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Back Up Again

February 28th, 2018

Years ago, my mom gave me this stitched clock. She made it when she was pregnant with me and living in the Amazon jungle in San Jose del Guaviare in Colombia, S.A. (perhaps some of you don’t know I was born in Colombia). I believe it was a kit that she purchased.

I’ve always loved it, for a lot of reasons. It’s quaint, it’s cute, it’s handmade. My dad made the frame/box. It has a very questionably attached piece of glass in the front, the wire is held on by small nails. I would like to figure out how to clean it, though I’m not sure if I can. It seems to have been glued to a piece of plywood before being mounted.

In our home in Ohio, it had a special spot in our living room. When we moved to Maine, I wasn’t sure where to hang it, so it was stored in the spare bedroom. This past weekend I finally decided to hang it in the dining room. It’s not the perfect spot, but it’s better than nothing. I love being able to see it as I walk by. Because of the placement I see it about 50 times a day and it makes me smile. Reminds me of my mom.

Do you have any family treasures that you keep in prominent places so you can see them frequently?

Yard Stick, Walking Stick, Squash?

September 8th, 2012

Early this summer I planted seeds for ‘Trombetto’ squash from Renee’s Garden over at my mom’s.

The flavor is supposed to be like that of an artichoke. We had one for breakfast yesterday morning. Not sure if artichoke is how I would describe it, but it was good. Different than the usual zucchini.

It’s a climbing vine, much like a cucumber. The fruits hang down and are quite amazing when you see them, so much different than any other type of summer squash.

I harvested these two beauties on Thursday. My mom said she had no idea when to pick them so she left them on the vine. Growing interesting varieties of vegetables is one of the fun things about having an edible garden. Each year I try to grow a few new fun things.

What’s the strangest vegetable/fruit you’ve grown?

Another Great Reason to Grow Heirlooms

April 9th, 2011

About 95% of the edible vegetables in my garden are grown from heirloom open pollinated seeds. I enjoy growing them because of the history behind them. It’s nice to know that generations of gardeners have grown the same things in their gardens. One of the best reasons to grow heirlooms is because you can save the seeds. You do have to take precautions from cross pollination with some varieties, but with a little planning it’s quite easy. I save seeds from a lot of the varieties of tomatoes that I grow. Saving seeds from the plants that thrive in your garden is a great way to develop plants that do well in your area.

I have some arugula that survived the winter and figured these particular plants were the hardiest ones since they survived when others didn’t. I’ll let this go to seed and plant them again this coming fall. I should have better survival rate than this past winter because the seed was saved from these hardy plants. Next spring I’ll once again save seed from the surviving plants and eventually I should have a hardy arugula that will do really well in my particular climate and soil.

I also have some celery that survived the winter and I’m hoping it will go to seed so I can get a hardier version of it as well. This is one of the many reasons to grow heirlooms! Sure they sometimes don’t produce as abundantly as their younger hybrid versions, but what’s wrong with that? I sure don’t want to be replaced with a younger, faster model when I get old. More isn’t always better!

Do you save seed from any of the heirlooms you grow? Have you ever worked to develop a desirable trait in a plant by saving seed and replanting over several years?

Strawberry Popcorn Harvest

October 16th, 2009

I wrote about harvesting my popcorn last week. Popcorn has to be dried to about 13%-16% moisture for the best popping. I set the little ears of corn out in the sun for a few days and on Sunday we had some time to go out and get them ready to go into the oven for their final drying.
After spending the afternoon in the sun, the ears were brought in and put in the oven set at 100 for further drying. I’ll keep drying it until the kernels start to fall off of the cobs, then I’ll pop them all off and store them in a jar. I can’t wait to pop some!!!
It is the most beautiful popcorn, the kernels are ruby red and the ears are shaped like strawberries, it’s almost too pretty to eat. The seeds are from Botanical Interests if you’d like to grow them in your garden.
I haven’t weighed the popcorn yet, I figured I’d wait until it all came off the cob (I figured it’s a more realistic total since that’s the part we’ll be eating). I’m going to save 20-30 kernels off a few of the best ears for future planting. I’m not sure if I’ll grow this kind of popcorn again next or another kind, or perhaps sweet corn to eat off the cob.

Have you grown any ornamental edibles?

Popcorn update, in 2011 we grew a different kind which was tasty as well, here’s my post about our 2011 popcorn harvest

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.