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Cultivate Simple 54: Think Before You Eat

November 18th, 2013

Today we slaughtered our pigs. This event led to a discussion about our food, where it comes from, and what is involved in it finding its way to our table. We continue this conversation in the podcast.

I made a batch of these sourdough crackers to snack on during slaughter day and they were fantastic.
pig day
This picture perfectly portrays the somber nature of our day yesterday.

My friend Sierra from Picturing the Ordinary posted this yesterday:

words from a speech Theodore Roosevelt delivered in 1910:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the
man who points out how the strong man
stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could
have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually
in the arena, whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;
who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error
and shortcoming; but who does actually
strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions; who spends himself
in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph
of high achievement, and who at the worst, if
he fails, at least fails while daring greatly….”

Books of the Week

Cultivate Simple 52: Budget and Savings

November 4th, 2013

On this weeks episode we discuss coming up with a budget and living by it.

Budgets help keep us in line and help give us a baseline as to where we can spend our money. It’s like having a map of where you’re going. Without a budget, you’re spending blind and you might be spending more on things than you realize. It’s easy to lose track of where our money is going if you’re not keeping track.

GnuCash is free open-source personal finance software that can help you track how much money is coming in and going out. We started out with Microsoft Excel when we set up our first budget.

Brian on horseback

Books of the Week:

Cultivate Simple 51: Get a Job

October 28th, 2013

In this episode we discuss jobs, the jobs we had as kids, the jobs we did in college, the jobs we have done in our adult lives.

One of our favorite recipes is Ginger Beef Stir Fry, you can use any vegetables you have on hand and make it seasonal.
Curling 14

Cultivate Simple 49: The Year in Review

October 14th, 2013

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we’ve started Cultivate Simple. Tonight we look at our first year in Maine and discuss some of our plans for the future.


If you need some good viewing, check out Sean’s Allotment Garden.

Brian’s Geeky Corner

There are forums to fix just about anything. Brian has been using and will be using this coming week to research a fix for our second refrigerator.

Books of the Week

Cultivate Simple 48: Building Community

October 7th, 2013

On this weeks episode we celebrate one year of podcasting by talking about building community.

Retail Me Not – great place to find coupons for things, particularly large companies.

My favorite accounting software is AccountEdge (formerly Mind Your Own Business). I’ve been using it for years for our personal and business needs.

Jeannette asked about which loaf pans I used, you can guess that they’re cast iron. They’re made by Lodge so they’re made in the USA. I love them for yeast or quick breads. I even bake chocolate cakes in them.
Lodge Cast Iron Loaf Pan

Building Community

  • Get involved
  • Support a farmers market
  • Get to know your neighbors, organize things like community events, neighborhood yard sales, etc
  • Whenever you see a garage/yard sale stop and talk to your neighbors
  • Get outside, sometimes all it takes is getting outside for people to see you and get to know, walk around your neighborhood
  • Attend community events, volunteer to help is possible
  • Develop patterns. Always patronize the same post office, businesses, etc. Take a few extra minutes to get to know those people at those locations, use your local library
  • If you like sports attend local sporting events
  • Read a lot and educate yourself on a variety of different topics so you have conversation starters and fodder for when you meet people
  • Volunteer locally if you can
  • Find a local church if you’re religious, if you’re involved in the local church try to encourage them to have events that benefit the local community
  • Join local clubs, visit your local library
  • Start clubs or events if there aren’t any, book club, coffee klatch, etc.

Books of the Week

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.