Jean Potuchek

my personal home page


An Introduction to Me

Hello! I am a professional sociologist who lives in Maine (the way life should be!). If you want to know more about me as a professional, visit my professional home page.

This page is devoted to my personal interests and passions.



My Interests and Hobbies


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Check out my gardening blog: Jeanís Garden!

I am a passionate gardener, growing flowering perennials.I donít love the hard work of gardening (double digging, weeding, hauling around heavy loads of soil and soil amendments); what I love is the beauty that is created by all that work.What makes garden design particularly exciting is that these are not static compositions of objects. Plants are living beings; sort of like raising children, you set the process in motion and then watch how it unfolds.



Food and Cooking

I am interested in eating delicious food that is grown sustainably. I try to buy local food, organic whenever possible, and I enjoy using fresh local ingredients to cook simple meals.I bake my own bread, can tomatoes in the fall, and make most of my meals from scratch.I have long been a member of the Maine Organic Farmerís and Gardenerís Association.This year, I joined the CSA at Summit Springs Farm here in Poland.

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I have been addicted to photography since I first held my first SLR camera, forty years ago. I came late to digital photography, because I was very dissatisfied with point and shoot cameras. Two years ago, I bought an affordable digital SLR (Canon Rebel digital).I almost never take pictures of people. My favorite pictures to take are close-ups of flowers, plants, or landscape features.



I enjoy travel, both within the United States and abroad. I love to travel alone Ė the freedom to meet new people, and the ability to really focus on a new place. When I can, I like to use public transit (especially trains). Every few years, I like to take a big trip, lasting several weeks or more.Some of the places I have visited in this way are England, France, Alaska, and Newfoundland. Alas, I am overdue for a big trip and have made do in recent years with much shorter vacations, like this one two years ago to Montreal and the Montreal Botanical Gardens.

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My most important leisure activity is reading; I am almost never without a book. My reading habits are wide-ranging and include all my other pastimes. Genres that I am particularly fond of include murder mysteries, travel narratives, gardening narratives, and memoirs.Long-time and recent favorite books and authors include:

Michael Pollan, especially The Omnivoreís Dilemma

Alexander McCall Smith, especially the 44 Scotland Street series

Mystery writers Elizabeth George, P.D. James, Reginald Hill, Gwendolyn Butler, Dana Stabenow, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Laurie King.

Adam Gopnik, Through the Childrenís Gate

Jane Austen, especially Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park

George Eliot, Daniel Deronda

Katherine S. White, Onward and Upward in the Garden

Vita Sackville-Westís Garden Book

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Alice Steinbach, Without Reservations

Eric Stiller, Keep Australia on Your Left

Michael Ruhlman, Ratio


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