Cool Stuff – Pioneer Skills
“How to Fix a Bee Swarm”

We had a bee swarm around here at Tulipwood earlier this week. It all happened very quickly — we were planting vegetables in the garden, toiling and sweating away because somehow we decided it would be a good idea to plant 25 varieties this year. Think it was a cold long winter? We are embracing the sun and got a bit overzealous… luckily, my brother has friends and enlisted them […]

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“Dandelion Wine”

I could show you this fully finished step-by-step recipe a few months from now, [scroll down, I’ve added the finished steps!] but what good would that be if you had to wait many months for dandelions to come back around? So instead, I’m going to give you the recipe and show you the step-by-step up to where I have it, so you can get picking in the fields and follow […]

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“How to Field Dress and Butcher a Turkey”

Disclaimer: This is one of my “Not for the Faint of Heart” posts. If you fall into that category, please come back another day when I’ll be talking about pudding. ****************** Since it is turkey season, and since I found myself with two turkeys to haul off the field not too long ago, I thought I’d show anyone venturing out this spring how I field dress and butcher a turkey. […]

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“How to Eat Crawfish”

It’s crawfish season in Arkansas. Maybe it’s crawfish season everywhere, I don’t know, but I participated in the eating of 25 pounds of the little red lobsters and it was a fun affair. They were from “Grandma’s Best” after all, and boiled in a whole lot of salt water. Actually, I like a crawfish boil for its potatoes just as much as its crawfish. You see, sometimes, someone smart puts […]

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“Corned Venison”

When Lewis and Clark set out on their Corps of Discovery they struggled to find fresh meat, especially during the coldest winter months. The meat they obtained came from hunting and fishing, through trade, or through the kindness of American Indians. The Corps ate everything from dog, to whale, to horse, and because fresh meat spoils after a few days without refrigeration, what they could find needed to be preserved. […]

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“Jerky”

I used to think of it as the strange stuff I’d see in strange gas stations on my strange cross country road trips. It was usually in stick form, a long tubular stick, wrapped in a coating of plastic, with a peculiar name like… Slim Jim, not because it made you slim, but because it was a slim, tubular portion…in a coating of plastic. But then, I made my own. […]

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“How to Make Kefir”

I have fond, peculiar memories of a glass jar sitting on the fireplace mantle, holding a liquid that constantly reinvented itself. It changed by the day, by the hour sometimes, from something strange to something more recognizable. This liquid, as it turns out, is intensely good for you, a drinkable yogurt full of good bacteria, and even better when flavored at the breakfast table with fruit purees. This is one […]

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“How to Butcher a Pig”

This post should really be called, “How to Butcher a Pig in Flip Flops.” You see, I was having breakfast. A Greek yogurt with strawberry jam to be exact. And it occurred to me that I needed to butcher the Javelina if I was going to have it for dinner. So I marched out to the barn where I met Mike and my pesky brother and got to work. Except […]

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“How to Skin a Pig”

They say that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. But as far as I know, there’s really only one way to skin a pig. And anyway, I think they’re lying about the cat. If you’ve ever been to a butcher shop, this looks a little bit like what you’ll see there. Except we’re starting one step earlier while the skin is still on. If the sight of […]

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