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August 31st, 2013

Back in Ohio, my soil was much to lean and dry to grow a decent cabbage.  This year, I finally have a few beautiful cabbages in the garden.  I can’t wait to harvest these lovelies to make a BIG batch of sauerkraut.
cabbages 1
cabbages 2
I have 6 of these green cabbages in the garden that could be harvested any day. The red ones still need another month or so. They’re lagging because of the big maple tree that’s planted a little too close to the potager.

Do you struggle to grow any certain vegetable?

Friday Favorite: Cashew Butter

August 30th, 2013

Peanut butter has never really been one of my favorite things. As a kid, I didn’t really like PB&J’s – crazy, I know. I did eat a fair amount of peanut butter in college, as it was a convenient snack item. Perhaps part of the reason I never liked it is because it has a tendency to give me indigestion. When I eat peanut butter I burp it up for the next couple hours – not pleasant! I’ve never tried other nut butters as they can be rather pricey.
Cashew Butter
Earlier this week I decided to try turning my favorite nut into butter – the cashew. I used soaked nuts, which I find easier to digest (see the Nourishing Traditions cookbook for information on soaking cashews). Since I only have a blender, I added a little coconut oil to the cashews and blended it into a lovely butter. I have to admit, this stuff is GREAT. So much better than peanut butter. I don’t think I’ll ever eat peanut butter again!

What’s your favorite kind of nut butter?

Sets or Pearls

August 29th, 2013

Very early this spring, I direct sowed some onion seed in the low tunnel. I added a label that said “bunching onions”. Since I had seed for red bunching onions, I wasn’t surprised when they came up with red stems. Then, they started to bulb a little, not exactly what I thought was going to happen.
red pearl onions 1
Evidently, these were bulbing onions and not bunching onions. I don’t know if I planted the wrong packet of seed, or if the seed packet was mislabeled. It doesn’t really matter, I can use these onions as pearl onions or I could save them and use them as sets for next year. I don’t usually grow onions from sets because they have a tendency to flower and I don’t find that they store as well.
red pearl onions 2
Of course pearl onions would be nice as well, I was thinking I might pickle them if I chose to use them in that way. Peeling all those onions will be a chore though, not something I’m looking forward to.

Would you save these and plant them or enjoy them as pearl onions?

Rainbow is Right

August 28th, 2013

I must say, there’s nothing quite like color in the vegetable garden. When I decided to launch the 5×5 Challenge, I quickly settled on the Rainbow Kitchen Collection from Renee’s Garden Seed. Seeing bright, colorful vegetables in the garden is an amazing sight.
rainbow kitchen garden
This week I spotted the first yellow tomato in the 5×5 Garden. I must admit, the first one I spotted was quickly snagged from the vine and eaten. This photo is of the second one, which I have been wanting to eat, but decided I should wait until I got a photo.
Yellow vegetables 2
The yellow summer squash are coming on as well, we’ve been enjoying them for breakfast.
Yellow vegetables 1
When it comes to vegetables you can find them in a wide variety of colors. It really does add so much interest and beauty to a garden to have as many different colors as you can.

Which is your favorite color of vegetable?


August 27th, 2013

This year I have a few welcome guests in the main garden out back. There’s a beautiful row of sunflowers. They are certainly very welcome, most likely deposited there from some seed that I fed to the pigs.
Sunny Volunteers 1
Sunny Volunteers 4
Sunny Volunteers 2
Sunny Volunteers 3
Hopefully in the coming years I’ll have space to plant a few rows of these beauties. They’re such happy flowers, they look especially happy in the evening with the sun setting behind them. The nice thing is that these lovelies will also provide seeds for our chickens, that is if the squirrels don’t find them first!

Do you grow sunflowers in your 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.