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Quote of the Day: Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd

May 19th, 2013

Having time at one’s own command is perhaps the greatest luxury any human being can enjoy. Most people wait for it until the end of their working lives; too often, then, the special savor of it is brief or already lost entirely.

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

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I was thinking about this quote earlier this week as I took a few days of much needed vacation. In fact, it was so much of a vacation, I didn’t even check my e-mail for 2 entire days. This never happens, even when I’m traveling on vacation.
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What did I do with my days of vacation? I spent time with a friend, we drove to a few lighthouses nearby and we took a day trip to to Acadia National Park.
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After a very hectic and busy spring, a few days of time away were very nice. Too bad it couldn’t have been more, I opened my e-mail yesterday to find many pressing things that needed added to my to-do list for this coming week.

What would you do if you had time at your own command?

Before I Gardened…

December 16th, 2011

Mr Chiots and I were talking the other day and I said “what did I do with all my time before I gardened?”

Before I gardened I ran, lots of and lots of miles and I spent time lifting weights. I trained and ran races and I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise. Then I started having to decide whether I should spend an hour weeding the garden or spend that hour logging some mileage. More often than not, the garden came first and soon enough I had to retire my running shoes for my wellies. I don’t really miss it though, I feel like I’m actually in better shape from gardening that I ever was from running. Gardening provides such a wide variety of activities to work all your muscles including your heart. I could still run in the winter when my garden in sleeping, but I now choose to do yoga instead because it keeps me in better condition for gardening chores than running does.

Had cable TV and enjoyed watching shows. Then little by little I spent more hours in the garden and had to spend my evening getting my work done (I work from home). Of course I should attribute this one to this blog too, as blogging takes up much of my extra “free” time nowadays. I don’t mind though, I cancelled my cable and save myself a good chunk of change each month.

Before I gardened I sewed and did other fun crafty stuff. Then my winter slowly became engulfed in ordering seeds, reading gardening books, and tending to tiny seedlings in the basement (my seed starting begins in January with celery, leeks and onions). This year at least I’ve been able to do a little more craftiness because of my job at Ethel.

Before I gardened I kept my floors clean enough to eat off of. I started choosing to spend my time cleaning out the flower beds instead of cleaning the floors. Instead of sweeping and mopping twice a week, the floors only get it once a week or sometimes every other week! With a big dog and three cats running around it can get a little “furry” in between those cleaning times.

Before I gardened I kept my home much neater and more organized. I used to hate clutter, it drove me crazy. Then my seed collection started to grow, I had flats of seedlings that wanted to be warm upstairs instead of cold in the basement, and the stack of gardening books on the table started to grow. I acquired miniature indoor citrus, ginger, figs and too many potted herbs. I started blogging about my garden and spending my spare moments snapping photos of everything. Now my house is much more “lived in” that it used to be, but I’m learning to be OK with it. I now am happy that I have some clutter and hope it makes people feel more relaxed when they come visit.

The truth is that I could still have time for all these things if I hadn’t chosen new hobbies. If I didn’t blog I could still run, if I didn’t take as many photos I could still sew, if I didn’t garden I could clean my floors several times a week. My priorities have changed and thus my time is spent differently. My job is also more of a priority than it used to be, I’m focusing on turning what I love into a career. I think that many of us mature into adults between the ages of 25-35 and this is the time I happen to have lived here at Chiot’s Run. As a result I have hone in on those things that make me happy and have learned to make time for them.

Have you given up any hobbies for more time in the garden?

Time Machine: What I was Doing 1 Year Ago

March 15th, 2010

One of things I love about blogging that is encourages me to take tons of photos. I average at least 20 photos a day and some days more than 200 (thank goodness for digital). The best part of taking so many photos is that I have a pictorial journal of everything I’ve been doing for the past 10 years. Digital photos have a time stamp that tells you exactly what date and time the photo was taken – I love this feature. I was wondering yesterday what I was doing on March 15 of last year, so I opened up my photo program, here’s what I found:

I finished off a batch of maple syrup in the morning and put some peas in water to soak for planting the next day. These are the peas that the deer ate, so I never even got to eat any of these.

It was a beautiful spring day so we celebrated by going on a picnic with friends at a local trail. We enjoyed a good lunch and a short hike. The perfect way to enjoy a beautiful spring day besides!


After hiking we came home to get some work done in the garden. I carried 5 trays of seedlings up to enjoy the warm day on the front porch: 3 trays of onions, 1 tray of nice lettuce, and one tray of broccoli & cabbage. This year I barely have some onions that germinated this past week.

I also sifted some compost to amend the soil in the cold frame for a planting lettuce seedlings and beet seeds. This past week I did sow some spinach seeds in the cold frame after amending it with some compost.

These lovely lettuces were planted in the cold frame in the afternoon, they’re only a week or two away from harvesting small leaves for a salad. I don’t even have lettuce yet, except for a few mache plants that overwintered. These are the lettuce seeds that I started to choose the winner of the Freedom Seed contest.

I also started beet seeds in the cold frame. This past Friday and I started spinach in the cold frame.

I also took a ton of photos of the beautiful sunset we enjoyed that evening, what a perfect ending to a perfect day!


I have 165 photos from March 15, 2009. I do need to delete some of them, but I definitely have a great photo journal of what I was doing on this day last year, and what the cats were doing.

Do you remember what you were doing on March 15 last year?

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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.

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