Cool Stuff – Pioneer Skills
“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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“How to Make Comfrey Salve”

Editor’s Note: Today our contributing writer Angelia is back with a wonderful potion made from Mother Nature! In a day’s time, I tend to have many bumps, scrapes, and bruises in my adventurous little family.  Add to that that we are practically living on the surface of the sun, in the hot Southwest desert, my humans are continually dealing with dry, cracked skin.  I have tried countless over the counter ointments […]

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“How to Attract Butterflies, Honeybees, and Hummingbirds to Your Windowsill”

A beautiful window box will not only transform your view, it can transform an entire street. If you have ever stopped to admire a lush window box bursting with vibrant color you know what I mean. From the inside, a room with a view like that can change your outlook. And it is made even better when all of the butterflies, honeybees, and hummingbirds pay a visit, too. So today […]

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“Common Outdoor Planting Hurdles and How to Overcome Them”

My great-aunt Ann Gray always knew the name of every single plant on our land growing up. She also had the world’s greenest thumb. She always knew how to solve any problems in the garden and was always at war with the deer who would eat her beloved hostas. Today I thought I’d share some of the knowledge she imparted onto me, with you all, and teach you about some Common […]

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“Steps to Growing Seedlings”

I just took a bite of my first radish that I started from seed and it was so satisfying! So I thought I’d share the steps to growing seedlings with you so you can experience the same satisfaction this season. It’s so easy to practice manual literacy my friends, and you won’t regret it. To unlock a seed from its dormancy, it needs four things: water, light, oxygen, and the […]

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“How To Turn Your Raised Bed into a Greenhouse”

Now that you’ve learned how to build your own raised beds, here’s how to turn your raised bed into a greenhouse! Creating a semi-permanent greenhouse can increase your garden yield and stretch your growing season a few more precious weeks. The best part of these is, once summer heats up and your plants are well established, you can remove the plastic sheeting. When the weather turns colder, simply roll it […]

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