The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil {and Coupon Code}


This post contains affiliate links.

The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil (e-book)

There’s a lot of internet chatter – good chatter! – going on about the brand new e-book by Susan Vinskofski.

She’s a VERY knowledgeable and successful gardener who knows what it takes to grow not just a harvest but a HEALTHY harvest. As she explains in her e-book The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil (affiliate link), nutrient-dense food all starts with the soil.

Having read her book, I can tell you, if providing your family with homegrown, nutrient-dense vegetables is important to you, this is a must-have book. You’ll learn why healthy soil is pivotal to healthy vegetables or any garden, how to encourage and sustain a living soil (and what that means), how to plant and save various seeds, and much more. This book is an easy-read but packed full of gardening knowledge and tips that you can easily apply to your own backyard garden.

And don’t just take my word for it. Some “big” bloggers like Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead, Kris Bordessa of Attainable Sustainable, and Colleen Anderson of Five Little Homesteaders have all given rave reviews of this book.

Read what they have to say about The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil (affiliate link).

If you’d like to

- Read the rave reviews,
- Find out what you’ll learn from reading this book,
- Download sample pages of the book,
- Read about the author,
- See more of the illustrated artwork (by Deb Hamby), and
- Get the limited-time offer COUPON CODE,

then click here (affiliate link).

* The COUPON CODE is valid for only a few more days. *

Writing a book is a huge undertaking, so be sure to click over and take a peek. I’m sure it would mean the world to the author.


Spring Bonanza Giveaway No. 3: Goodies for Birds, Chickens, and Gardeners!


This post contains affiliate links.

Today starts the third and final spring bonanza giveaway.

Did you enter the first giveaway and second giveaway? There’s still time to enter them. :)

With warm sunny days just around the corner, I’m looking forward to one of my all-time favorite hobbies (other than gardening): bird watching. In warm weather, I love to sit on our covered front porch and watch the birds at and near the feeders. We’ve even had the pleasure of being entertained by a crazy bird.

We don’t have any chickens, but many of you may have chickens and enjoy watching them move about and scratch for food. We even have something in today’s giveaway package for the chickens.

Sitting outside and enjoying the beauty God created – the birds, chickens, wildlife, and plants – can be so relaxing, almost therapeutic, similar to gardening.

Speaking of gardening, I’m very excited to be able to include Susan Vinskofski’s new e-book The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil. :) Continue reading this post for more information on it.

With that in mind, we start the third and final spring bonanza giveaway.

A special thanks to today’s sponsors:

- Learning and Yearning
- Your Gardening Friend

Thank you!!

(Yep, it feels a little weird to put Your Gardening Friend in that list, but I’m a sucker for consistency.) ;)

Giveaway Items

1. Cedar Suet Plug Bird Feeder (courtesy of Your Gardening Friend)

2. Wildlife Sciences Sunflower Blend Suet Plugs (2 packages)

3. Pennington Ultra Nut & Fruit Blend Bird Food (2.5 lbs.)

4. Pennington Ultra Nut & Fruit Blend Bird Food, No Hulls (2.5 lbs.)

5. Galvanized Poultry Feeder with Glass Quart Jar

6. Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy (3.5 oz.)

7. The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil eBook (affiliate link) (courtesy of Learning and Yearning)

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DIY Plant Markers


I love adorable plant markers. I think the two types I like the most are spoon plant markers and stick plant markers with the plant names burned onto the end of the stick.

Seeing just how creative people can be, I wanted to think of something *on my own* (of course, God is the one who gives us good ideas) equally creative as the plant markers I mentioned.

I think the spoons are still my favorite, but I now have a tie for second place: the stick plant markers and miniature clay pot plant markers.

And for those who care nothing about adorable or cute, but you’re perfectly content with ugly plain, as long as it can be made in a matter of seconds, I’ve got something for you, too. :)

1. Miniature Clay Pot Plant Markers

I have to admit I was a little excited about this idea. However, my excitement was dampened when the cashier asked me what I was going to do with the cute little clay pots. After I explained I was going to make plant markers out of them, she went on to say that she knew exactly what I was talking about because she had seen some. Apparently I’m not the first person to have thought of this.

You’ll need the following items:

  1. Miniature Clay Pots ($0.59 ea.)
  2. Small Dish (for paint and water)
  3. White Wash Paint
  4. Water (just a little)
  5. Small Paint Brush
  6. Damp Rag or Paper Towel
  7. Paint Marker or Permanent Marker

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Spring Bonanza Giveaway No. 2: Gardening Gifts Galore!


This post contains affiliate links.

It’s time for the second giveaway this month! :)

Did you enter the first giveaway? There’s still time to enter it. :)

If there’s one common theme buzzing around on gardening and homesteading blogs right now it would have to be SEED PLANTING. After a long and exceptionally cold winter across the nation, we’re all aching to get our gardens growing. If that’s true for you then you’ll love today’s giveaway.

Speaking of starting seeds, did you catch the How to Make Your Own Seed-Starter Mix post?

A special thanks to today’s sponsors:

- Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
- Peaceful Acres Farm
- Schneider Peeps

Thank you!!

Giveaway Items

~ 10 Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Packets
(courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.)

  1. Beet – Detroit Dark Red
  2. Carrot – Tonda di Parigi
  3. Cucumber – Boston Pickling
  4. Kale – Green Leaf Gailan (Chinese Kale)
  5. Pepper – Albino Bullnose
  6. Squash – Long Pie Pumpkin
  7. Sunflower – Mammoth Grey Striped
  8. Sweet Pea – King Edward VII
  9. Tomato – Black Krim
  10. Tomato – Cherokee Purple

~ (1) Large Planter

~ (3) Small Planters

~ (1) Organic Coir Brick (affiliate link)

~ (2) Garden Gloves (2 pairs)

~ (1) Coffee Kitchen Soap, 4-5 oz. (courtesy of Peaceful Acres Farm)

~ (1) Healing Balm of Gilead, 2 oz. (courtesy of Peaceful Acres Farm)

~ (1) The Gardening Notebook eBook (courtesy of Schneider Peeps)

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Spring Bonanza Giveaway No. 1: Compost Worms & MORE!


March is finally here, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead, both on our plot of land and here on Your Gardening Friend!

March means spring, and spring means gardening begins. And, to top it off, March marks another blog anniversary for Your Gardening Friend!

Spring is a great time to start some warm weather traditions. Traditions are important no matter what they are. Wanna know what I do annually to celebrate spring?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My Annual Spring Tradition

Each spring I turn into a giddy gardener frolicking through the neighborhood [and down the rows of cubicles at work] with my little flower-girl basket. Since it’s too early to pick flowers, hands full of composted cow manure and garden seeds are showered on everyone in my pathway!

Sadly, I have neighbors and coworkers who don’t appreciate my gracious gift of nutrient dense manure flying towards them or being pelted with garden seeds.

After being pulled aside – and many heated debates – I was persuaded to change my spring and gardening celebration to something more …“civilized”: a calm and quiet garden giveaway.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For all the giddy gardeners out there like me, don’t worry! Today’s giveaway includes some amazing creatures that make amazing manure, except with worms it’s called castings. We’ve also got a great book (ebook or paperback) being offered from my friend Melissa K Norris. Last, but not least, is an Amazon gift card.

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How You Can Help Prevent Needless Bird Deaths


If you’ve been reading Your Gardening Friend posts for any decent length of time, you know I love birds. Yes, I like chickens – for both their taste and cuteness – but I’m talkin’ about the little chirping birds around the house.

I’m in awe of God, that He created such a vast array of birds in size, bird calls, mannerisms, and color. Just like the brilliant colored fish found in coral reefs, sometimes I think God created what we need for sustenance and then so much more simply for our enjoyment and entertainment. Most importantly, all creation bears witness to God.

We’ve lived in this house for 6.5 years. In all those years I’ve never cleaned ALL the windows. As a matter of fact, of the 13 windows in our house, only two have been cleaned on both the inside and outside more than once. Those two windows are picture windows near our kitchen table. It’s from those windows I can see the front porch, all bird feeders, eventually that will include the bird feeder I recently made, a vintage tea kettle windchime that’s been used as a bird nest, and our bubbling boulder.

I like those two windows to be squeaky clean for the best view and enjoyment possible. The problem with the windows being THAT clean is the birds don’t realize the glass panes are there.

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