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Gourds: How to Make a Gourd Bowl
by Susan Randstrom Bruck - September 2015

What is a Gourd? From the Ground Up …

From a gardeners’ viewpoint, a gourd plant is an exuberant, climbing annual that can wriggle up to 50 feet in a single, growing season, tearing up trellises and grabbing valuable, horizontal real estate in our vegetable gardens. These curious fruits or seedpods morph lazily into all sorts of whimsical shapes with mono- or multi-colored skins. With smooth or warty-skins and expressive names such as Speckled Swan, Mexican Bottle, Warty, Long Handled Dipper, Kettle, Bushel Basket, Snake and Turk’s Cap, my imagination takes flight.   >> read article

How to: Make Your Own Seed Tape
by John Tullock - August 2015

Are you tired of thinning vegetables? Tired of trying to plant teeny-tiny seeds like those of carrots or petunias? Why not take some of the drudgery out of gardening by making your own seed tapes? For those unfamiliar, seed tapes have been around for a long time. They were invented by William Nelson McComb of New York City, for which Mr. McComb was awarded a patent in 1915.   >> read article

Gardening for Wildlife
by Scott Beuerlein - August 2015

Habitat gardening falls somewhere between common sense and rocket science – so don’t overthink it. Most gardeners instinctively know what should be done: Simply add water, food and shelter.

For a long time I’ve wondered why all my friends are smarter than me. My whole life, I have been surrounded by genius-level friends, and I’ve often wondered why. I’m pretty sure I’m not terribly annoying. Sometimes I’m generous with a round. Occasionally I’m amusing, but still? After some of the best thought I’m capable of, I think I’ve got it figured out. I am not a genius, to be sure, but I am the right kind of smart. Bright enough to get concepts and ask good questions, but too stupid to remember details and (thankfully) get caught up in them.   >> read article

Get Your Goat!
by Cathy Jean Maloney - August 2015

Goats are the new bison, says Kim Hunter, owner of The Green Goats, a goat rental service that provides a green alternative to invasive plant removal. The Midwest prairie landscape was once shaped by natural fires and grazing bison. Now only carefully controlled burns sputter life into prairie fragments, and a handful of bison remain as zoo curiosities.

Enter the goats. These Old World herbivores, arguably the first domesticated animals, have been serving humankind for centuries. Nimble and natural climbers, goats can reach places mechanized lawn equipment cannot. From airports to municiple parks where goats are used to tame grass or clear invasives, land stewards are rediscovering the benefits of goats over gas guzzlers.   >> read article

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