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I wrote a book about preserving food. The same step-by-step instruction and full-color photos you find in my blog. Buy it at Yes, You Can 

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Posts Tagged ‘yard birds’

Yes, You Can! Holiday Giveaway

Use’s Look Inside feature to see the terrific job the art director did in designing and laying out Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too. Oh… and to get a good look at the book you might win if you enter this Holiday Giveaway!

Thank you for visiting Your Small Kitchen Garden! I love writing this blog, and I love that at least some people actually read it. In that spirit I’m giving away a copy of my book, Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too from Cool Springs Press.

I wrote Yes, You Can! last summer for people who are just starting to preserve produce—whether from their own gardens, from farmers’ markets and farm stands, or from grocery stores. Reviewers have been very kind to Yes, You Can! and (of course) I’d love to see it coach tens of thousands of gardening-, food-, and green-enthusiasts into more responsible relationships with the food chain.

Win a Signed Copy of Yes, You Can!

This giveaway has an ulterior motive: to introduce more people to Yard Birds. Here’s how it works:

I’m giving away one copy of Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too. The book’s retail value is $19.95, and I’ll cover the cost of shipping to the winner.

This is a judged contest. To enter, do the following:

1. Visit the Yard Birds store (this is a link to it)

2. Note the serial number (item number) of a Yard Bird that tickles your fancy

3. Return here and leave a comment that…

  • …includes the Yard Bird’s serial number
  • …proposes a name for the Yard Bird
  • …explains why you would give the Yard Bird that name

I was lucky to capture a photo of this small flock of Yard Birds in the artist’s yard before he sold off most of them at an annual arts festival here in Lewisburg..

How We’ll Pick the Winner

My wife and kids will select one winning entry from all the entries posted. They will read all the entries and select the one they agree is the most entertaining. Use humor, pathos, irony, wordplay… if you want to play to the audience, keep in mind that some of the judges are seriously geeky.

Our judges will not know the identities of the entrants; this is a blind judging. I’ll announce the winner on this blog as soon as the judges finish their task—probably within a day or two of the close of the contest.

Enter Now, Enter Once, Enter Again!

The Yes, You Can! Holiday Giveaway ends at midnight on December 7, 2011. We will consider only one entry per participant; if you enter more than one time, we’ll include only your LAST entry in the judging. Last entry? Sure. This contest includes an opportunity for a do-over. If, after you post your entry a much better idea pops into your head, go ahead and post another entry. We’ll enjoy all your entries, but only the very last one you post before midnight on December 7th will go to the judges… so make the last one your best!

The Prize

To be clear: I’m not giving away a Yard Bird. The prize for this giveaway is a single signed copy of my book, Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too from Cool Springs Press.

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Happy Holidays from Your Small Kitchen Garden

A Yard Bird posed for photos next to the Small Kitchen Garden family Christmas tree before shipping out to a customer the week before Christmas. Thanks to all who have purchased Yard Birds in 2009. The artist has some new ideas he plans to express in his 2010 creations.

While my small kitchen garden sleeps through the winter, I’m enjoying a laid back holiday. We’ve had various visitors at dinners or sleeping over, and we’ve had some terrific meals including beef fondue on Chirstmas eve, and a very Thanksgiving-like turkey dinner on Christmas day.

I, the kitchen gardener, have had an ear infection, and so have not been as productive as I’d like. However, I finally pulled together a holiday greeting for visitors to Your Small Kitchen Garden blog. It’s a one-minute-long video of scenes on a snowy day in the kitchen garden. I made the video with thoughts of my gardening friends who live in southern climates or coastal states and never get to experience the proverbial white Christmas.

Even more, I made this holiday video with all of my blog’s visitors in mind: Thank you for reading, for leaving comments, and for providing encouragement for me to continue the blog. As the growing season wound down, so did the blog entries… but I have plenty of material I hope to write about through the winter, and I anticipate new projects in the spring will produce a whole new series of posts. Please, keep gardening, and enjoy the season!



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Yard Bird Update

While it’s nice to have a Yard Bird standing watch to greet visitors, I think I’d go for a slightly taller sculpture for this spot. Short or tall, a Yard Bird at your door will start a lot of conversations.

Visitors to Your Small Kitchen Garden blog seem to like Yard Birds as much as I do. I introduced these handmade folk-art lawn and garden sculptures at the end of July.

A local machine repairman designs and assembles Yard Birds using parts of gardening tools and farm machinery. He sells his whimsical garden creatures on the lawn of a church during Lewisburg’s annual Festival of the Arts. Through the rest of the year, the unsold Yard Birds live in the tool shed behind his house.

Yard Birds have clearly found a second home here at Your Small Kitchen Garden. I’ve had to remove some from the Yard Bird Store, but I’ve also added several new designs. The artist has created a few small Yard Birds crafted from hand tools rather than full-sized tools. While a Yard Bird made from a typical garden shovel might stand about 20 inches tall, starting with smaller hand tools results in more demure Yard Birds running about 12 to 18 inches tall.

A big-old subwoofer in the corner of a room doesn’t add a lot to your décor… unless there’s a Yard Bird standing on it. Speakers, end tables, stereo cabinets, even spaces between chairs make great perches for these happy creatures.

As I become more involved with Yard Birds, I see more and more possibilities for them. Turns out they add just as much whimsy to a music room or a front step as they do to a garden. If there’s a large potted plant in the lobby or conference room of your office building, a Yard Bird or two would add unique conversational flare. I’d have one in my cubicle or office if I still lived the nine-to-five life.

Visit the Yard Bird Store and find your gardening or work companion.

I’ve seen some unusual artwork in people’s music rooms. Seems about time for Yard Birds to move in as well. It’s kind of fun having this inquisitive bird kibitz while I’m tickling the ivories.


When last I visited with the artist of the original Yard Bird, a group of his creations clambered out of his shed onto the lawn for a group picture. These haven’t yet made it into the on-line store, but if you see one that interests you, drop me a note and I’ll add it.


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Yard Bird Garden Sculptures

A Yard Bird stands faithfully wherever you want to add a whimsical accent to your garden or yard. ID#0001

Did I finally break down and install backyard chickens in my small kitchen garden? Not so much. But I have stumbled across some remarkable objects de arte that could fill at least some of the giant hole my lack of chickens creates: Yard Birds.

Garden Folk Art

Yard Birds are colorful and playful sculptures of unidentifiable birds (though there are a few beetles and spiders in the collection as well). A yard bird makes a terrific accent at an entryway—whether to a garden, a garden shed, a house, or an office building. A yard bird also livens up a garden by peaking out from behind foliage, rooting around in a flower bed, or taking center stage in a color-coordinated display.

Made from various pieces of gardening equipment including shovels, rakes, hoes, trowels, and parts harvested from crop-harvesting machines, Yard Birds are creations of the owner of an equipment repair shop in town. He has designed a veritable menagerie of critters which he rolls out once a year to sell during a local town festival.

A green Yard Bird can blend with your garden’s foliage, or stand out against a backdrop of flowers. ID#0002

Yard Birds for Your Garden

I spoke with the creator of Yard Birds at this year’s festival and he was happy to let me sell Yard Birds on my blog on an “as-available” basis. Each year, he seems to have about 20 Yard Birds on display, but he’ll make more as his inventory runs low.

I can’t predict what he’ll have in stock, so I’m offering to act as an agent. If you like what you see in this post, drop me an email and let me know which piece or pieces interest you. I’ll find out whether the piece is still available, and/or send photos of similar sculptures.

Prices run from $40 up to $65, depending on the complexity of their construction (sometimes a smaller piece is more expensive than a larger piece because it involves machining on a metal-working lathe). The sculptures are rigid and heavy, ranging in height from about eight inches up to three feet. Packing and shipping is likely to cost from $15 to $20 per unit.

Let me know if you’d like me to help find the right Yard Bird (or Yard Birds) for your garden, lawn, entranceway, foyer, sitting room, or cubicle. Send an email and be sure to mention the ID number of the Yard Bird that caught your eye.

I wish I had met this Yard Bird while I was working in a cubicle at Lotus Development Corporation. It would have fit in well with the propeller heads who haunted the hallways there. (The propeller doesn’t spin.) ID#0003


Forget those cheesy plastic flamingos. This Yard Bird suggests flamingo while clearly expressing its preference for gardening. ID#0004


This Yard Bird started life as a leaf rake. It’s hard not to wonder if the artist had a particular type of bird in mind when he sculpted the feathered beast. ID#0005


Not all Yard Birds are birds. This spider is bigger than any living arachnid I’d want spinning webs in my garden; and it’s quite a conversation piece. ID#0006


Most gardeners, I think, are happy to see ladybugs in their gardens and yards. This ladybug will devour any rebar-legged iron aphids that happen along. ID#0007


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