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No, No, No, I’m NOT Ready!!!

December 31st, 2014

ACK, every time I open up my mailbox I’m greeted by a new seed catalog. I am completely unprepared to order seed at this early stage; I don’t even want to think about it. There has barely been enough time to sit down and rest from the previous garden season and I’m being bombarded with seed catalogs. It’s not that I don’t like them, in fact I love them, but only when I’m ready to start thinking about planting and getting my hands dirty starting seeds for the coming year. It’s still 2014 for goodness sakes!
seed catalogs
It’s like they come earlier and earlier every year. I know I have to sit down and make my list because gardeners are responding to these early catalogs by ordering earlier every year. Last year I couldn’t get some of the seeds I wanted because they were already sold out. At least in my years of gardening I’ve narrowed it down to a few catalogs, the rest go straight into the recycling so as not to clutter up my desk. My favorite places to order from are: Rare Seeds, Territorial Seed, Southern Exposure, High Mowing, Renee’s Garden, and Johnny’s.

Have you started receiving seed catalogs? Are you making your lists for the coming year already?


December 30th, 2014

The other morning I went out to collect eggs and found this ginormous beast. I know exactly who laid it, our oldest lady. She’s five or six years old, I’m not exactly sure which. That’s the beauty of having older hens in your flock, you fewer eggs from them, but they’re usually bigger.
giant egg
I wish I had grabbed a pullet egg so you could see them side-by-side. I also should have weighed it as well, but I didn’t. It was cracked right into Tara’s bowl atop kefir and she gobbled it down.

Do you ever find jumbo eggs in your coop or in the eggs you get from a local farm?

The Last Harvest

December 29th, 2014

Cold weather arrived before I was quite ready for it at least two months ago. My hopes of harvesting my leeks before the ground froze were dashed. But then we had a nice warmup this week. As a result I spent this weekend working in the garden.
Leeks and sunchokes 2
I dug a mess of leeks that will be cleaning, chopped, cooked, and eaten. Luckily there are a few delicious recipes features in my copy of Tender. Most of them feature potatoes, which I have a root cellar full of so I’m in business.
Leeks and sunchokes 1
Another recipe calls for Jerusalem Artichokes, which I also harvested a mess of yesterday. I’ve grown this vegetable for many years but I’ve never harvested many of them to eat. I just let them multiply and replant them since I started with only two tubers. They’ve grown into quite a nice little patch, I was amazed at how productive they are.
Leeks and sunchokes 3
It’s no wonder many people keep a patch in the garden for insurance purposes in case the economy goes south. I’ve also heard that some folks keep a nice plot going to feed the pigs come fall. My pigs wouldn’t eat the tubers this year, but I’m guessing if they got hungry enough they would.
Leeks and sunchokes 4
I’m certain this will be my last harvest of 2014, at least it should be. The weather is supposed to turn very cold this week and the ground should finally freeze. Hopefully I will be able to get out today to plant my elephant garlic so I can enjoy it’s beautiful blooms next summer!

Are you harvesting anything from your garden right now?

Quote of the Day: Ian Fleming

December 28th, 2014

“History is moving pretty quickly these days, and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.”
― Ian Fleming in Casino Royale

Between Christmas and New Year’s, Mr Chiots and I have the tradition that we try to watch as many James Bond movies as we can. I’m not sure exactly when this tradition started, we’ve been doing it for a LONG time, probably 10-12 years ago. It all started way back when one of the movie channels did “the 007 Days of Christmas” and showed the movies 24/7 during that week. We started watching and then purchased the complete blu-ray set a few years ago.
007 days of Christmas large (1)
So far this year we’ve been able to watch five movies and we still have five more days to go. Hopefully we’ll get to watch at least half of them. It’s a really fun tradition, something a little out of the ordinary, especially this time of year. We’ve even convinced a few of our friends to do it as well.

Do you have any uncommon traditions around the holidays?

2015 Calendar

December 27th, 2014

Last year I didn’t make a calendar and many of you were disappointed. I have to admit, I regretted not making one a few months into the year. This year I knew I needed one to visually keep track of everything that is going on in our lives. Digital calendars do not really work for me, I need something that I see on a daily basis and a place to write down important information and dates. My new calendar will live in my office beside my desk.
calendar 5
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calendar 4
calendar 3
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calendar 2
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calendar 7
calendar 1
calendar 9
calendar 12
calendar 10
As usual, if you’d like to buy a calendar head on over to Lulu and get one. There is a large one (13.5″x19″)and a small one (11″ x 17″ open, folds in half in the middle like a regular calendar)..

Do you prefer a paper or digital calendar to keep track of events?


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.