Friday, December 31, 2010

Controlled chaos

One of my favorite spots in the garden

First, I'll give you a brief history of me. That way you can have an idea what to expect from this blog. I am currently, living in a passive solar house, built in the 70's by a 'Back To The Land Mover'. I am nestled in the woods of Maine, with my 'Fiance', (this is kind of a family joke, because he is the Father of my three kids; ages 13 yrs, 12 yrs and 4 months) our 3 kids, 4 dogs and 6 chickens. Before we moved here (6 months ago), we lived in Wyoming for a year (I'll save that story for another time).

Rain Trellis
When it rained the water would cascade down and around
this trellis. We used this instead of a down spout.
climbing peace rose

Before the year in Wyoming, we lived on Nantucket Island. On Nantucket, I ran my own organic gardening business in the spring, summer and fall. During the winter, I had a variety of random jobs. The one I did most often, and enjoyed the most, was being a decorative painter. Some of the other jobs I had (which generally all ended badly) were: Baker, office assistant, writer for one of the local newspapers and magazines, Pizza chef and taxi driver.
baby black zucchini


  This garden was only on a half acre, but I managed to create several garden rooms full of grapes, hops, blueberries, medicinal herbs, apple, pear and pomegranate trees. Along with several rooms for just vegetables and other ones for cut flowers. I built trellises from sassafras trees, for my roses, beans, gourds and morning glories.  

sassafras supports for tomato plants
apple tree

Amish speckled lettuce, with seaweed mulch
 This is one of the things that I miss most about Nantucket
. Since we've come to Maine, my mate has tirelessly worked to clear me some gardening space. For Christmas, the only thing I asked for was seeds. Guess what I got? So in the upcoming months, I will be planning my new garden, building a greenhouse (we still haven't decided on a quick hoop house or a permanent slip form stone one... We are waiting for the tax man to get back to us on what the taxes will be on a permanent one).

Shed with sassafras trellis
and old fashioned blaze rose

fairy rose

golden hops and concord grapes on copper arbor

These are some pictures of my, much missed, Nantucket gardens. Hope these bring you fond memories of summer, to get you through the long winter months. In a few months I hope to update my garden pictures, with my new Maine gardens!

Loaded blueberry bush

Okay, all I really talked about, in this article, was gardening.  Rest assured, this will not be my only subject. I hope, to have some eco-friendly tutorials on this blog soon. Along with tips on how not to clean your house and what should and shouldn't be put in the compost. Also you can expect some drunken ramblings on life with 4 dogs and 3 kids.
FYI, this week I am the feature artist on! Yeah for me! The article is about how I started my shop on Plus it has some pictures of a few of my creations. My shop is comprised of clothing, accessories and housewares that I make from repurposed, recycled, upcycled, vintage and/or organic fabrics. 
 Check it out at and my shop at
PS. thank you for reading my ramblings! Stay tuned.

Potato Pancake Recipe

Potato pancakes are one of my favorite foods. They can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Today (New Year's Eve) I am making them for a party, because they are also the perfect grab and go snacks for young and old alike.I purposely make extra mashed potatoes just for these yummy little savory cakes. I think one of the best ways to serve these is with an over easy egg put right on top and a side of deli mustard, for dipping. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. 
This recipe is ever changing. I've given you the basics, but I don't think I've ever made them the same way twice. Sometimes I add cheese to the tops after I've flipped the pancakes once. Sometimes I add pesto, sometimes I add chopped red bell peppers, sometimes I add some cayenne pepper, for some spice, etc. Use your imagination.

Left over mashed potatoes (about 4 or 5 cups)
2 eggs
1 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack or Monterrey)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
enough flour to make a thin dough
salt and pepper, to taste
 Mix all ingredients together. Heat up an iron skillet, on medium, with 1 T olive oil or butter.
Drop dough, by tablespoonful, onto hot skillet. Cook approximately 3 minutes per side, flipping only once. Keep warm in oven, until ready to serve.