Category Archives: Beyond the Garden

Gardening: Burning Calories by the Numbers

Most people think of gardening as a relaxing activity – and it is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a bit of exercise in as well. Gardening involves a lot of lifting, pulling, stretching, and bending – which altogether makes up a pretty varied and well-rounded exercise regimen. But how many calories do you burn up exactly with each garden chore? Here is a simple guide: Gardening can burn up to 300 calories with an hour of moderately strenuous

How to Make Herb Infusion Soap

We showed you on Rake & Shovel how to make herb infusion oils. Now it’s time to put those herbal infusion oils to good use by incorporating them into homemade herb infusion soap. It’s really easy, and if you follow basic safety instructions, lots of fun. Why not give it a try? Tools A digital scale capable of 5 lbs measurement. 2 glass bulb thermometers that can measure up to 200° Fahrenheit. A stick blender. A high temperature plastic jar

Our Four Favorite Knitting Blogs

I’m not really a good knitter – I feel as though I have unraveled more mistakes than I have finished actual projects. But that’s okay! There are plenty of aspirational blogs to follow — to pick up a few tips and tricks and download some neat free patterns too. Here our four of our favorite knit and purl heroes! Wendy Knits This is one of the top blogs to check out for fun knitting projects and stories surrounding a crafty

Our Four Favorite Woodworking Blogs

Recently on Rake and Shovel we have been on a DIY spree, and have been reading up on blogs from topics such as crafting, knitting, and woodworking. There are millions of DIY blogs out there, but we have our favorites. Check out our four favorite woodworking blogs! The “woodworking” tag on is a goldmine! The online version of popular DIY magazine Make, gives you not just woodworking how-to’s, but also has a shop to help you source

7 Things To Do When You’re Not In The Garden

Tending a garden can sometimes take up a lot of your time, but there are other things you can do, especially on days when you’re not busy working in it. Below are some garden-related activities for you to try on your time away from the garden. Go visit gardens. If the day is cool but sunny, why not take a trip down to a botanical garden or conservatory. Gain inspirations for your own garden as you marvel at well manicured

7 Reasons Why You Should Let the Little Ones Garden

Gardening is a productive, rewarding, and fun activity for all ages. And when we say all ages, we mean it, kids included. In fact, for gardener and child care provider Christina Kamp, even infants can start gardening as soon as they can crawl. “I have children as young as one that can plant a seed with little or no help from me and do it correctly.” She’s a strong advocate in gardening as a learning tool that she even started

Host a Party for Harry Potter’s Birthday!

Did you know that 31st July is not only the birthday of the Boy Who Lived — Harry Potter, but also of the author of the series J.K. Rowling? If you’re a big Potterhead, you should be celebrating in style with this momentous double occasion! Here are a few ideas to get you started. You can download a template online and print it out. To get the aged look, spray the paper with coffee or sponge lightly with a wet

It’s Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day!

F. D. Richards

In case you didn’t know, 27th July is Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day — crazy holiday cooked up by American couple Thomas and Ruth Roy, to encourage garden lovers and plant enthusiasts to go out for a stroll with their favorite house plant. If you want to go all out with your plants, then gather all of your neighbors, friends, and family to parade these beautiful plants around the block. Perhaps you can have judging and prizes for

Getting Started with Graywater Gardening

Water is a precious resource that should be conserved. It should be used wisely in any season, but more so during summer when droughts make water shortage really apparent. But water conservation shouldn’t mean having to abandon your gardens. One efficient way to keep your plants watered is by resorting to graywater gardening. Graywater gardening means using waste water from your laundry, bathroom sink, and bathtub for watering your gardens and lawns. On the average, a family of four uses

Unusual Ice Cream Ideas from the Garden

Summer and gardening go hand and hand, as fruits and vegetables ripen beautifully on the vine, glistening in the morning dew. Homemade ice cream and sorbets featuring fruit are a welcome treat, especially when the fruits are homegrown as well. But have you ever considered the other stars of your garden—vegetables and herbs—for making ice cream? Before you cringe at the thought of veggie ice cream, remember how wonderful it is to bite into a crisp, juicy, freshly-harvested tomato. Remember

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