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Quote of the Day: Crescendo of Plentitude

October 16th, 2011

To those who have a garden, and care about the table, each season offers it’s own causes for celebration, its own little festivals; but in autumn they become concentrated, each day it presenting it’s own ripeness. By late autumn, the whole year has reached a crescendo of plentitude.

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

I’m certainly enjoying the flavors of autumn. Our table has been bountiful with roasted root vegetables, tender venison, slow roasted tomatoes, hearty cabbage, spicy pumpkin, sweet apple cider and so much more. Learning to eat seasonally has truly been a joy!

What flavors are you enjoying this season?

Homegrown Ginger

October 15th, 2011

Remember back when I told you about my experiment to plant some ginger roots last spring? It sprouted well and grew all last summer. I brought it inside for the winter and I actually thought it died because the green tops all died. In the spring, I put it back outside to see if it would sprout again. It did, and this summer it grew into a fairly nice plant over the summer. So I’m guessing it might just go dormant over the winter like many other plants.

I’m considering repotting it into a larger pot, and am especially curious to see how big the roots have gotten. Maybe I’ll wait to see if it dies back again this winter and repot at that time. It certainly will be nice to use some of my own homegrown fresh ginger in some tea!

Any interesting plant experiments going on in your garden?

More @ChiotsRun @EthelGloves

October 14th, 2011

I started this blog many years ago to help me keep track of my garden, kind of like a garden notebook or journal of sorts. Now three years later it’s something completely different. I still chronicle what’s going on in the garden on these pages, but there’s a lot of my life thrown in as well. It’s now more of a journal of my journey towards a more simple life and it’s more for you, my readers, than for myself. Almost all of my spare time is spent documenting my life for these pages. I certainly appreciate all of you stopping by every day and commenting, it keeps me posting. Although I sometimes wonder if Mr Chiots, along with my family and friends, get sick of seeing me like this:

I’ve kept my blog ad free, because I don’t want to sell you out and I personally hate annoying ads on websites, that being said, the expenses for a blog do add up. Thanks to those of you who click through my Amazon and Mt Rose Herbs links, I make a few dollars each month to help cover some of those expenses.

You probably know that I was hired earlier this spring to blog a few times a month for Ethel Gloves and I mentioned last week that Ethel had hired me for a new job. I’m now the Social Media Strategist for Ethel Gloves. That means that you’ll find me tweeting, facebooking, pinning, and blogging for Ethel Gloves. I’ll be blogging two-four days a week over at Your Day, make sure you add it to your RSS reader or like Ethel on Facebook and follow along there.

So faithful followers of Chiot’s Run, to celebrate this new job I’m giving away a pair of Ethel Gloves. All you have to do to enter is to comment on this post to win. For an extra chance to win: tweet this post using the icon below with the hashtag #ChiotsRun or share this post from my facebook page.

We have a winner, congrats to Rick from Our Stoney Acre (Rick if you didn’t get my e-mail make sure you contact me through the link in the sidebar)!

How long have you been following along here at Chiot’s Run?

Harvesting the Popcorn

October 13th, 2011

Last week my mom and I started clearing out the pottager that we share. The popcorn was the first thing to go, as it was ready to be harvested. This year I planted ‘Amish Butter’ popcorn from Southern Exposure. I also planted ‘Genuine Cornfield’ bean, a special variety of shade tolerant pole bean to grow up the corn.

I was hoping to harvest the pole bean seeds to reuse, but they had just started to bloom and there were only a few small green beans on them. I picked the few beans and the plants were added to the compost pile, along with the corn stalks. The beans grew well in the shade of the corn, they just didn’t have a long enough season or the weather wasn’t right for them this year

All the ears of popcorn were harvested and thrown in the attic for a week to dry a little more, they were already fairly dry at harvest. A week later, I shucked them and laid them out on racks to dry further.

We got some pretty nice looking popcorn. It was interesting to see the difference in size and quality of the ears. Some were beautiful and perfect, while others were tiny. I’m not quite sure what happened here, perhaps I should have thinned the corn more, or maybe a little more fertilizer should have been applied since corn is a heavy feeder and they were planted in a new area of the garden. Next year I plan on experimenting by spacing them a little farther apart and planting clover underneath them as a nitrogen fixing cover crop.

All-in-all I’m happy with our harvest. Mr Chiots and I occasionally enjoy popcorn as an evening snack and it’ll be nice to know I grew it myself every time we pop a batch. I hope this popcorn is as good as the strawberry popcorn we grew two years ago. With the amount we harvested, we should have enough popcorn for the next two years.

Do you grow corn in your garden? popcorn, field corn, or sweet?

It’s a Record

October 12th, 2011

Generally I can’t grow a zucchini to save my life, which is funny because everyone else has them coming out their ears. I think my soil is simply too lean to grow squash. That doesn’t stop me from trying, each year I optimistically plant zucchini and winter squash and end up with only one or two zucchinis and a few tiny pumpkins. Yesterday I was out clearing out the garden and ripped out my zucchini plant, which somehow has managed to survive all summer long producing a few blooms and only a few tiny fruits. Much to my delight, I found this beast lurking under the withering leaves.

A zucchini of this size is a record for Chiot’s Run, we’ve never seen something like this in the garden. This one happens to be a ‘Romanesco’ from Renee’s Garden. I’m pleasantly surprised and happy to have one last zucchini to enjoy fried up in slices and stuffed into our morning omelets.

Have you found any surprises while cleaning out the garden?


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.