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

Growth Spurt

June 29th, 2015

Every year I know it’s going to happen and yet I am amazed as I see it unfold before my eyes. In April and May, the garden growth slowly, at what seems like a snail’s pace. Then, almost overnight, everything is big, lush, blooming, going to seed, and buzzing with life.
potager 1 (3)
The difference between the photos below is a month, only a month. When you think about how slowly things grow from March to April, then from April to May, there isn’t even as much growth during that time as there is in two weeks of June.
potager 2 (3)
The lovely thing about Maine is that we actually have shoulder season when things grow a little more slowly. It’s a nice time to enjoy gardening at a bit of a slower pace for a short time. In Ohio the garden burst forth almost overnight.
potager 3 (1)
If you miss a few days in the garden during June, July, and August, you miss so much. I went away for six days and came back to a completely different garden. That’s the beauty of the garden in summer, there’s always something new, always drastic change, look away and you’ll miss it. Tending a garden means almost daily care, but it’s not drudgery because there is so much happening on a daily basis.

When do you notice the most drastic changes in the garden during the growing season?

Quote of the Day: Henry James

August 3rd, 2014

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

― Henry James

This weekend Mr Chiots and I are on vacation. We didn’t really go anywhere. Vermont was the original plan, but the thought of driving 10 hours in one weekend was too much, so we decided to enjoy the beauty in our own backyard. Friday was spent at a beach in Tenants Harbor with friends and yesterday we went down to Boothbay Harbor and Ocean Point.  Today we will do whatever we like, perhaps head back down to Ocean Point with our walking shoes or bicycles, or maybe we’ll head down to Marshall Point Lighthouse.
I have mentioned before how much I LOVE living in an area where there are distinct seasons. Summer is so much sweeter because there is a long, cold winter. I’m trying to soak up as much summer as I can while it’s here, making the most of my time in the garden and making the most of the lovely place we live. In the past week I’ve spent time sitting at the edge of the ocean on three separate occasions, it’s wonderful to live so close to the sea.

Do you have any vacation plans this summer? Will you be staying at home or traveling?

Soaking up the Sun

May 28th, 2013

Last week, we had a straight week of rainy, cool weather. The total rain amount for the week was 6 inches. It was OK for the first few days, then it started to get a little miserable. Everyone was miserable, the chickens, the pigs, the chicks, the dog and the cats. The ducks however, were in seventh heaven!
pigs at work 1
pigs at work 2
Thankfully, yesterday the sun came out. Everyone was happy: the chicks frolicked in the front yard, the pigs enjoyed their new garden space, I mowed and weeded all day, Mr Chiots mowed and built a few things in the garage, the chiots basked in the sunny spot on the lawn and Dexter spent all day hunting tiny rodents.
chicks in the grass
A day of sunshine after so much rain is appreciated more deeply than other sunny days. It’s kind of like taking a hot shower at home after you’ve been backpacking for a week!

What’s the weather like in your garden?

Quote of the Day: Barry Cornwall

June 3rd, 2012

Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne.

~Barry Cornwall

Earlier this week we had a wonderful summer evening after a weather front moved through. It pushed away all the hot sticky humid weather and cooler drier air moved in. I happened to be watering a few areas of the garden to keep the plants alive and it was perfect.

There is something wonderful about using a sprinkler, I love the sound of the water falling and the click when it changes directions. Reminds me of the occasional time we played in it growing up.

Are there any other things you experience in the garden that bring back fond childhood memories?

Quote of the Day: Michael Perry

August 22nd, 2010

“This is the time of year when the countryside truly thumbs its nose at the subzero purge of winter. The greenery is full-blown, the dew-drenched morning reverberate with a tropical chirp and twitter, and everywhere there are babies: tiny rabbits beneath the apple tree, speckle-chested robins begging worms from mama, a spotted fawn by the mailbox down by the driveway, and now and then a glimpse of the pheasant hen leading her loyal brood.”

Michael Perry, Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting

We saw this fawn with it’s twin and mama a week ago in the back garden. Not that I was happy to see it since it will be eating my blueberry bushes this winter along with my apple trees and strawberries. It was peeking around the garage, that’s my cold frame right in front of it. (thanks to Mr Chiots for running out and getting this photo).

I’d have to say one of my favorite things about summer is all the activity in the garden. Bees are buzzing on every thing that blooms, butterflies flit about and you see birds everywhere. The gardens are alive with color and life.

What do you love about summer?

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.