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Flower Sprouts

December 18th, 2014

This past Friday I got some Flower Sprouts at the local farmers market. These are new to me, I’ve heard of them and seen them in seed catalogs but I’ve never seen them before. They are a cross between brussels sprouts and kale and that’s exactly what they look and taste like.
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I settled on making them just like I make broccoli salad. Warm bacon, red onions, mustard, walnuts, dried cranberries red wine vinegar, yogurt, olive oil, and splash of maple syrup and they were perfect for dinner!
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I hope these are at the market all winter because they were great. They won’t appear in my garden, I don’t usually have much luck with brussels sprouts or the longer season brassicas. I’m happy to simply buy them from a local farm. If you’re interested in adding them to your garden next year you can buy seeds from Johnny’s Seeds.

Have you had any new vegetables lately?

Cranberry Apple Relish

November 25th, 2014

Here at Chiot’s Run we LOVE cranberry relish when it comes to Thanksgiving Day meals. I make a big batch each year and we take some to all of our holiday gatherings. It’s a quick and easy side dish and it really adds a great flavor to your turkey meal. I made a big batch last night to take to Ohio for our Thanksgiving celebrations.
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My cranberries are purchased from a small farm, the apples are from our heritage apple CSA.
1 (12-16 oz) bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
2 apples, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar or maple syrup
1 cup of cider (you can use water if you don’t have cider)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon grated cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan and cook covered for about 30 minutes (make sure you keep it covered as cranberries have a tendency to pop). Uncover, taste and adjust sugar and seasonings to your family’s liking. Cook until desired consistency; if you like it thick cook longer, if you like it thinner you can turn off now or add water if it’s already too thick. Chill and serve.
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I made a double batch because you really can’t have too much cranberry relish, at least that’s what I think. If I have leftovers it will grace the top of a meatloaf later in December.

Do you take a big scoop of cranberry relish at the table, or do you pass it on to the next person?

Quote of the Day: The Land Institute

September 28th, 2014

“When people, land, and community are as one, all three members prosper; when they relate not as members but as competing interests, all three are exploited.”

The Land Institute from Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, 2nd Revised Edition

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One of the easiest ways to build community is to support local businesses and farms. Find a local farmers market, a small food co-op, shop at local businesses, eat at local restaurants and you’ll be amazed at how this brings prosperity to your local community. When the local community prospers all the members prosper and that includes you. Take some time today and think about how you can increase support for the small, local businesses and farms in your area and help bolster your community. It’s vital for us to keep our communities strong because it helps us be more resilient and the responsibility is ours to strengthen them!

A Few Days in Ohio

September 8th, 2014

Since my mom and I were traveling to Seattle, WA together this week, I flew into Ohio a few days early to visit with family. Mr Chiots went with me, he’s flying back to Maine today after spending yesterday visiting with his family. On Friday we went down to the family cabin and enjoyed a day of fun with our nieces & nephew.
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We also stopped by the farm where the kids have their ponies. They have two ponies that someone is keeping for them until they buy their new place.
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On Saturday we went to the Wayne County Fair, a favorite and a family tradition. We like to go on opening day to see all the flowers and vegetables at their finest. We also must buy Lerch’s Donuts and my dad likes to watch the horse pull.
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This fair is everything a rural county fair should be and we had a great day! Of course I’m probably prejudiced, but this is the best county fair there is and I have been to a good number of county fairs.

Do you attend a local county fair in the summer?

Belfast Garden Tour #1

June 21st, 2014

Yesterday morning I attended the first in the garden tour series put on by my local garden club. It was the Wolfe-Cunning Garden on the outskirts of town. The lady we purchased our house from was manning the booth at the garden, so we had a chat to catch up on what was going on in each of our lives. The garden was great. It’s always nice to see a real life garden, not one in a magazine that has been staged and manicured. Sometimes seeing real life gardens make us realize that our gardens are truly wonderful as well.
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This garden is lovely, simple and lovely. There’s lots of mulch and lots of native plants. You can see that they are keen a little human cultivation but allowing nature do it’s thing. Sometimes that’s a hard balance to find as a gardener. I won’t go into too much detail about the garden, the photos speak better than it do. There are a lot of them, so get a cup of tea and enjoy a tour of this lovely garden in midcoast Maine.
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So what do you think of the Wolfe-Cunnin 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.