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!

NEW Blog!

October 1st, 2020

It’s been a while in the making and it still isn’t fully ready, but I’ve decided to go ahead and start posting there. I figured you wouldn’t mind the bare bones blog for a while until I get all the pages/features set up and added. Head on over there and check it out. The plan is to add lots of interesting features like a plant list, garden journal, and others, along with the usual blog.

Burgundy F1 Broccolini

August 17th, 2020

Every year I select a few new varieties of things to grow. Typically, they’re something I already grow and love. While I have favorites of many vegetables, there are times when something new is much better than the old favorite. Such is the case with Burgundy F1 broccolini!

I really like growing broccolini, it is ready to harvest quite early compared to heading broccoli, it’s easier to harvest small amounts for meals for two, and it provides harvest throughout the season if not allowed to flower. When I saw purple broccolini in the Johnny’s Selected Seed catalog I decided to give it a try.

I’m certainly glad that I did. It’s proving to be a very productive variety. Not only is it tasty and super nutritious, it’s beautiful as well. When a vegetable can look good and taste great that makes it a favorite in my book! It’s also a heavy cropper. I started 8 plants and have been harvesting them over the past month. This big bowl was the second flush of sprouts that came on, it’s almost 6 pounds. We’ve been eating it often and freezing it in meal sized portions. Another great benefit is that broccolini fits in freezer bags much more efficiently than regular heading broccoli.

Homegrown Flowers

July 30th, 2020

I mostly focus on growing vegetable with a lot of perennials mixed in. While I sometimes cut perennials and bring them indoors, I haven’t done that as much as I’d like in previous years. It seems the chores of gardening just take up lots of time. This year, I’ve been trying to take the time to cut flowers from the garden at least once a week.

This year, I’m especially loving the roses, most of which were planted over the past couple years. They’re all David Austin roses, with the exception of one heritage rose.

I’ve also been cutting clematis flowers to add to them, which I’m really liking. They last for a really long time and even when they drop the petals the little whirly interior stays and looks great. Many of mine have lasted for two or three weeks (I keep adding new roses to the bouquet)

As time goes on, I may incorporate more cutting flowers into the ornamental borders. I don’t usually grow flowers just for cutting, but this year I’m cutting most of the roses to bring indoors as I find I get to see them more often when I have them on the table than when they are in the garden.

Do you grow flowers specifically for cutting or just cut from your perennial borders.


June 1st, 2020

The frost is thawing from the vegetable garden as I sit and write this post, on the morning of June 1. It was a bit of a surprise, but not really. The predicted low was 37 degrees, at 2 am it was 32.

This will be a welcome change in other ways. I’ve long since starting using my phone to take photos instead of my good camera. I take way more photos on my phone and that’s where they stay. The result is that the photographic account of my garden last year is less than stellar, well, it’s on my phone, but I don’t look through those like I do my photo catalog.

So, here we are again, I look forward to hearing from you here.

The Midway Museum

February 28th, 2020

When we were in San Diego a few weeks ago we spent a day at the USS Midway Museum, it was a day well spent. We had no idea that you could go through most of the ship, learning about what life was like on an aircraft carrier as you go.

We were so glad we went to this museum, it was well worth it and we enjoyed seeing the ship and all the airplanes. If you’re even in San Diego I highly recommend it!


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.