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From The Grange

farm fresh herbals & salts...handcrafted on our organic farmette in Maine. Please do not take pictures from my gallery without permission.

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Rob Smith
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🌸🌾 Carmel Bella Farm 🌾🌸

Alas, the master plan is complete! (muttered in your best Mr. Burns’ voice as you twiddle your fingers😉) What started randomly on a snowy night six weeks ago has morphed into a wonderful winter respite. Planning this allowed me to escape into a world of color and endless possibilities...the perfect antidote to cabin fever! I’m vowing in front of all you today, to make the commitment to actually executing this plan as plotted out🤚 This means that I’ll have to reign in the unbridled enthusiasm that overtakes me each spring as I run throughout the garden sowing seeds here, there, everywhere without a care in the world to the plan🧚‍♀️ But this year, I’m a whole year older...more mature...more responsible. I can stick to a plan...maybe...sort of...perhaps😶 What’s growing on with everyone else today? How are your garden plans coming along? 💚 . . . . . #seedstarting #gardenplanning #gardenchat #gardenlife #organicgardening #instagardenlovers #instagarden #growyourownfood #kitchengarden #theartofslowliving #fromthegrange #countrygarden #cottagegarden #greenthumb #gardeninspiration #gardendesign #garden_explorers #garden_style #gardenstyles #allotment #gardensofinstagram #urbangarden #growsomethinggreen #finegardening at Maine

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Lately I have been dreaming trellises, arbors and teepees non-stop. Every time I go for a walk with Cobbs out in our woods, I keep finding myself assessing saplings and branches that would make for good trellis fodder. I’ve even been tempted to get out there and start cutting some saplings, but the reality of there still being a good solid two feet of snow on the ground makes me think maybe I should have a bit more patience🤔☃️ So instead, I’m focusing on design. Normally I just use whatever woods materials I find that I can just bend and tie together with twine. But this year I have bigger plans and they even involve a ladder and a power tool💪 I’m still going to have my bendy arches and wobbly tee pees, but I want to experiment with making ladder-like backdrops for peas and cucumbers to trellis up along one length of the garden. I’ll be working on my drilling technique so that when the time comes, I’ll be the Bob Villa of the gardening world🛠😂 In the meantime, I am searching for some trellis/arbor eye candy to drool over. If you have any account suggestions that have some awesome garden architecture to check out, please let me know😊🙏💚 . . . . . #gardendesign #gardenlife #gardenstyles #garden_explorers #garden_styles #gardensofinstagram #gardenchat #greenthumb #organicgardening #gardenlife #fromthegrange #instagarden #growyourfood #kitchengarden #ediblegarden #urbangarden #gardeninspiration #cottagegarden #finegardening #gardenarchitecture #trellises #countrygarden at Maine

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Happy #windowsillwednesday! My friend Milli over at @crofterscottage always inspires me with her incredible windowsill photos she posts every Wednesday. I was so excited to participate in the reindeer games this week that I posted a Windowsill Wednesday shot in my Stories…on Monday🙄 So, until my sills can be graced with fetching early spring blooms like Milli’s, I will share a shot of my happy, little stem cuttings that are currently rooting away. If you love all things seasonal living married with the dreamiest location and sweet soul, then please give Milli a follow🙌 Cheers to a good Wednesday💚 . . . . . #herbs #herbgarden #seedstarting #growyourown #gardenchat #gardenlove #greenthumb #organicgardening #gardenlife #fromthegrange #instagarden #growyourfood #kitchengarden #ediblegarden #urbangarden #gardeninspiration #growsomethinggreen #cottagegarden #gardenlife at Maine

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Rosemary cuttings update🌿 Alrighty, it has been one solid month since I transplanted the rosemary stem cuttings that I had rooted back in December. Out of 20 potted, I did lose one, which isn’t too shabby. But then two weeks ago, horror came when one of my larger pots of rosemary developed mildew, which then showed teasing signs that it was also on my transplants. Mildew can be fairly common indoors with your rosemary if you have fluctuating temperatures and not great air circulation…both things we lack here in our sealed up winter home. After I properly freaked out, I trimmed off the affected areas with a clean scissor. Then, I whipped up a spray bottle of a 1:4 part mixture of milk to water. I sprayed all the herbs and promptly placed them under fluorescent lights. The lights are the key here as the milk needs the bright light to active it’s mildew killing powers. A bright, sunny spot works just as well. After a few days, calm was restored and the rosemary is back to growing away. Whew! How’s everyone else’s doing?💚 . . . . . #rosemary #herbs #herbgarden #seedstarting #growyourown #gardenchat #gardentips #greenthumb #organicgardening #gardenlife #fromthegrange #instagarden #growyourfood #kitchengarden #ediblegarden #urbangarden #gardeninspiration #growsomethinggreen #cottagegarden #gardenlife at Maine

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Plant local…it’s a thing😉 When I started off gardening, I’d head straight to a box store and stock up on their flowers come the first nice day of spring. Then, I’d be sad when they faired just okay, or not at all in my garden. Then, think of my horror when I learned that some of these plants have been sprayed with bee-killing pesticides😱 There are so many reasons to grow native plants as much as possible. The first and most obvious one is, they’re native…they are used to not only growing, but thriving in your climate. When you live in Maine, that’s a biggie! Secondly, they serve as an important part of your home ecosystem…proving not only food and housing to your pollinator friends, but to a whole host of other organisms🐝🦋🐛 Thirdly…they are low maintenance…LOW!! Who doesn’t need more of those kind of plants in their garden! Fourth, native plants use less water, helping conserve an incredible valuable resource, but also making them drought-resistant. And lastly, they are total eye candy to have around your property! Winning🙌 Milkweed, Jack in the Pulpit, Solomon’s Seal and violets are my favorite natives around our place. What’s a favorite around your area? 💚 . . . . . #savethebees #nativeplants #gardenlovers #instagarden #organicgardening #growyourownfood #fromthegrange #countrygarden #cottagegarden #gardenersofinstagram #instagarden #potager #allotment #gardentips #permaculture #gardenchat #urbanfarming #gardendesign #garden_explorers #garden_styles #gardensofinstagram at Maine

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Variety is the spice of a bee’s life🐝 I often stare dreamy-eyed at those endless fields of lavender, sunflowers, tulips…then, I remind myself that while stunning, I probably have more bees hanging out at my place then they do. Pollinators love to have a variety of colors, shapes and clusters to visit in your gardens. Rather than planting a flower here, one there, try to plant in masses so that it’s easier for your bee pals to find them. When plotting out your garden plans, try to work out a schedule that will give you a flow of constant blooms all season long. Some bee-friendly varieties to sow are: Cosmos, Sunflowers, Calendula, Cornflowers, Echinacea, Asters, Hellebores, Rudbekia, Sweet William, Crocus, Bee Balm, Poppies, Snapdragons, Foxgloves, Yarrow, Goldenrod, Borage, Lavender, Oregano, Sage, Basil, Thyme, Hyssop, Rosemary, Chives. What’s your bees’ favorite bloom? 💚 . . . . . #savethebees #bees #pollinators #gardenlovers #instagarden #organicgardening #vegetablegarden #growyourownfood #fromthegrange #countrygarden #cottagegarden #gardenersofinstagram #instagarden #potager #allotment #urbangarden #veggiepatch #gardentips #permaculture #gardenchat #veggiepatch #gardendesign #garden_explorers #garden_styles at Maine

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Winter Olympics, Maine style...In honor of the awesomeness that is the #winterolympics, I had to share this throwback of my son from four years ago when he was trying to perfect the chicken jump portion of our course😂 🏂🐔 Gotta love country life! Cheers to a good weekend💚 . . . . . #olympics #snowboarding #snowboardinglife #getoutside #mainelife #backyardchickens #backyardpoultrymag #winterfun #countrylife #beanoutsider #mainewinter #maine #newenglandlife #snowboardingtime #fromthegrange at Maine

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Score another one for lazy gardening🙌 Guess who’s not fans of perfectly-planted, manicured, weed-free gardens? Bees🐝 Our little pollinating pals prefer a more natural look as many of those “weeds” are actually food. Bees also need a bit of a natural habitat to build their shelters. So that patch of wildflowers that’s slowly been creeping closer towards your veggie beds, let it creep…your veggies won’t mind and your pollination rate might just go up, up, up!💚 . . . . . #savethebees #bees #pollinators #gardenlovers #instagarden #organicgardening #herbgarden #vegetablegarden #growyourownfood #fromthegrange #countrygarden #cottagegarden #gardenersofinstagram #instagarden #potager #allotment #urbangarden #veggiepatch #gardentips #permaculture #gardenchat #urbanfarming #veggiegarden at Maine

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Be the bee’s knees this growing season🐝 I ❤️ bees! I could have a very dreamy James Bond-type walk into my garden, or I could see the first bee of the season…and, if I’m to be honest, I might just squeal a bit louder at the sight of the bee (then shudder with horror that I looked that uncool in front of the dreamy James Bond-type😉). Any who, no better time then in the dead middle of February to chat all things bees for the next few days! Our bee friends need our help! Their numbers have been in decline for years and, frankly, it is a really frightening situation. Did you know that one, single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day...who’s feeling like an underachiever now? 90% of the world’s nutrition comes from crops pollinated by bees. Our gardens…no matter how large or small (even one pot of herbs sitting on your steps) helps! And guess what, helping the bees, helps our garden…it’s a beautiful beneficial relationship💞 Over the next few days, I’ll be waxing poetic about garden tips, flower varieties, even houses, that will help keep our pollinator pals happy and healthy. Show of hands of all the bee lovers out there🙋‍♀️❤️🐝 . . . . . #savethebees #bees #pollinators #gardenlovers #instagarden #gardenlife #organicgardening #herbgarden #vegetablegarden #growyourownfood #fromthegrange #countrygarden #cottagegarden #beesofinstagram #beelove #savetheplanet #instagarden #potager #allotment #urbangarden #growwhatyoueat #veggiepatch #permaculture at Maine

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I finally crack the garden code!! After a solid month of staring endlessly at my garden plan as I tried to figure out where to put everything, I have found a home for all my veggies...even the ones I choose to grow, but don’t actually eat🤔 All that’s left to do is work in a few more herbs and then pick out flowers to fill in any remaining spots🌸 It’s a Valentine’s Day miracle!! I may finally start to sleep at night again😂 I’ve been loving all the gorgeous garden plans folks have been posting😍 How are your plans coming along?💚 . . . . . #seedstarting #gardenplanning #gardenchat #gardentips #gardenlife #organicgardening #instagardenlovers #instagarden #growyourownfood #kitchengarden #theartofslowliving #nothingisordinary #fromthegrange #countrygarden #cottagegarden #greenthumb #gardeninspiration #gardendesign #garden_explorers #garden_style #urbangarden #gardenersofinstagram #gardenlove at Maine

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Happy Valentine’s Day❤️ I wish I had some gorgeous, lovely photo to share with you in celebration, but I don’t. But I do have this heart-shaped pepper shot from last fall. I am the Queen of Romance👸 All hail🙇‍♀️😂 A hearty hug for a wonderful day❤️❤️❤️ . . . . . #valentinesday #heartshaped #pepper #growyourownfood #organicgardening #instagardenlovers #gardenlove #gardenlife #fromthegrange #kitchengarden #countrygarden #cottagegarden #gardeningisfun #gardengirl #vegetablegarden #veggiepatch #eatyourveggies #eattherainbow #garden_explorers #homegrown #greenthumb #allotment #potager #backyardgarden #instagarden at Maine

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It might be hard to believe, but this pathway is not the work of a professional brick layer😉 I made this pathway on a whim ten years ago from a pile of old bricks that had been just sitting around forever. A bit to my husband’s horror (see, he actually knows how to properly lay a path), I proudly showed off my handiwork and explained my detailed process…I dug a little trench, put the bricks in, then filled the cracks with dirt. I love this path. I love how it’s kept down the weeds…for the most part. I love that it’s a good place to plop and chill on a much needed weeding break. I love that it adds personality to the garden, especially during the bleaker seasons when the greens aren’t quite out yet. Last summer, my youngest and I added in three more paths in our hardest to weed area. Then, because my husband kept coming home with bricks and I kept taking them, I installed a semi-circle pathway in one of our newer garden beds. I never got around to actually installing them, rather, I had just plotted out the design on top of an old dirt path, but after a summer of being left there like that, the bricks eventually settled in on their own🙌 I have plans to add in another 2-3 this spring. And I’m dreaming of getting my paws on some old field stones to make a grassy pathway! Oh to dream!! What’s growing on with everyone else today?💚 . . . . . #pathway #gardenpath #gardendesign #garden_explorers #garden_styles #gardenlife #gardenview #fromthegrange #potager #allotment #countrygarden #cottagegarden #organicgardening #kitchengarden #veggiepatch #urbangarden #instagardenlovers #instagarden #mygarden #gardenstyle #gardenersofinstagram #gardengirl at Maine

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A cabinet of curiosities🌿 It’s a bit of a gloomy day here, and on a Monday morning nonetheless, so no better time to do a little herbal inventory. I think this is the kind of crowd that can relate, but everyday I am thankful that it’s the simple things in life that I think are total treasures. Some may fancy jewelry or shoes, but me, well, give me a jar full of herbs or seeds and you just rocked my world🤩 So right now I feel like the richest gal in the universe as I sit here surrounded by dozens and dozens of mason jars full of different colors, smells and textures. While I do use all of these often, my favorite part about having them around is…having them around. Nothing beats having a shelf full of these garden curiosities to stare at in the middle of winter😍 Sure, our living room looks part family area/part biology lab, but it’s all good. I’ll tag what each of the goodies shown here are on my Stories if you happen to be a tad curious. Who else here is hoarding herbal happiness in their house🙋‍♀️🌿💚 . . . . . #herbs #herbgarden #herbal #driedherbs #harvest #organicgardening #fromthegrange #kitchengarden #growyourownfood #gardenlovers #urbangarden #homegrown #theartofslowliving #nothingisordinary #countrygarden #cottagegarden #instagarden #greenthumb #apothecary #organiclife #instagardenlovers #eattherainbow #naturelover #gardenlife at Maine

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Sow it begins🌱 It’s here! The official kick-off to the new growing season…the sowing of the first seeds. This is a whole lot of excitement for this girl’s Sunday morning. Onions, shallots, Lobelia, thyme and sage are all on deck to get growing. I am so happy to be back playing in dirt, even if it’s just a bowlful on my dining room table😃 What’s everyone else sowing today? 💚 . . . . . #seedstarting #gardenchat #gardenlovers #gardenlife #organicgardening #gardensofinstagram #instagarden #growyourownfood #homegrown #kitchengarden #homegarden #vegetablegarden #potager #allotment #urbangarden #fromthegrange #gardenersofinstagram #urbanfarming #growwhatyoueat #veggiegarden #permaculture #growfromseed at Maine

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Forget-Me-Nots…the most aptly named flower that saved my gardening soul💙 While thinking about blue flowers yesterday, I was brought back to my beloved Forget-Me-Nots. At the end of one summer, some 20 years ago, I stood on the back deck of my rental house in Portland, mad as all hell at this plant in my hand. This plant, my first attempt at growing a flower from seed, who I nursed with love and care for months on end, only grew into a big pot full of leaves and not one single flower. I waited and waited all summer long for that plant to bloom. So come Autumn, when frost was about to nip and there was still no sign of a flower, I stood on that deck and hurled that pot with all my might into the woods behind my house. That was it. I was done trying this gardening thing. Flash-forward to the following spring, I was standing on that very same deck, when a spot of something blue caught my eye. I ran into the woods and was greeted by the prettiest, tiniest, blue flowers I’ve ever seen. It took me a few minutes to piece together that those blue flowers were none other than that pot of Forget-Me-Nots that I threw into the woods. But I did forget them, but they didn’t forget me. What I didn’t realize back then was that I was growing a perennial from seed. I had no clue not to expect them to bloom the first year. Heck, I had no clue as to what a perennial even was! So I am grateful for that gorgeous little flower🙏 And I’m eternally thankful for the lesson in patience and optimism it taught me, for that’s been the secret for why I’m still gardening all these years later. And that kids, concludes today’s lesson on why you should never give up😉 Cheers to a fabulous weekend! 💚 . . . . . #forgetmenots #flowergarden #flowerpower #gardenlife #organicgardening #instagardenlovers #instagarden #kitchengarden #fromthegrange #countrygarden #cottagegarden #greenthumb #gardeninspiration #garden_explorers #garden_style #flowerlovers #gardenersofinstagram #allotment #potager #gardenlove at Maine

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Chamomile…your garden’s answer to those Serenity Now moments😱 You know those days when your shoulders are practically touching your ears? Well, a good cup of chamomile tea will help chase away tension and stress with every sip, slowly lowering those shoulders back to their proper position. For hundreds of years, chamomile’s reputation has been one of calming and soothing. But it’s one thing to read about something, and another to experience it yourself. If you’re looking to double up on the relaxation train, take that cup of tea with you and enjoy it while you soak in a chamomile-infused bath…candles optional🛁 Quick tip for your tea—chamomile can easily become bitter if steeped too long, so pluck out those flowers after 3-4 minutes of soaking☕️ Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties aid in soothing aches and cramps, as it helps relax your nervous system. It’s also great for stomach aches and digestive issues. Infuse some in oil and use on wounds and rashes…chamomile loves to help your skin be happy and healthy. ⚠️If you have a ragweed allergy, it’s best to avoid chamomile. Do you chamomile? 🌼💚 . . . . . #chamomile #herbs #herbgarden #herbal #growyourown #organicgardening #gardenchat #gardentips #gardenlife #instagardenlovers #instagarden #growyourownfood #fromthegrange #countrygarden #organicliving #greenthumb #allotment #urbangarden #gardenersofinstagram #greenthumb #gardeninspiration #naturalskincare #naturalliving #flowergarden #herbaltea at Maine

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Move over rosemary…you have some competition🌿 Check out the newbie oregano roots sprouting just one week after cutting. That’s super-fly fast! Makes me want to start some more clippings…I’m going to need more windowsills🤔 I have been asked by a few folks if stem cuttings are my preferred way of starting herbs. Honestly, I do a little bit of everything. Stem cuttings are especially good for slow-growing woody herbs like rosemary and lavender. Perennial favorites like oregano, thyme and sage are all super easy to start from seed. Sure, I’ll definitely still have some cuttings of these sprouting on my sill, but they tend to be more for my own wintertime amusement, until the time comes to get sowing. But, mind you, these cuttings pot up into gorgeous plants. Mint is another quick rooting one for stem cuttings. And right now, I’m even playing around with a jar of basil…I don’t expect too much from it, but it’s fun to experiment! It’s been such a blast seeing everyone post their windowsill herb cuttings!! Time for our weekly check-in...I’ve been rooting for you(😉)...how are your cuttings doing? Any signs of root sprouting?💚 . . . . . #herbs #herbgarden #seedstarting #permaculture #gardenplanning #gardenchat #gardentips #gardenlife #organicgardening #instagardenlovers #instagarden #growyourownfood #homegrown #kitchengarden #vegetablegarden #potager #allotment #urbangarden #fromthegrange #gardenersofinstagram #urbanfarming #organicgarden #greenthumb #gardeninspiration #growsomethinggreen at Maine

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Woo hoo…the Henny Pennies are back in business🐔 The winter layoff has ended! Our lucky hens live adjacent to our gardens, so they’re the recipients of garden goodies all season long. Did you know that there are some herbs that are really beneficial to hens🐥❤️🌿 Mint, any kind of it…give the chickens some to nibble on, or better yet, offer them a summertime cool down by putting some in their water. Place some mint sprigs around the coop to deter mice or plant a border of it around the hen house for perfect pest control💥🐭 Toss a handful of oregano, and its antibiotic goodness, into their water. Make sure to give them a few bunches to eat too…oregano is chocked full of vitamins, just like sage. Feed them fresh sage leaves, or add crushed dried ones directly to their feed to help keep some diseases at bay. Thyme is another amazing one, especially with aiding respiratory issues. My girls love parsley in particular, which is great because parsley is full of all good kinds of nutrients. Henny Pennies acting stressed? Hang some lavender around to add a little aromatic ease. See, now you just have to grow MORE herbs…it’s not for you, it’s for the chickens😀🙌 Rationalization is our friend🤫 What herbs do you give your chickens? 💚 . . . . . #eggs #fresheggs #farmfresheggs #backyardchickens #easteregger #freerange #happychickens #eggs #countrylife #farmtotable #maine #maineliving #herbs #herbgarden #organicliving #happyhens #urbanfarmer #farmette #fromthegrange #organicgardening #sustainableliving #chickens at Maine

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