This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

The Golden Hour

July 31st, 2013

In the garden evening light is usually the best of the day, and the range of pleasure to be had from colour, scent and particularly birdsong is dramatic.

Monty Don – The Ivington Diaries

I was reading this book while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist yesterday.  This line in particular struck me, these are my thoughts exactly!  During evening light, what I call “the golden hour” you’ll often find me in the garden taking photos or walking around. In my mind, there is really no better time to see a garden or take a photo. The light softens from the harshness it had at noon and everything is bathed in a golden glow.
golden hour
golden hour 3
golden hour (2)
johnny jump ups 1 (1)
golden hour 1
I’m not the only one that enjoys this hour, it seems like the birds and dragonflies do as well. It’s probably not the light, but the mosquitos that draw them out. Of course the mosquitoes at times chase me back into the house!

What’s your favorite time to walk around the garden?

I’ll be posting about the 5×5 Challenge tomorrow, I was out all day and didn’t have enough daylight when I arrived home to take photos for my post.

Book Review: Eating on the Wild Side

July 30th, 2013

A few months ago I was contacted by the publisher about reviewing Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health. Since I’m very keen on growing my own food and eating healthfully, I figured it would a perfect book for me.
Eating on the Wide Side Book 1
After reading it, I really like this book and heartily recommend this book to all gardeners who are interested in growing the healthiest edibles. Even if you’re not a gardener you will find great advice in this book. Each chapter focuses on a different type of vegetable (like alliums, tomatoes, potatoes, etc). After explaining the history of each vegetable group, the author gives advice on how to choose the healthiest option of each whether you’re growing it or buying it. For example, when it comes to lettuce, the dark red varieties contain the most antioxidants.  She also recommends enjoying greens that have a peppery taste or a slight bitterness, like radicchio and arugula. Since Jo is a gardener, recommendations for the most healthful varieties to grow in your garden are included in every chapter, which is in my opinion extremely valuable. She even includes options to look for at the supermarket so you can maximize your grocery dollars by selecting the most nutrient dense vegetables.
Eating on the Wide Side Book 2
I also corresponded a little with the author. She sent me some beautiful photos of her garden in Seattle to share with you. Her gardens overlook Puget Sound and Mt Rainier, talk about a great view while gardening!
Eating on the Wide Side Garden 1
Eating on the Wide Side Garden 2
Eating on the Wide Side Garden 3
Eating on the Wide Side Garden 4
Eating on the Wide Side Garden 5
Eating on the Wide Side Garden 6
Eating on the Wide Side Garden 7
Eating on the Wide Side Garden 8
What I love about the recommendations in this book is that not only are the vegetables healthier, they’re stunning! Why wouldn’t you want to add these healthy, colorful vegetables to your garden?

What’s your favorite darkly colored vegetable?

Cultivate Simple 40: Stew 3.0

July 29th, 2013

This week we’re answering reader questions and give an update about what’s going on around the run.

BACKUP is the word of the day. Use Dropbox for backup.

Dropbox – Get Susy some bonus space

  • Keep files in sync on multiple computers (home to work)
  • Backup files to the cloud
  • Share folders and files (even large files)

Quote of the Day: Monty Don

July 28th, 2013

“The herbs are essential to the kitchen and we aim to provide ourselves with a limitless supply of the principal herbs so that we can cook generously with them rather than treating them as a precious garnish.”

Monty Don from Fork to Fork

harvesting herbs
In my garden grow many herbs, they’re one of my favorite things to have around. There are culinary herbs, medicinal herbs and tea herbs. It would be very hard to me to sit down and list all of the herbs in my garden, there are far too many. Consider thyme, there are 15 different varieties of thyme growing at Chiot’s Run.
thyme on roast
I use mass quantities of herbs every day, at every meal. Of all of the herbs I grow, lemon thyme is probably my most favorite. If I had to choose only it would win. A close second would be cilantro.

Do you grow lots of herbs in your garden? Which is your favorite?

Garage Queen

July 27th, 2013

I must say, the Sweets is loving her new digs here at Chiot’s Run Maine. Back in Ohio she had a tiny two car garage with a large attached workshop. She had to settle for sleeping on an old rug we had in the back room, or up in the rafters. Here in Maine, she has a HUGE garage complete with a large second story.
garage queen 1
On that second floor there are two old comfy couches for her to choose from. I often find her sleeping happily on the one right at the top of the stairs. Some feral cat!
garage queen 2
She truly has become the queen of the garage, spending her days lounging contentedly. Pretty soon she’ll be demanding I feed her in a crystal bowl. Life is certainly good if you’re a cat here at Chiot’s Run!  She must be doing her job, we haven’t spotted a mouse since she moved in.

Do you have any pampered pets at your place? 


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.