a blur. One day I was planting seeds and the next I’m harvesting tomatoes. This time of year feels perfectly exuberant in the garden, everything is tall, green and producing fruit. I like to soak in the fullness of this season so I can remember it deep in winter when there is no green to be seen.
main garden 1
This is the main garden up behind the garage, the workhorse. It’s not laid out in a nice pattern, things are planted wherever there happens to be room. It’s a bit weedy and overgrown around the edges because I’m letting it grow tall for the pigs. We have been moving them around this garden to root up the grass and weeds for our future expansion.
main garden 2
This garden houses loads of vegetables grown en masse. There are purple cabbage, giant cauliflower plants, rows and rows of beans for drying, neatly staked tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, herbs, asparagus and so much more.
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There are also fall crops that have just gone in where the garlic was harvested. A long row of shelling peas to stock the freezer along with hundreds of leeks.
main garden 5
Late July and August are always great times in the northern garden. For you southerners I’m sure it’s a crispy dry time. Here in the north the gardens are in their prime.

What state is your garden in, full glory, past prime, gone?

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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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