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A Tomato in February

February 14th, 2012

Eating a tomato in February would be like opening your Christmas presents on Thanksgiving. It would spoil the fun and kill the anticipation.

Jessica Prentice – Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

I harvested this tomato from my garden a few years ago and though it would be the perfect Valentine.

Even though I won’t be eating any fresh tomatoes this February, I can dream of the tomatoes I’ll be eating five months from now!

Do you remember when you had your last fresh tomato of the season?

Quote of the Day: Jessica Prentice

January 22nd, 2012

For many of us, our interest in seasonality is somewhat selective. We want the warmth without the cold; we want the long days without the long nights; we want the abundance without the scarcity; we want the birth and growth without the death and decay. But without the death and decay there is no rebirth.

Jessica Prentice – from Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

I was thinking about the rhythm of the seasons earlier this fall as I spent time clearing out the garden. The lush productiveness of high summer, turned into the damp decay of fall, which has now turned into the quiet slumber of winter. Where once there was green, followed by yellow and brown, now there is starkness. Where plants carpeted the earth, the soil then laid bare and in the blink of an eye, it’s now covered in a thick blanket of snow.

The rebirth that occurs because of winter happens not only in the garden, but also in the gardener. We awake in spring with renewed energy and vision for the coming seasons. I for one, am enjoying the small bit of rest that winter provides curled up in my favorite reading chair, cup of coffee, piles of books, seed catalogs and my computer by my side, planning what new and glorious things will appear in the gardens of Chiot’s Run during the coming year.

What are you dreaming of for the coming gardening season?

Quote of the Day: Jessica Prentice

October 30th, 2011

And of course eating winter produce in winter helps me reconnect with the earth’s rhythms and with the seasonal reality of my forebears. It reminds me that to everything there is a season and a time. It helps me to let go of my desire to have whatever I want, whenever I want it, instantly. It helps me appreciate that which I have been given and to accept it gratefully. A long night in the Hunger Moon will be warmed immeasurably by a thick, creamy bowl of Cream of Parsnip Soup. Eating it with a chunk of good aged cheddar on a slice of dark bread, it is a little bit of heaven on earth. It is no sacrifice at all, just a return to the simplicity and beauty of eating with wisdom and appreciation.

Jessica Prentice – Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

I was over at my mom’s yesterday looking at the edible garden. Most everything was nipped by the frost and cold temperatures. The tomatoes are gone for the season; green beans will not grace my plate until next summer. I picked the last few peppers and those will be enjoyed over the coming week.

That’s not really a problem though, we have kale to eat and the peas will produce for a little while longer. A good number of carrots are still snug in their beds of soil and will remain there until we put the garden to sleep for good.

At the farmer’s market I’ve been buying raddichio, bok choi and other cold season vegetables. I no longer crave a fresh tomato out of season, but willingly look forward to brussels sprouts, celeriac and other vegetables that star in winter.

I have yet to grow many of these cold season vegetables in my small garden, but hopefully with all the new space I’m adding in a few years I’ll be able to experiment with them. I’m thankful for the local farmers that grow them so I can get used to eating them before I try to grow them in my garden!

What’s your favorite cold season vegetable? Are you planning on growing any new vegetables in your gardens in the coming years?

A Lesson in Patience and a Giveaway

October 20th, 2011

I’m an avid reader and reading, on average, a few books per week. I have a few favorites that I read over and over again, Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill being my most favorite and the one I’ve read most (with East of Eden coming in a close second). I first read this book many years ago and fell in love. Not only do the authors portray a beautifully simple seasonal lifestyle in their kitchen garden, their way with words is perfect, almost better than photos. I keep checking this book out of the library over and over again, and each time I notice there are fewer and fewer copies in my library consortium. This past time there was only one, I decided it was time to buy a copy for my library.

I’ve been eyeing this book for years on Amazon and checking at any used book store I visit, searching to find it at a good price without any luck. I also added it to my wish list on Paperback Swap even though I’ve never seen a copy there either. Usually it’s being listed for $150 or more anywhere they have it, that’s a bit out of my price range for a book, no matter how much I love it.

Being threatened with the risk of not being able to read it again if the local libraries lost or sold their only copy, I decided it was time to finally buy a copy. I found one used for a price I could afford. Even though I paid more than I usually do for a book, with the number of times I’ll read this book, the price actually seemed reasonable for the amount of joy and inspiration I find in it’s pages.

Ironically, while still waiting for the book I purchased to arrive in the mail, I received an e-mail from Paperback Swap that another member sent a copy of this book to me. That means I got a copy of the book for FREE. I was flabbergasted!

Generally, I’m very patient person, waiting for quite a while before purchasing anything. This patience has saved me thousands of dollars in the past, on everything from t-shirts to land. Maybe I was impatient in my purchase of this book, or maybe I valued it enough to finally spend the money on it. Either way, I’m happy that I have two copies because now I can share this book with someone else. It certainly is a good reminder to be patient and to remember that the phrase “Good things come to those who wait” is very, very true. So faithful readers, my impatience will reward one of you.

Comment below for your chance to win my extra copy of Living Seasonally. For extra chances to win: use the icon below to tweet this post with the hashtag #chiotsrun or head on over the my FaceBook and share this post.

We have a winner! KimH a fellow Ohio gardener has won (if you didn’t get my e-mail make sure you contact me through the link in the sidebar).

Are you a patient person? Have you ever had an experience that reminded you of the important of being patient? Do you have a favorite book you’ve been trying to find a copy of for your library?

Quote of the Day: Crescendo of Plentitude

October 16th, 2011

To those who have a garden, and care about the table, each season offers it’s own causes for celebration, its own little festivals; but in autumn they become concentrated, each day it presenting it’s own ripeness. By late autumn, the whole year has reached a crescendo of plentitude.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

I’m certainly enjoying the flavors of autumn. Our table has been bountiful with roasted root vegetables, tender venison, slow roasted tomatoes, hearty cabbage, spicy pumpkin, sweet apple cider and so much more. Learning to eat seasonally has truly been a joy!

What flavors are you enjoying this season?

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.