Fox Cottage Blog

a splendid september harvest

Temp today: Hi 70 Low 52

A mid-August planting of lettuce and carrots has brought forth a lovely harvest this week. The tomatoes, started so long ago on a sunny winter windowsill, are laden with juicy ripe fruit. Our guests here at Fox Cottage are welcome to it all plus the kale, basil, cucumbers and squash. All organic!

the group

Temp today: Hi 77 Low 63

The Fox Cottage girl gang welcomes our visitors this summer. It’s too early to have eggs from our girls, as they are only 9 weeks old. But next Spring our guests will enjoy fresh eggs. For now, the girls are just happy kids, enjoying nature, lots of room to chase bugs, and snacking on sweet clover. Guests are encouraged to pull up a lawn chair and watch chicken antics!

a new season begins

Temp today: Hi 48 Low 41

Spring comes to Maine in pensive steps. Rather like lowering oneself into a warm bath after a trip to the arctic, you find yourself standing out on a March morning almost in disbelief at the beauty and comfort. It is heaven is it not, to stand and stare at the subtle stirring of nature after a long, silent, deep freeze. Denizens of this early morning, 31 wild turkeys arrive for corn and to flirt and argue in the garden. You count them for no reason other than to do so. All around, earth’s fertility shaking loose from its icy bed to flourish anew.

late august

Temp today: Hi 66 Low 58

End of summer in mid-coast Maine is a very special time. August is a richly fertile experience, with all of nature racing to fulfill its destiny of the warm season before the autumn chill descends. Gardens and fields are laden with fruit and blossoms, seeds and berries. The seeds of promise for next year’s growth are bursting forth now from every mature plant. The sunflowers are developing their own successors, as they bring forth their seeds. Yellow finches swing from the swaying cosmos and pick eagerly at the drying blossoms.

a bloomin’ time!

july 24 front garden

Temp today:  Hi 80  Low 62

Warm days and cool nights – the signature of a Maine summer – bring on the blooms in late July. Hydrangeas, lilies, and hostas are putting on a show this morning. This is why people love to escape to a rental cottage in Maine. Each day brings a new surprise in the garden.


summer green

front yard June 15 2020

Temp today:  Hi 64 Low 48

Maine in the summer is deep green, lush, bursting with life. After the long winter months, nature enthusiastically gets to it. We are appreciative observers, sitting here in the front yard in the evening, looking out over the gardens. Birds dart about, busy with their evening chores.

wild turkey

turkeys may 7 2020

Temp today: High 63  Low 49

Wild turkeys visit every morning for the cracked corn we provide them. Lying in bed in the early hours, as dawn comes early in summer, one hears the “gobble gobble gobble” all around the house. If you peek out carefully, you see their dignified stroll around the gardens. But any motion of the curtains and off they run back into the surrounding woods. Gone for now – to return later.

how to make a “Scent Salad”

indoor seedling May 9 2020

Temp Today: High 43   Low 35    Snowing!

We’re told this is the last snow of the season. About time! Meanwhile, indoor seedlings are getting leggy and straining toward the window. For the time being, just rubbing the leaves of the little plants between fingertips, the tomatoes and basil and celery and chives, makes for a delightful “scent salad.”

warm work, warm heart

new raised beds in March 2020

Temp today: High 42  Low 37

New raised vegetable beds went into production today. The work was warmed by a March afternoon sun. Coats off, scarf strewn across the carrot bed, winter-weary muscles pacing themselves in this new exertion. Spring embraces the earth and all who live here.

In goes the rich organic compost certified by MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association). How rich and lovely! Is that a tiny piece of lobster claw I see in that soil? Maine has the second highest percentage of beginning farmers in the country. Getting back to the land. Hello, land!

dreaming of summer


Temp today: High 34  Low 17

Blossoms Like Cardinals

Though the wind blows cold and the frozen earth offers little encouragement,
the end of February brings restless dreams of summer.
Is it the silent awakening sap within the trees
that stirs our thoughts of verdant earth?
Maine maples’ cambium secretively strain anew
and so too the juices of the mind thaw to dream.
Dreams of pale leaves unfurling,
of hillsides with loamy sun-warmed shoulders,
of hostas’ green spikes fresh and unhurried.
Yes, how sweet the song of Spring,
but for now the rhododendron blossoms still resemble cardinals.

snow day

snow sculpture 1 jan 2020

Temp today: High 34  Low 8

It’s cozy inside as new snow blankets the day. Today at Fox Cottage the snow is falling gently, lightly, steadily. It ladens the pine branches, tufting along every stone wall and shrub. The sense of peace is broken only by the town snow plows as they rumble along our frontage road.

maine autumn: time for projects

buildingrustic fence oct 2019

Temp today: High 58  Low 48

Autumn is a great time for building rustic brush fences – excellent good fun. After tree branches are downed by the autumn winds and rain, enough are at hand for starting the series of rustic brush fences across the frontage this week. The hardwood stake uprights will age to a nice grey tone. The one in the photo above is just getting started. Trees have happily donated lots of branches this week.

bird lovers paradise

bebe of the jungle 2019

Temp today: High 60  Low 41

It was early last Autumn 2018 and things were strangely silent. No bird song, no sound of crickets, nor frogs – it seemed not a single wild being was living on our new acres. Pesticides had done their worst and left our new land lifeless and silent.

Time for action: a bird feeder was set up, throughout 2018 organic gardens were developed with clean soil, flowering plants for pollinators were added all around, and no toxic spraying of any sort allowed.

As the months passed, success was marked in many subtle ways: tiny wild strawberries appeared in the lawn attracting birds, crickets appeared, frogs and toads found homes in the garden beds. The birds came to inspect things. And then more and more returned, seeing that this is now a safe and healthy place for their lives.

Now, every day resounds with the voices of many birds. On the property, life rebounding.

mid-August harvest

veggies august 2019

Temp today: High 75 Low 58

Here we are in mid-August already! The veggie garden is offering up fun little Scarlet Nantes carrots, very sweet and tender, and very oddly shaped cukes right now. (Actually this cuke is the only normal looking one.) There are also beans, beets, lettuces of all sorts. All organic, of course, and available for our guests to pick for their dinners.