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

Loads of Cedah

April 10th, 2018

Now that I’ve been gardening here for 5 years, I’m finally getting the gardens to the place where I can start adding fences, raised beds, rock walls, hedges, and other permanent features. This summer, one of the goals is to start getting the main garden moving towards the final plan. That means a wide main walkway will hopefully be installed, along with lots of raised beds.
trade eggs for cedar and works well for both of us. This past weekend, I finally cashed in on some of the egg money and picked up two loads of cedar planks to make raised beds. The boards are mostly 2″ x 10″ x 8′, with some thicker ones that will be cut to form anchors in the corners.

The beds will be made 8′ x 8′ and 8′ x 4′. My plan is to have them here and there in an organized fashion throughout the main garden. Eventually, there will be lots of raised beds, but this year we only plan on adding 5 or so. Stay tuned to see the beds being built and the garden being laid out.

What big garden projects do you have planned for this summer?

Friday Favorite: Edible Gardening

February 26th, 2016

I was thinking about my edible gardening history last night, then I looked up my first edible garden. Sure, I always had pots of herbs on our apartment balconies, but my first ever real edible garden was started in 2008. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been that long, it seems like much longer.
raised beds 1
raised beds
I built four 4 foot x 10 foot raised beds behind our garage in Ohio. Two were filled with vegetable and two were filled with strawberries. I purchased most of the little seedlings from a local greenhouse.
raised beds 2
Here I am, 9 years later with a HUGE area devoted to edibles and growing ornamental gardens as well. When I look back at what I accomplished in my Ohio garden in a few years, I’m amazed. I don’t have quite as much energy now that I’m a little older, but I have a better sense of what I like and what mistakes to avoid. Gardening is a growth process, we continually narrow down what we truly love, we broaden our gardening our skills, and we begin to enjoy some of the finer aspects of it.

How long have you been growing edibles? 

In the Garden: Inside and Out

April 14th, 2009

I figured it was time for a garden update, to let you all know how all of the crops are doing. My raised beds are 100% full with spring crops now, I’m hoping everything will be ready to harvest by the beginning of June so I can fill them with summer crops. My grow lights (all 6 of them) are packed with plants, I’m hoping to harden some off soon so I can transplant tomatoes to bigger pots and start some squash and flower seeds.
The peas are all doing well, I didn’t get great germination with one kind, but they were seeds leftover from last year. So I’m guessing pea seed are best used up each year and fresh seed purchased each spring. Peas are one of those crops that seem like you never get much out of them, unless you’re growing the sugar snap and eating the pods. We’ll see how many I end up with. I would love a few pints for the freezer, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
The garlic is all doing very well. I think I counted over 50 plants (no problems with vampires here). That should give us enough to eat ourselves, gifts for friends & family and we should be able to save a few for planting this fall. I’m very excited to try the various kinds I planted:

German White: A Porcelain Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, rather hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months

Killarney Red: A Rocambole Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests early-mid season, stores 5-6 months

Chesnok Red: A Purple Strip Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, medium warm pungency when raw, harvests mid-season, stores 6-8 months

Georgia Fire: A Porcelain Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months
My onion seedlings are doing really well, they’re tall and you can see red on the base of the red onions. These will be going out soon since they can take some cold. As soon as the night temps remain above freezing (it was 26 last night) I’m going to harden them off and plant them outside.
The cabbage & broccoli seedlings are starting to grow like weeds, they are all about 6 inches tall. They’ll be going outside soon as well, I’m waiting for temps to stay in the 40’s (if you plant them out too soon the broccoli heads will be small, the soil should be about 60 degrees).
All of my tomato seedlings are doing quite well. It looks as though I’m going to have plenty to give to family and friends. I’m also hoping to have a good amount left so I can pot them up with care instructions and give them to the local food shelter to hand out to needy families.

How’s your garden growing inside & out?

New In the Garden: Hoop Houses

March 7th, 2009

For all of you who guessed a hoop house you’re right. Well, kind of, we added hoops to our raised beds (so not a proper hoop house, but 5 mini hoop houses).
We added these to help extend the growing season. I don’t have room to add a big walk-in greenhouse like Eliot Coleman in Four-Season Harvestso I decided to go this route. Since my spinach did so well under a floating row cover, I thought doing hoop houses in addition to the floating row covers should allow me to extend the season throughout most of the winter.
I’m planning on covering these with plastic here in the next couple days and this should help warm the soil so I can plant things even earlier. They should also help protect early tomatoes from frost. In the summer I plan on adding netting to these to keep the deer and rabbits out of my crops, so they will be very handy in all seasons!
How much did they cost? The tubing was $2.19 each and we used 4 per raised bed (our beds are 4×10). With the tubing and the clamps to attach them it cost about $10-$12 per raised bed, not bad if you ask me!

Do you do anything to extend the season? Anyone else using hoop houses or hoping to?

For details instructions on how we built our hoop houses see this post.

Raised Beds

June 13th, 2008

This year I decided to put in some raised beds. My full-sun area is limited (due to the huge trees on 3 side of my small lot). I can either grow some veggies in my front yard or in a small area in the back yard. Since, I’m not quite ready to tear up the lawn and plant potatoes, I chose the back. The back yard used to be a gravel driveway before we moved in, so the ground is compacted and full of gravel. Since I couldn’t dig down, I built up. I had Mr Chiots build me a few raised beds this spring. I mixed up a beautiful soil and away I went. Here’s a photo of a few of the beds after they were built and filled.

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.