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Seasonal Eating

June 30th, 2015

One of the things I love about having an edible garden is the changes in our diet throughout the season. Spring dinner plates are filled with salads of leafy greens. When the weather turns hot and dry, the lettuce starts to bolt and get bitter. There’s never a lack of green on our plates, just as the lettuce is going by, the other summer vegetables are coming into full swing.
edible gardens 2
There are just a few spears of asparagus left to pair with garlic scapes, sugar snap peas, broccoli, summer squash and other vegetables. Stir fries become our main meals, filled with whatever is ready to harvest and paired with some kind of meat from the freezer, or local seafood. Here’s my recipe for Ginger Beef Stir Fry if you’re interested.
edible gardens 1
edible gardens 3
Having a vegetable garden, not matter how small, is a great way to get in touch with seasonal eating. You learn how good vegetables can be when harvested at the height of their maturity and eaten straight away. Vegetables at the grocery store don’t even compare to the ones you get from your own garden.
edible gardens 4
As much as I love salad, I’m excited to move on to summer vegetables. Broccoli and sugar snap peas are probably my favorites.

What are you harvesting from your garden this week?

Growth Spurt

June 29th, 2015

Every year I know it’s going to happen and yet I am amazed as I see it unfold before my eyes. In April and May, the garden growth slowly, at what seems like a snail’s pace. Then, almost overnight, everything is big, lush, blooming, going to seed, and buzzing with life.
potager 1 (3)
The difference between the photos below is a month, only a month. When you think about how slowly things grow from March to April, then from April to May, there isn’t even as much growth during that time as there is in two weeks of June.
potager 2 (3)
The lovely thing about Maine is that we actually have shoulder season when things grow a little more slowly. It’s a nice time to enjoy gardening at a bit of a slower pace for a short time. In Ohio the garden burst forth almost overnight.
potager 3 (1)
If you miss a few days in the garden during June, July, and August, you miss so much. I went away for six days and came back to a completely different garden. That’s the beauty of the garden in summer, there’s always something new, always drastic change, look away and you’ll miss it. Tending a garden means almost daily care, but it’s not drudgery because there is so much happening on a daily basis.

When do you notice the most drastic changes in the garden during the growing season?

Friday Favorite: Broody Mamas

June 26th, 2015

I’ve posted on the Facebook page about the turkeys poults, but I haven’t posted about them here yet. We have turkey cutlets!!!!!!!
turkey poults 2
Of course they all hatched while I was in Philadelphia, but Mr Chiots sent a long a few pictures for me. Miss Turkey has them out and about, teaching them the free range ropes. We sat on 15 eggs, 12 hatched, 1 poult got outside the pen one day and didn’t make it, and another disappeared on day while they were out and about. It’s amazing that ten have survived two weeks already.
Turkey hen with poults
turkey poults 1
I can’t wait to see what they all look like when they’re bigger. There are light ones, dark ones, and caramel colored ones. Mom is a Wishard Bronze, dad is a Bourbon, so they’re a barnyard mix.

Sweet Harvest

June 25th, 2015

The strawberries are in full swing now, we harvested our first batch on Monday and enjoyed strawberry shortcake for dinner. Unfortunately Mr Chiots is traveling, which means I’m having to do the picking of the berries. It’s also a problem because he’s the big strawberry eater around here.
Picking Strawberries 2
Picking Strawberries 3
I picked roughly five gallons of berries yesterday and I didn’t even get the entire patch picked. Guess I’ll be busy hulling and freezing berries.
Picking Strawberries 1
Since there are so many, I have been giving them to friends and neighbors. Hopefully we still have a week or two of harvesting before the season wanes so Mr Chiots can enjoy his favorite season.

Do you grow strawberries in your garden?

Learning the Value of Rest

June 24th, 2015

I’m a doer, there is a lot on my plate and I like to maximize my time to get all the things done I want to do. The problem is, that I often don’t take quite enough time for rest. Over the past few years I’ve been learning to value times of rest. Often, time spent resting will actually increase our productivity in our work lives. That’s something we often don’t like to admit, as Americans we’ve been taught to work, work, work and then work some more. After traveling last week and having family visiting this week, I realized that I had to take a day of rest before jumping back into my responsibilities in my work and in the garden.
It’s kind of like taking a sick day before you actually get sick. One day off now can often prevent a week of battling sickness down the road. One day of rest can make us accomplish more in the days ahead. One day off can make us healthier physically, emotionally, and mentally. One day off can prevent the weariness that can lead to depression and anxiety. Learning to listen to our bodies and taking that day off when it tells us we need it is a valuable lesson to learn. These days can also teach us to slow down and enjoy the little moments. Often, on these days of rest, I notice things I haven’t noticed before, simply because I allowed myself to slow down. If you can’t take a day off, take a half day off, or even a half hour off. Even a few minutes of rest can make all the difference in how the rest of our day goes. Take time this week to stop and smell the roses or to sit back and kick up your feet.


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.