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The Easter Cactus

July 11th, 2019

A few years ago my nieghbor gave me an Easter cactus for Easter. This year, Easter came and went with no blooms and no bud in sight. I figured since I repotted it last year, it would take a year off. However, it decided it would rather be a Fourth of July cactus and started blooming profusely about a week before the 4th and is still blooming beautifully.

Perhaps next year it will return to the original schedule and bloom on Easter. I’d like to get a Christmas cactus as well, houseplants are such a joy during the long, cold winters here in Maine.

Do you have a Christas cactus? What’s your favorite houseplant?

Spring is in the Air

March 19th, 2019

When I was at the United Farmer’s Market in Belfast on Saturday, I spotted some lovely tulips at the Willow Moon Florist booth. I don’t have any tulips in the garden and the ground is still deep in frost, nothing will be blooming any time soon. Since I needed some new spring photos for The Jojoba Company, I decided a bouquet of orange tulips would be perfect!

The tulips definitely brightened up our facebook page! Tulips are a favorite spring flower of mine, I definitely need to add some this fall.

What’s your favorite spring bulb?

Kristi’s Spunk African Violet

March 18th, 2019

As I expected, the ‘Kristi’s Spunk’ African violet is a stunner. The bloom opened fully this weekend and I’ve been admiring it. I wish the photos could capture the irridecense, the bloom sparkles in the sun.

I’m not sure how prolifically this one will bloom. I have some African violets that blooms for a year, others that only bloom for a month. This one doens’t have any more buds that I can see, so I’ll deadhead, then start watering it with a half strength liquid seaweed to promote future blooms. I don’t know a whole lot about African violets, but I’m planning on doing some reading and research to figure out excatly what they love and what they need to thrive. Stay tuned, I’ll share any valuable information I find here on the blog.

Do you keep African violets as houseplants?

Friday Favorite: The Ringer

March 15th, 2019

It’s been a bit of a crazy week around here, I don’t know if you’ve noticed the blog has been down, Seeds & Sundries has been down, facebook and instagram were down for me, there’s something going on in the great interwebs. Anyway, back to our scheduled posts. I’ve been wanting to post about this fantastic tool for a while. My mom bought one years ago and would tell me how great it was every time I was visiting. I got one for myself and LOVE it. It’s called ‘The Ringer’ and it’s a chainmail type scrubber for cast iron.

I use this tool combined with Castile soap from Vermont Soap Company for my cast iron. Lots of people say not to use soap, but I find that this type of soap doesn’t ruin the finish (grease busting soaps like Dawn will). For me, this is the perfect way to clean my vintage cast iron pans and keep them going for the next generation of cooks that will use them when I’m gone.

There are cheap knockoffs out there, so if you want to get one for yourself, make sure you find the Made in North America one.

I’ve always used copper or stainless steel scrubbers on my cast iron in the past, but they wear out and need replacing. One of the best features of this is that it lasts and lasts. My parents have had theirs for 6-7 years at least if not longer. It looks just like it did new.

Have you found any great long lasting tools lately?

New Houseplant

March 13th, 2019

A few weeks ago I spotted a lovely African violet at the store and decided to get it. The fading bloom was lovely, even though it was way past prime. There was an up and coming bud, so I knew I’d get to see at least one more bloom, even though I only had a glimpse of what it would look like.  I brought it home, repotted it, deadheaded it, and gave it a good dose of a diluted liquid seaweed. Fast foward a few weeks and the new bud is opening up…

This variety is called ‘Kristi’s Spunk’. The leaves are also colorful, especially when seen from underneath. Overall, it’s going to be a lovely specimen I think.

Are you an African Violet fan? Any good tips you’ve discovered for tending them?


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.