Cool Stuff – Pioneer Skills
“How to Turn a Plastic Bottle into an Irrigation Tool”

We’ve talked about the advantages of container gardening, as well as ideas for fabulous and unlikely growing containers. But then of course there’s caring for container plants. I have been traveling a lot during these past few months, as many people do in the summer time. I also happen to have a lot of plants that need love while I’m away, and the hot months are when they need a […]

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“How to Save Seeds for the Future, Especially Heirlooms”

It’s that time of year, when fruits are being harvested, and I teach you how to save seeds for the future, especially heirlooms. This is especially important as more and more varieties are lost as we continually buy just the few varieties offered to us in the grocery store. In my first book “Food Heroes,” I told the story of a seed saver in Berea, Kentucky who was saving heirloom […]

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“How to Make a Flower Press and Dry Flowers”

As a child I used to love to collect summer flowers, green clover, and fall leaves for my flower press. I would then paste them onto homemade cards or drop them into letters before sending them off so that the reader had a little piece of where I was writing from. Today I’m going to show you how to make a flower press and dry flowers so that you can […]

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“How to Be a Fruit Bowl Gardener”

One of my favorite things is to get what my dad calls “volunteers” in the garden. Thess are plants that spring up from having their seeds tossed in the compost pile, and later getting transplanted when the compost is added to the soil. This has happened with squash, zucchini and zinnia flowers this year. But this is something you can do intentionally as well. For example, did you know that […]

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“How to Peel the Perfect Egg”

We have 5 new chicks that have just hatched at Tulipwood. We didn’t intend to have 5 new chicks, but the hens got broody and they just wouldn’t get off of their eggs and so we gave in and let them sit on them and here we are months later with 5 new chicks. We are really hoping there aren’t any roosters since we already have two, which is one too many, […]

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“8 Tips for Outdoor Container or Roof Gardening”

When I wrote my book Modern Pioneering, it was to encourage and inspire the use of our hands no matter what kind of space you live in, because most of us don’t live with a lot of land around us. Sometimes all we have is a windowsill, or a back alley, or a fire escape, or a vacant lot! I recently did a makeover of a small outdoor space that […]

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“How to Cut Herbs”

I have been seeing a lot of big herb plants everywhere I go lately, which got me thinking about all of the ways to preserve herbs for the months we don’t have them fresh in our gardens. The first step in preserving them, however, is cutting them, so today I thought I’d show you how to cut herbs. Herbs are best harvested right as their flowers start blooming, which is when […]

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“How to Build a Simple Bluebird Nest Box”

Some of our most popular posts on this website are our DIY building projects, from planter boxes to raised bed green houses. So today our contributor Thad Sperry is here to show you how to build a simple bluebird nest box! It’s the perfect project to take on this weekend. Have you ever noticed how a bluebird catches your eye with the flash of blue as it escapes your approach? […]

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“Great Ideas for an Apartment Patio Makeover on a Budget”

I recently helped a friend makeover their small apartment patio and the results were so wonderful that I wanted to share it with you in case your small outdoor space needs an update. With only a few items and some sweat equity, we came up with some great ideas for an apartment patio makeover on a budget. Have you ever made over a small outdoor space to maximize its use? […]

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“Really Dirty Hand Cleaner”

I hope you are all outside this long weekend getting your hands in the dirt! I thought I’d share my potion for a really dirty hand cleaner so you can keep these on your shelf. Gardening season is in full swing so it should come in handy! Really Dirty Hand Cleaner: To Get Really Stubborn Dirt Off Your Hands Mix ¼ cup sugar with 1 tablespoon dish soap and rub […]

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