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Friday Favorite: Sitting

February 12th, 2016

This time of year I’m keenly aware that the gardening season is just right around the corner. That means I spend as much as possible sitting, in the evening, in the morning, in the afternoon.
Most often in my favorite chair, reading a book, sewing, crocheting, or just enjoying a bit of rest. Enjoying what winter means for the gardener, a chance to sit down, for more than a moment.

Are you savoring rest this season?


November 4th, 2015

This time of the year I start getting weary. There’s a ton that needs done in the garden to make it ready for winter, so all spare moments are spent doing that. As I’m doing all these chores, my mind is looking forward to the winter rest period. Evenings spent reading on the couch, hats finally being crocheted, quilts being made, coloring books being filled with color…
cat sleeping
Living in a place with winter is a beautiful thing!

Are you looking forward to a period of rest in from the garden?

Learning the Value of Rest

June 24th, 2015

I’m a doer, there is a lot on my plate and I like to maximize my time to get all the things done I want to do. The problem is, that I often don’t take quite enough time for rest. Over the past few years I’ve been learning to value times of rest. Often, time spent resting will actually increase our productivity in our work lives. That’s something we often don’t like to admit, as Americans we’ve been taught to work, work, work and then work some more. After traveling last week and having family visiting this week, I realized that I had to take a day of rest before jumping back into my responsibilities in my work and in the garden.
It’s kind of like taking a sick day before you actually get sick. One day off now can often prevent a week of battling sickness down the road. One day of rest can make us accomplish more in the days ahead. One day off can make us healthier physically, emotionally, and mentally. One day off can prevent the weariness that can lead to depression and anxiety. Learning to listen to our bodies and taking that day off when it tells us we need it is a valuable lesson to learn. These days can also teach us to slow down and enjoy the little moments. Often, on these days of rest, I notice things I haven’t noticed before, simply because I allowed myself to slow down. If you can’t take a day off, take a half day off, or even a half hour off. Even a few minutes of rest can make all the difference in how the rest of our day goes. Take time this week to stop and smell the roses or to sit back and kick up your feet.


October 2nd, 2014

fallow [fal-oh] adjective – 1. (of farmland) plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period in order to restore its fertility as part of a crop rotation
Fallow is a word we don’t often hear when it comes to gardening, especially when it comes to the home garden. Yet it’s a word we should be saying and something we should be doing. Our gardens need rest because the soil needs time to rebuild. Ideally, it should be covered with some form of organic mulch and left to rebuild for a season. Even better is planting with a cover crop, cutting, then allowing the soil to rest for a season.
Main Garden in back 2
Two years ago I planted a fall green manure on half of the main garden out back (covering a section about 20 x 70 ft). The pigs worked the cover crop into the soil and added manure last summer, in the fall I covered it with cardboard and a foot of chipped wood.
cover crops 3
The soil in this garden needed rest, it’s structure was gone from overfilling and too many years in service growing vegetables. The result was soil that doesn’t hold water very well and crops that don’t grow as well as they could. My goal is to rebuild structure and fertility.
Mulching the Main Garden 3
Now it’s like night and day when you look at the soil in the side that has been cultivates the last two summers and the side that has been allowed to rest and rebuild. The soil food web is clearly visible in the fallow side, there are worms, mycelium and other tiny microbes. There is structure, it’s no longer dry and sandy, it will hold together when I lift a shovelful. Not only does fallow apply to the garden, but also to the gardener. We often need a season away from the garden to rebuild and rest. We come back to our gardens renewed, ready to grow once again.
making mulch 1
I encourage you to let your gardens be fallow this winter, add rock powders and mineral dusts this fall, cover with a nice layer of organic mulch (grass clippings mixed with chopped leaves is my favorite), and be amazed at how a time of rest improves not only the soil, but you as well.

Do you allow sections of your garden to go fallow?


June 18th, 2014

Today I’m taking the day off for a bit of rest, well technically taking yesterday evening off. Mr Chiots was up at midnight or so early Tuesday morning for a fire call in the next town over. Needless to say I don’t really sleep much when he’s away putting out a fire. He arrived home around 8:30 am or so. Yesterday I spent the entire day working in the garden, weeding, thinning, planting new plants, putting up electric fences and many other things; it was hot and I was tired at the end of the day.
After a night of no sleep and a long day of physical work I took a shower and realized I was tired and didn’t have much to say. So I’m hanging up my hat for the night, enjoying a calming beverage and I’m off to bed a few minutes early hoping to tackle today! What’s my calming beverage of choice in the evening, often it’s simply a glass of raw milk or a cup of herbal tea. Sometimes I add a splash of vanilla in my beverage because of it’s reputation for encouraging sleep.

What’s your favorite calming night time beverage?

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.