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Growth Spurt

June 29th, 2015

Every year I know it’s going to happen and yet I am amazed as I see it unfold before my eyes. In April and May, the garden growth slowly, at what seems like a snail’s pace. Then, almost overnight, everything is big, lush, blooming, going to seed, and buzzing with life.
potager 1 (3)
The difference between the photos below is a month, only a month. When you think about how slowly things grow from March to April, then from April to May, there isn’t even as much growth during that time as there is in two weeks of June.
potager 2 (3)
The lovely thing about Maine is that we actually have shoulder season when things grow a little more slowly. It’s a nice time to enjoy gardening at a bit of a slower pace for a short time. In Ohio the garden burst forth almost overnight.
potager 3 (1)
If you miss a few days in the garden during June, July, and August, you miss so much. I went away for six days and came back to a completely different garden. That’s the beauty of the garden in summer, there’s always something new, always drastic change, look away and you’ll miss it. Tending a garden means almost daily care, but it’s not drudgery because there is so much happening on a daily basis.

When do you notice the most drastic changes in the garden during the growing season?

Quote of the Day: Neighbors

June 30th, 2013

Gardens are living things that get pimples and have awkward growth spurts. They age and get wrinkles. The garden doesn’t care how it looks though. Only the gardener does (and maybe the neighbors).

Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, 2nd Revised Edition

My mom’s neighbor is an avid gardener and her gardens show it! We’ve watched her garden grow, as they built their house around the same time my parents build theirs. Here are some photos of her lovely garden.
Gingers Garden 1
Gingers Garden 2
Gingers Garden 3
Gingers Garden 12
Gingers Garden 4
Gingers Garden 5
Gingers Garden 6
Gingers Garden 7
Gingers Garden 8
Gingers Garden 9
Gingers Garden 10
Gingers Garden 11
Ginger’s gardens have changed a lot throughout the years. I always enjoy visiting my mom to see what Ginger is doing. She has one of the most beautiful crabapple trees I’ve ever seen, sadly it was planted when they first moved in and she doesn’t remember the variety.

Do you have any neighbors with beautiful gardens that you get to enjoy?

I Claim This Land for Chiot’s Run

November 16th, 2011

Mr Chiots and I have been wanting to buy the lots on either side of us since we bought Chiot’s Run almost 10 years ago. Not being ones to get into debt, we weren’t about to borrow money to do it. We worked hard and paid off our house last year and have been saving with hopes to purchase a nice sized plot of land in a few years. As luck would have it, this spring the lot below us went up for sale for less than half of what it sold for 5 years ago. We purchased it and started clearing it to add more full-sun garden space; something severely lacking here!

We made a reasonable offer on the lot above us 2 years ago, but the owners refused wanting twice what we offered. Being patient people, we decided to wait. They put the lot up for sale with a realtor and waited for 2 years without an offer. Right before we went on vacation in July, they contacted us again wondering if we were still interested in the lot. Since we had just purchased the lot below us for a great price we said, “Well, not really, especially not at the price you’re asking.” We offered what we paid for the lot on the other side and they accepted. The funny thing is that we purchased this lot for 20% less than what we offered them 2 years ago. Because we were patient we got a great price on both lots and have been able to expand our property to 3/4 of an acre from the 1/4 that it was originally.

This lot is just like the one below, filled with trees both big and small. There are six gigantic tulip trees that are at least 80 ft tall on it. We plan on clearing out the trees to make room for lots of edible garden space and using a lot of the wood to heat our house and to boil down our maple sap. Hopefully we’ll be able to clear it out by spring and spend the next year or two growing cover crops to improve the soil. The lot below that we purchased this spring will become an orchard when we finish clearing it.

We’re still saving money to buy 100 acres someday. Originally we were thinking of staying here in rural Carroll county, but with the arrival natural gas drilling and fracking, we’re considering a move to New England, maybe Maine or Vermont. It may happen before our original goal of 10 years if the gas/oil company starts drilling wells nearby. We’ll be “getting out of dodge” before our property values tank and our water gets polluted by the fracking. This is very sad because we’re investing a lot in this little plot of land and we really do like our community. Until then we’ll garden as if we’re not leaving, you really can’t know for sure what will happen in the future.

How big is your garden space? Have you been able to expand it at all?

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.