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Favorite Places

May 10th, 2014

I’ve visited a lot of greenhouses in my day, small mom and pop places that specialize in rare plants propagated right on the farm and giant super store type places with so many plants you could never see every single one.  Back in Ohio I have my favorite spots to visit each year, I have yet to visit a lot of greenhouses in Maine, but I’m working on it.  I did visit Snug Harbor last year and I went again earlier this week.
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This place is wonderful, it’s small and yet there are so many wonderful things nestled into the space. There are dovecots, chicken coops, peacocks, greenhouses, espaliered trees, hedges, ponies and so many wonderful succulents.
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There’s also this lovely birdbath there that I keep eyeing whenever I get to visit. I have no idea where I could put it in my not yet organized garden so I haven’t purchased it yet. Though I must admit, I was tempted to get it earlier this week.
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This place is just my kind of place, it’s exactly the kind of garden I want, not too formal, not too messy – perfectly imperfect. This place is an inspiration to me, I get so many ideas whenever I visit.

Do you have a place you like to visit to get inspiration for your garden?

Four Season Gardening at Chiot’s Run

November 15th, 2010

In late September I planted 2 raised beds with a mix of different kinds of winter crops. I covered them with greenhouse plastic to protect them from the weather when it started to turn cold, about 2 weeks ago. This seems to be working very nicely, we’ve had night time temperatures in the high 20’s and the day time temperatures range from the 40’s to the 60’s.

Since this past week was so warm (in the 60’s during the afternoons), I decided to pull the covers back and give all the greens a good watering with some Neptune’s Harvest. This should get them through the winter, I don’t know if I’ll have to worry about watering again after this.

It looks like these mini greenhouses are providing the right climate for my spinach, it’s growing quite prolifically. I can’t wait to have spinach salads all winter long from this bed. I’m also experimenting with a variety of cold hardy lettuces, celery, arugula, leeks, carrots, kohlrabi, bunching onions, and some other cold-tolerant greens.

At the moment I have 2 raised beds with greenhouse tunnels, one with floating row cover, and one with a cold frame. The one with the cold frame is going to be seeded this week with a variety of winter greens for experimentation to see which ones sprout and do best when started late in the season. From here on out it looks like our highs are only going to be in the 40’s, so it looks like winter is creeping up on us here at Chiot’s Run.

I’m hoping that after a few years I’ll have a good list of which varieties of greens overwinter well in my climate. Eventually, I’m hoping to be able to grow a lot more of my vegetables year round instead of relying on someone else’s produce during the winter. (If you want to learn more about four season gardening I’d highly recommend Eliot Coleman’s book The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses)

How’s your winter gardening going?

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.