Guest Posts

Recently I keep getting e-mails for guest posts for this blog.  Quite a few in fact that it makes me think they are SPAM, masquerading to look like legitimate guest post offers.

I just want you all to know that I don't accept guest posts any longer.  I have not had the best luck with guests posts and don't want to risk linking to any malicious sites or opening links from guest bloggers that contain viruses or spyware.  So if you send me an e-mail and it goes unanswered, please don't take it personally, I have just chosen to delete all requests without even opening them, especially if they contain attachments.

It's possible you may see a guest post in the future from someone I actually know and trust, but since this blog is not as active as our website these days, that is unlikely.

Have a great day!

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Great Backyard Bird Count

Just a quick reminder that the Great Backyard Bird Count starts this Friday.

Here's how:

  1. Go to the official website:
  2. Create an account at the above address (it's free).
  3. Count birds for at least 15 minutes per day this weekend.
  4. Report your results at the website above.
That's it!  Easy peasy!  I'd love to hear your results as well.  Post here or on our Facebook page.

Happy Birding!!!

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Spring Projects - Cabana

Yesterday I talked about the hoop houses I'd like to build for the veggie garden.  Here's another project I'd like to get done before the weather gets really nice.

Cabana - I actually don't know what to call this project.  Originally it was going to be a pavilion, but I think it would be best to just cover the exciting deck.  If you are thoroughly confused, let me explain.

We built a small deck in 2006 to cover some tree stumps we couldn't grind down (it would have affected another tree).  We used these weird half wagon wheel things Gary rescued from someone who had a farm to make a trellis, but I've never really totally loved the look of it and it has begun to lean over the years.  Here's a picture right after it was built.

At first I wanted to make the deck larger and then cover it like a Pavilion you might see at a state park, but we would have to peak the roof a lot to get the snow to slide off on it's own. I am not about to be shoveling it off all winter.  With the size of the proposed deck, the proportions were just off and I didn't like the look once I sketched it out.  So instead, we are going to keep the existing deck, wash and stain it and cover it in a similar fashion as the picture below.
I found this photo online years ago, so I apologize for not being able to credit the original person.  It might have been on a garden forum, but I just can't remember.  Anyway, the roof will basically look the same, not sure if it will be shingled or metal to match the house.  I have a Sweet Autumn Clematis on each side already that grows up the wagon wheel trellis, so we will remove them and put up lattice.  I'd like to leave a space in the middle for a mosaic window on either side, but we'll see how that goes.

On the back side three years ago, I planted several berry bushes for the birds, so I don't envision covering the back with anything but possibly a railing similar to the above.  Our deck seems bigger than this one, so I think we'd have room for two nice sitting chairs and a small grill, which would make cooking easier when it rains, plus some planters if annuals.

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Spring Projects Planned - Hoop House

Last year we didn't have any big projects planned for the yard or gardens.  Frankly, I needed a break and I think Gary did too.  It seemed we had been working non-stop in the yard during the growing season which prevented me from keeping beds properly weeded and even enjoying the yard.

But this year I do have a few projects planned, none of which should take that much time and hopefully not much money.

Hoop House - The first project that will take place in March, as long as much of the snow has melted, will be a hoop house for the raised beds in the vegetable garden area.  I think a hoop house is necessary to really get a decent harvest from our garden.  Our growing season is so short.  Actually, I should rephrase that.  Our spring season is really short.  Lately it gets hot so fast, that the spring crops that like cooler temps stop producing before their time.  Getting an earlier start should help this.  Also, our fall season can be incredibly rainy at times which can cause problems as well.  If I can cover the crops during a lot of rain, maybe that can help as well.

Below are a couple of pictures to remind you what the raised beds look like.  They are small by most garden standards, but I think I will try and implement some edibles in with the flower gardens this year as well.  If I'm remembering correctly, one bed is 3 feet x 7 feet and the other is 5 feet x 7 feet.

I will make the hoop house for the larger bed first since that does not get any of the snow that falls off the top of the greenhouse.  I may make a hoop house for the smaller bed as well, but I probably could not use it consistently until April.

I will brush up on one of my favorite book, Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman and then get to planning what will be planted and when.  You can get Eliot's book on Amazon in paperback and kindle now, so it is affordable for everyone.  I highly recommend all of his books, in fact.  I got to hear him speak at a garden show in Henrietta, NY a few years back and he really knows his stuff. 

P.S. You don't need a Kindle to read a Kindle book.  You can get the Kindle app for most any device and computer.  I never thought I would enjoy reading books on Kindle, but I actually do.  I still like my regular books, but this is a nice option that saves space.  Plus there are so many options in Kindle books that were never published originally, which is what inspired me to write some eBooks myself.  Look for them towards the end of this year.

I'll post another project tomorrow.

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