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March 7th, 2012

We finally arrived back at Chiot’s Run at 2:30 am yesterday morning after a LONG drive down to the bottom of the US and back. Last Saturday it was 95 degrees when we were in Naples, FL and when we arrived home it was 17 with the ground covered in snow.

All sorts of wonderful experiences were had, from watching my friend run her first half marathon, visiting Ernest Hemingway’s house, taking my first sea plane ride, eating lots of seafood, meeting some great new folks, all while enjoying the warm sunny weather of Florida. We even had a few hours of relaxation in between our weekends of work and the long hours in the car.

Stay tuned for lots of great photos of lush tropical foliage and flowers. I soaked up a good dose of vitamin D, hopefully enough to keep me going through the busy seed starting season that is now upon us. Even though the warmth of the sun was nice, I’m certainly glad to be back in the chilly north – I’m a northerner through and through. Give me snow, cold weather and some warm woolens and I’m happy as a clam!

What climate do you find suites you best?


December 28th, 2011

This coming spring, Mr Chiots and I are headed down to Florida for a few weeks.  It’s actually a work trip, so we’ll be filming a few events and working for some of the time, but there will be some time to relax. Visiting the Dry Tortugas National Park is at the top of our list, and of course we’ll be visiting Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park as well.

We’ll be driving with our tiny trailer of course and seeing a few sights along the way.  We’ll probably head down the eastern coast and return via the western coast of Florida and then north.  We don’t have our route set in stone, we’ll decide that based on interesting places we want to visit along the way.

Any suggestions for great gardens or any sights along the way on down in Florida that we shouldn’t miss?  Restaurants, farmer’s markets, farms, or any other great places to stop?

It Feels Good to be Home

October 13th, 2010

Mr Chiots and I just arrived home yesterday from our New England vacation, so I’m beat! We didn’t have time to do everything we wanted to do (like visiting Blackrock and Bufala di Vermont for some water buffalo yogurt, and so many more). So we’ll have to plan another trip.

We managed to cram a lot of fun times into our 9 day trip, we did everything from hiking around Walden Pond to watching people race in giant pumpkins in the ocean.

We spent our time camping at several beautiful campgrounds, one on the ocean in Maine was fabulous. It was perfect camping weather, days in the 50’s nights in the 40’s. One night got down into the low 30’s. It’s a good thing we had nice warm wool blankets to keep us toasty warm!

We got to visit a few places I’ve been wanting to see for quite a while, like Comstock, Ferre & Co and Eliot Colman’s Four Season Farm, along with The Good Life Center.

We enjoyed stopping at beautiful little farms and chatting with the farmers. We also made the most of the local food from lobster and fried clams to carrots and cider.

It wasn’t all great times though, we got in an accident – OH NO! But we were lucky that no one was hurt and the car was drivable so we could make it home. So we didn’t let it dampen our spirits.

I have lots of great things to tell you about and some great goodies to give away from some of the people I met. We ended up coming home a day early because we have a busy rest of the week (and we have to get the car fixed). But I’d rather have a day less of vacation and a day to get things in order at home before a busy season.

Have you ever come home from vacation early?

Gardeners Should Not Go on Vacation

August 7th, 2010

Going on vacation in the middle of gardening season is not the best idea, especially if you have a lot of potted plants. I have 10 potted tomatoes on my front porch and 6-8 on the back porch along with many potted herbs and flowers. Our weather in July/Aug here in Ohio is usually hot and dry, which means watering these potted plants at least once a day, and the big tomatoes, usually twice per day. It’s inconvenient to ask a neighbor to come over twice a day to water everything, especially since most of our neighbors are weekenders here in our lake community (meaning they live elsewhere and only spend the weekends at their summer homes).

Since we don’t have a drip irrigation system, Mr Chiots and I moved all those tomatoes back by the rain barrels where they would receive more shade and be protected from the elements. They all needed to be tied together since they didn’t have the porch posts as their main source of support. We put each pot into a large plastic storage container and then watered them well and made sure each container had 3-4 inches of water in it. The weather was pretty hot while we were gone and I was hoping the plants had enough water while we were away. Of course it rained really hard the day we came home, so we have to wait a few days for the pots to dry out to move them back out front. They look great though, I’m pretty sure they would have all been dead had we not taken the time to do this for them (I think they actually look better than when we left).

Do you have family or friends look in on your plants when you go away during the gardening season?

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.