What Should I Do?

Enter a comma separated list of user names.
What Should I Do?

Slug: Phil Williams

Control Methods for Slugs

7 ways to keep pesky slugs from your garden
Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 6:06 PM

I absolutely loathe slugs. They are a huge pest in my strawberry patch, and a minor pest in my annual garden. I mulch my garden with either shredded hardwood or straw, and I definitely have more slug problems from mulching. Having said that, the benefits of mulching far outweigh the slugs. I have tried quite a few natural and home remedies that can work wonders at keeping your slug problems to a minimum.  Join me in exploring the numerous options we have at our disposal. » Read more

What Should I Do?

daseaford / Shutterstock

How to Control Mites and Lice on Chickens

Managing your flock for optimum health
Monday, January 27, 2014, 4:31 PM

Chickens love to take dust baths. This helps to keep their feathers clean and in good shape, but more importantly it helps to keep them free of mites and lice. Mites and lice can be serious pests of your flock. If chickens are left untreated in an outbreak, the results can be a general weakening, lower egg production, loss of appetite, lethargy, and possibly death. Your chickens should be active all day. If they are not moving much, there may be something wrong. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Lori Martin / Shutterstock

Planting Asparagus

How to get your first aparagus patch in place
Friday, January 17, 2014, 3:58 PM

Asparagus is one of my favorite garden plants. It is the first vegetable to harvest in the spring, it’s perennial, and it tastes great. What more could you ask for?

Most people establish an asparagus patch with bare-root asparagus plants. It is best to plant in early spring as soon as the soil is warm enough to work. I would not harvest any asparagus spears the first season. Just let it grow, and cut it back in the late fall when the ferns go brown. You should be able to harvest the following spring. The herbs caraway and basil make nice companions. I will be seeding in caraway amongst the patch in mid-April and basil after the fear of frost has past. (Video at the bottom of the article) » Read more

What Should I Do?

zimmytws/Shutterstock

The Money Side of the College Experience

The growing financial monster must be fed
Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 7:02 PM

Going to college in the USA has never been cheap, but those who haven’t been in the market recently don’t realize how crazy it’s become. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Photo: Phil Williams

How to Plant Bare Root Fruit Trees

Getting ready for bare root tree planting season
Friday, January 10, 2014, 1:21 PM

What is a bare root tree?

A bare root tree is just like it sounds. It comes with the tree, roots, and no soil. This is extremely beneficial to online shippers, as it makes the trees extremely light to ship. I received three trees from Adams County Nursery that weighed less than ten pounds all together. I would not buy bare root trees from a big box store, as it is hard to know how they have been cared for. It is best to buy direct from the grower if possible. I have had good luck with the trees from Adams County Nursery. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Preparing for Cold Weather

Layers, Patterns, and Every Day Carry
Monday, January 6, 2014, 7:24 PM

The notion of preparing for cold weather has radically different meanings between geographic locations. A person living in Louisiana will have different needs than someone in Wyoming, and as such, it’s important to discuss what environments create “cold,” the types of cold, and how they create thermal injuries.  There are differing schools of thought, but the following is a good cross-section that should help you get a hook set in Old Man Winter and keep his icy fingers off you as much as possible. » Read more

What Should I Do?

The Crash Course Book Cover

Using the Crash Course to Educate Teens

A teacher's tool for navigating future career paths
Friday, December 13, 2013, 4:24 PM

Can you imagine how it must feel to be a teenager today confronting your economic future? Do you go to college and incur a debt you will spend the rest of your life repaying? Or do you consider jumping right into the job market, and finding a job, any job, to begin to build a resume? I am an independent studies teacher at a small charter school, and students are my special interest. The Crash Course materials have played a valuable role in answering some of those questions that teens confront. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Ashes - © Fixer00 | Dreamstime.com

Uses for Wood Ash

15 ways to use wood ashes around the homestead
Thursday, November 14, 2013, 2:58 PM

With the colder winter months in front of us, fireplaces and woodstoves will start to get more use.  With woodburning, ash is always an end product that needs to be disposed of.  With a little pre-planning and the tips from this article, you can turn a waste product into a valuable resource around the homestead and in the garden. 

Before we begin our discussion of the uses of ash, a special note of caution needs to be mentioned.  Take wood ash away from the woodstove or fire­place in a metal bucket. Never store it in plastic, at least not until the ash is absolutely cool. This way, you avoid burning down buildings (a potentially devastating risk) or damaging surfaces in your house. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Hugelkultur Mound

Building with Hugelkultur

Steps for creating a low-water, mounded organic garden
Sunday, October 20, 2013, 4:44 PM

Hugelkultur (“HOO-gull” (mound) culture) is a permaculture gardening method that utilizes buried logs to create an effective gardening and growing system with local resources and materials.  A few of the key features of hugelkultur include:

  • Decomposing logs absorb and hold water like sponges
  • Yard waste and sod provide nutrients
  • Polyculture planting attracts good insects, birds, and bees, reducing pests naturally
  • Micro‐ecosystem of mound conserves and promotes healthy, biologically active soil for decades
  • No crop rotation, no tilling, organic gardening
What Should I Do?

Surviving the Colorado Floods

A member's account of the disaster and lessons learned
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 2:40 PM

For the past year, I’ve lived in a valley at 6,500 feet, in a small community of homes tucked in the mountains of northern Colorado, surrounded by national forest. It’s just a fifteen-minute drive down the mountain to Lyons, a surprisingly vibrant town of twenty-five hundred or so that’s now drowning in water and sewage and pieces of people’s homes, and has been since the early hours of Friday, September 13.

I was with some friends at the Distillery in Lyons the night of the floods, but made it back up the mountain before the water tore through town in the middle of the night. It’s now several days later and entire neighborhoods are gone, the water is contaminated with E. coli, the infrastructure is destroyed, the St. Vrain river is now somehow a few hundred yards south of where it was, and most everybody in town is displaced for several months, or permanently. » Read more