Salvaged Brick Sidewalk
Salvaged Brick Walkway
By Erin Huffstetler | 08/19/2013 | No Comments
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If you see something you want, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Our neighbor took up a brick driveway, stacked the bricks in her backyard and left them there for several years. My husband offered to pay her 25 cents a piece for the bricks, and she readily accepted his offer. These were beautifully-aged, hand-molded bricks, so we were thrilled to get them and to be able to put them to use in our garden.

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Fountain
Yard Sale Fountain
By Erin Huffstetler | 08/18/2013 | No Comments
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I snagged this fountain at a yard sale for $10. It isn’t very big, but it’s big enough to add that running water sound to the garden, which I love. It’s located near my office window, so when I have the window open on a nice day, I can enjoy the sound while I work.

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Metal Bench
Curbshopped Benches
By Erin Huffstetler | 08/18/2013 | No Comments
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Many of the items in our garden are curb pile rescues, including both of our benches.

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Cored and Seeded Tomatoes
How to Core and Seed Tomatoes
By Erin Huffstetler | 08/08/2013 | No Comments
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Yesterday, I showed you how to peel tomatoes. Today, let’s look at how to core and seed tomatoes. It’s a skill you’ll need, if you want to make your own salsa or tomato sauce.

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Peeled Tomatoes
How to Peel Tomatoes
By Erin Huffstetler | 08/07/2013 | No Comments
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One of the challenges of cooking from scratch is that lots of recipes assume that you already know how to do lots of things, whether it’s how to wash, peel and chop a particular ingredient or some other skill that you just haven’t had need for yet.

Let’s work on mastering some of those basic skills, so that you’ll know just what to do when they come up in a recipe.

Today I’d like talk about peeling tomatoes. If you dream of making your own tomato sauce, this is the first step, and it’s an easy one.

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Landscaping Rocks
Curb Find: Landscaping Rocks
By Erin Huffstetler | 06/12/2013 | 1 Comment
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Large trash pick up happens on our side of town on the 15th of every month. We drove around last night to see if there was anything good out yet, and we snagged a trunk load of rocks to use in our garden. They’re actually concrete chunks from a sidewalk that someone took up, but I think they look just as good as the real deal (and I didn’t have to pay for them).

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Grapes
How to Protect Fruit from Birds
By Erin Huffstetler | 06/04/2013 | No Comments
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Last year my grape vines produced fruit for the first time. I knew the birds would go after them, but I decided to hold off on netting them until I saw signs of munching. They just seemed too pretty to net. Colossally bad call on my part. I literally went to bed one night with bunches and bunches of grapes and woke up the next morning to none. My vines were only a few days past bloom, and each grape was no bigger than a pea, so I can’t imagine they even tasted good. Rude birds!

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Garden Arbor Turned Into a Garden Tunnel
Garden Arbor Turned Garden Tunnel
By Erin Huffstetler | 05/29/2013 | 1 Comment
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Over the weekend we turned our overgrown grape arbor into a very cool garden tunnel.

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Mason Bee Nest
We Have Mason Bees!
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/17/2013 | No Comments
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On Tuesday we built and hung our first mason bee house. Today (Friday) we noticed that someone has already moved in. See the mud packed into the first hole? Very cool!

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Mason Bee House
How to Build a Mason Bee House
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/10/2013 | 1 Comment
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Bring on the bees! We just built and installed our first mason bee house. Now, I’m anxiously awaiting our first tenants. Why am I going out of my way to attract mason bees to my yard, you ask? Because they …

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Bat House
How to Build a Bat House
By Erin Huffstetler | 03/23/2013 | No Comments
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I’ve wanted a bat house ever since I read that a single bat can eat 600 mosquitoes in an hour. This week my husband finally got a chance to build me one. If the thought of a mosquito-free summer has you wanting one too, here are the instructions:

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Lemon Tree
Growing Lemons
By Erin Huffstetler | 02/11/2013 | No Comments
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Well, I did it. After years of thinking about ordering a lemon tree, I finally ordered one – and not a little one either. A big six foot tree that should start producing lemons for us this year. I have a back yard full of fruit trees and bushes that I bought small (and cheap), and I’m still waiting for them to start producing, so this time I decided to go for instant gratification.

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Loofah Sponge
How to Grow Loofah Sponges
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/12/2013 | No Comments
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When I got back from dropping my kids off this morning, I noticed that my loofah sponge vines had finally had it. Woo hoo! Time to harvest the loofahs! I raced in the house for a sharp pair of scissors, and got busy cutting them off their vines. Every time I thought I had gotten them all, I found another one hiding under some leaves.

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