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Happy Halloween from the Chiots

October 31st, 2008

Lucy wanted to make sure I wished you all a Happy Halloween. This evening we’ll be headed over to my parent’s house and Lucy will get to go trick-or-treating with her cousins (our nieces & nephew). She wanted to make sure I shared her favorite costume with everyone on the blog.

Any guesses as to who Lucy is this year?

It’s Apple Season

October 30th, 2008

Mr Chiot’s loves this time of year because apples are one of his favorite dessert fruit. He’s always begging me to make apple pie or apple cake. I have made Mom’s Apple Cake from SmittenKitchen several times and boy is it good!

I’ve been buying up a few pecks of apples each week at the farmer’s market and saving them for apple butter. Apple butter is so much better when you use several different kinds of apples. I’ve made up several batches so far and I have a few more to go. It makes a great gift for family and friends. I have this fabulous recipe for Apple Butter that you make in a crock pot overnight. (I add a few extra ingredients: double the cinnamon, add 1 teaspoon of ginger, and add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar).

Is anyone else enjoying the bounty of apple season? Any great apple recipes to share?

Winter Flowers

October 29th, 2008

Even though this is my first year for having them in my gardens, I’ve always been a huge fan of flowering kale. I bought 2 plants at the farmer’s market earlier this summer. Next year I’m hoping to buy a packet of seeds so I can tuck them in throughout the gardens. They’re just so interesting, and they get prettier and prettier the colder it gets. They’re a great way to add some color and interest to a fall & winter garden. I’m super excited to see how my plants change throughout the winter.

I only have 2 colors, the greenhouse I went to in October had all different kinds and sizes. They had some giant white ones that were fantastic. I’ll have to decide what kinds I want next year and order some seeds. Seedman has a HUGE selection, now I just have to decide which ones I want.

I love how they hold dew on the ends of the leaves. They just glisten on a cold sunny morning. I suppose if I got out on a really cold morning there will be ice on the ends instead of dew.

Do any of you have flowering kale in your gardens?

The First Snowfall of the Year

October 28th, 2008

Yesterday morning when Mr Chiot’s and I were getting ready to head out to a shoot it started snowing. How exciting! We’re super excited about the coming winter and we’re hoping for tons and tons of snow. It’s difficult to get a good photo of a tiny snowflake, but I managed to get 2.

Anyone else out there get snow already?

Will it be a Mild or Cold Winter?

October 27th, 2008

Here in Ohio we have a huge festival in the fall called the Woolly Bear Festival. Here in Ohio we call the caterpillars of the Isabella Tiger Moth “Woolly Bears”, in the south they are called “Woolly Worms” in other areas they are called “The Black Ended Bear”. You always know that fall is coming when you start seeing these crossing the roads and around the yard looking for a warm spot to overwinter. I spotted a teeny tiny on earlier this summer on my parsley plant.

There’s a saying that the bands on the woolly bear will tell you what kind of winter you’re having. According to legend the wider the band the milder the winter. So does it work? Read this article and see for yourself. You have to be careful because the all-black or all-tan ones aren’t really woolly bears, they’re caterpillars of a different species of moths. Accurate or not in predicting the winter, they’re fun to have around.

I always like spotting them about the garden, it seems like they’re always headed somewhere in a hurry. Sometimes I uncover them when raking leaves or moving a bale of straw. Usually I find them another warm spot where they won’t be disturbed and put them there. In the spring they will emerge as the Isabella Tiger Moth.

Have you been spotting these little fuzzy caterpillars around your home? What are they telling you about the winter?


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.