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!


April 30th, 2014

Yesterday we were gone all day long.  I had to shoot some product photos and Brian was working for a client.  We then had dinner with friends in the evening and didn’t get home until very late.  Generally, days like today meant that we left the animals all cooped up during the day, locked up tightly against predators, but now we have Tara.
chickens 1
She’s our Anatolian Shepherd Dog (ASD for short) that watches over our flock. It’s amazing to watch her work, her natural instincts are to protect the flock and she acts much differently than Lucy, our older lab mix dog. You can tell that everything she does is to keep predators away.  She leaves her scent around the property and is on constant lookout for things that are out of the normal.  You’ll see her sniffing the air frequently, trying to catch the scent of someone out of place.
chickens 2
As a result, we returned home to all the feathered members safely in their open door coops. We counted everyone and closed all the doors and headed in to bed ourselves. We’re certainly happy that she is here helping us. It’s so much more efficient to use animals and their natural instincts to do jobs around the house and gardens. There’s no way we could be watching all the time, thankfully Tara does that for us.

Do you know of any local farms using dogs to protect their animals? 

New Life

April 29th, 2014

Miss Broody finally has a few babies. Last Friday morning I noticed a little chick in the nesting box when I checked on her. Sadly, there was one that hadn’t made it through the hatching process as well.
broody hen and chicks 1
I checked on her on Saturday morning and there were a few more chicks and a couple more in the process of hatching out. Monday morning I moved them from the tiny nesting box into a small brooder in the chicken coop with food, water and a small heat lamp.
broody hen and chicks 2
It will be interesting to watch these little ones grow up to see what they look like. Some of them should be Wyandottes, some of the will be barnyard mixes, no doubt they’ll all be just as great as their parents!
broody hen and chicks 3
Miss Broody went right to work showing her babies how to scratch around in the litter, drink from their water bowl and eat the food I provided for them. I wanted to put them outside but it was very cold and rather windy. If they could easily navigate in and out of the coop I would have let her simply take them wherever she wanted, but our coop is not accessible to little birdies, that’s something we’re hoping to work on. There are also lots of layers of chicken wire installed by the previous owner and it is kind of a land mine for little ones.
broody hen and chicks 4
In the future we hope to have a new coop with a dedicated brooding area for mama birds to hatch out their young and it will have a dedicate run area attached to it for safe outdoor fun for little babies. Until then, we’ll make do with what we have, which probably means carrying them outside into a fenced in area and then carrying them back in at night. It will be well worth the effort in the health benefits it will provide for the little ones.

Any wonderful things happening in your house/garden/coop?

Almost Finished

April 28th, 2014

This year we’re a little late getting our firewood in.  Of course we’re trying to get ahead so we’re putting up a little more than we need.  We still have about a quarter of a winters worth leftover from this past winter and we’re hoping to at least get a half year extra done this spring.
firewood 1
firewood 2
firewood 3
Looks like we’ll be staying warm and frying our eggs over wood heat this coming winter.

Do you have any big yearly chores you’ve been working on?

Quote of the Day: Augustus Jenkins Farmer

April 27th, 2014

“On our farm, we select plants that fill multiple needs, and we mix together all kinds of growing, living thing. We stack. And we do so for all the reasons that cottage gardeners, everywhere, in all time, did it and still do it–it just makes sense. Its efficient, and it honors the earth’s resources. Today’s gardens don’t have to be our entire pantry, medicine cabinet, hardware store, or art gallery, but they can contribute to all of these things. They can give us cleaner, deeper lives with more layers and more hope that in the future, the people who make decisions about what we eat and how we treat the world and each other have some inspiration–that spark–from their own gardens, and the gardens of their youth.”

Augustus Jenkins Farmer in Deep Rooted Wisdom

edible garden 1
edible garden 2
I grew up surrounded by gardeners.  My grandpa tended a big edible garden, my grandmothers both planted flowers.  My parents tended a large edible garden and my mom tended a lovely tropical paradise in our back patio.  I never was much of one for gardening until I got older.
edible garden 3
edible garden 5
The more I gardened, the more I realized it added something to my life.   My lifer certainly has many more layers now that I tend a garden and take care of a few animals.

How long have you been gardening?

Back Again

April 26th, 2014

My solar dryer is back in service, it’s so nice to have sun dried clothes once again! Yesterday was the first warm sunny day we’ve had this spring. Other days have been sunny, but not nearly warm or long enough to dry a load of clothes. Yesterday was PERFECT!
solar dryer 1
solar dryer 2
There’s nothing quite like things that have been freshest by the power on the sun. I especially love my line dried sheets, I’ll be pulling them off the bed on the next sunny day we have. It’s certainly nice to be able to hang things on the line again.

Do you ever dry your clothes outside?


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.