Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

5×5 Garden: Keep Learning

March 19th, 2014

One of the most important parts of gardening is to be observant and to never stop learning.  You should never allow your gardening knowledge to stagnate, things should never be done exactly the same way year after year.  You should be trying new things, with failures and successes.  Ultimately, gardening isn’t really about plants, it’s about you and what you gain through the experience. So what are some great places to learn?
One of the best ways is to chat with other gardeners, they can be a wealth of information. I haven’t met a gardener yet that hasn’t been willing to talk about gardening.
Kitchen Gardening Books 1
Reading is also a fantastic resource, the library will be you friend and help save you a pretty penny. I read just about any kind of book about gardening, from garden design to growing vegetables, you can learn something from just about every book.
mushroom class 2
Workshops and classes can be a fantastic resource. Lots of local libraries and garden clubs have workshops throughout the winter. Check your local University extension for workshops and classes as well, they can be fantastic resources.
Kitchen Gardening Books 6
I have been lucky to be able to learn from all these ways, one isn’t any better than the other, they’ve all been tools that have helped me become a better gardener. Of course I should also mention that blogs are great ways to learn – especially since you’re here learning about gardening!

What’s your favorite way to learn more about gardening?

Library Learning and a Podcast

January 31st, 2013

On Tuesday, Mr Chiots and I headed to the Belfast Free Library to listen to Lauren and Bill Errickson’s seminar, The Permaculture Process: Creating an Edible Landscape. Not only did we attend to listen and learn, we actually recorded their talk for Cultivate Simple, our podcast about all things gardening and simple living.
Permaculture Workshop 3
Topics of discussion:

  • setting goals for your property
  • promote healthy ecology, wildlife, and pollinators
  • minimize landscape inputs
  • generate income
  • evaluating and assessing your existing landscape
  • how permaculture principles can be used to expand existing landscape assets while reducing “trouble” spots

Permaculture Workshop 4
Lauren and Bill Errickson own and operate Singing Nettle Farm and Conscious Elements Permaculture in Brooks. They both hold M.S. degrees in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire and Advanced Permaculture Design Certificates from Humustacia Gardens. For further information, visit their website:
Permaculture Workshop 1
If you’re interested in permaculture and how to incorporate it’s methods in your home garden this is the talk for you. Tune in the Cultivate Simple this coming Monday to hear what Bill & Lauren have to say.

Do you ever attend local workshops & seminars about gardening?

Quote of the Day: Carol Deppe

November 18th, 2012

The resilience of individual gardeners working for personal satisfaction and joy in ordinary hard time can thus be transformed into resilience during more extraordinary hard times, for both the individual and his or her community. Life is full of hard times. By learning to garden our way through the small and ordinary hard times, and passing that knowledge on, we can help our children, our children’s children, our country, and our species through both the ordinary as well as the extraordinary hard times that happen through the generations.

Carol Deppe The Resilient Gardener

I was thinking about this quote as I was out planting the cuttings I had take from my hydrangeas earlier this summer. Each and every cutting had a mass of lovely roots. While these shrubs will not produce food for my table, they have provided education and learning.

I’m certainly glad that I don’t have to grow all the food that we eat. If a crop fails, we don’t go hungry. This gives me the freedom to experiment and hone my skills. Not only does that make me a better gardener, it gives me the confidence and knowledge to teach others as well. I hope none of us ever have to rely on our garden in order to survive, but I’m certainly glad I have spent time learning just in case. It’s kind of like having insurance, it provides a little peace of mind and makes us more resilient in tough times.

Do you think you’ve honed your gardening skills through the years you’ve been gardening? What do you want to learn next?

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


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.