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Outdoor / Gardening / Livestock / Landscape

Our Overnight Outdoor Adventure

Last weekend Jessica, Ginger, and I braved the Great Outdoors (it is November in Nebraska, after all) with a stay at Slattery Vintage Estates Vineyard and Tasting Room about an hour from our homes in Omaha. We planned the trip as a working retreat for COOP, but also as an opportunity to drink wine, eat Read the Rest…

Nature’s Bounty, Beauty in Nehawka, Nebraska

As Jessica mentioned last week, a few of us from the COOP crew are headed to rural Nebraska for an overnight’s stay. The reason, you ask? Glamping. A girls-only glamping, to be specific. We have read about the trend of “glamorous camping” for quite some time and were curious about options near our homes in Read the Rest…

Garden Lessons Learned

Just a little FYI to everyone, gardening takes work and sometimes it isn’t successful. I’m talking from veggies to flowers. Of course you’re thinking to yourself, “way to state the obvious”. I only have one rebuttal to that which is I honestly didn’t realize it would take me several tries to start getting things right. Read the Rest…

The Vine Game

Arbors and pergolas have been around for centuries. Some clever fellow noticed that if you put a couple of vertical posts in the ground, then throw some cross beams on top, it makes a structure. The real “aha” moment came when said fellow tacked lattice to the sides and trained some climbing vines up and Read the Rest…

Country Club Updates – Patio Power

Next up on our never-ending house project to-do list is building a medium sized brick patio in our backyard. If I was perfectly honest we wouldn’t necessarily want to build the patio because it’s a ton of labor. Considering a patio project is only one of several things we’d like to update around these parts, Read the Rest…

Country Club Updates – Backyard Retreat

Or, at least that’s the goal; a retreat, a backyard oasis. We are far from that right now, but we are slowly making progress. Our house is not huge, about 1,800 square feet, which is more than enough room for two people, a dog, and a cat. When we start inviting people over it’s another Read the Rest…

The Garden Cometh

The weather has finally turned for the better here in the Midwest. For those unaware, it snowed one week ago. On May 1st. Insanity. So with that, the time has come to finally get the vegetable and herb garden going–whether using seeds started inside, or direct seeding right in your garden. As for what we Read the Rest…

Seedin’ Time

Spring is approaching rapidly, and with it, warmer temperatures and longer days. That means it’s time to start the seeds for your garden so you can get a jump-start on all of your favorite herbs and vegetables. I’ve highlighted this process before over at the old Birdhouse blog, but I clearly had no idea what Read the Rest…

Spacious Chicken Living

As Jessica mentioned in a post about a month ago, we’re upgrading our chickens to a larger area for them to be a little closer to free-range. With Lisey roaming the yard periodically, full blown free-range is obviously impossible, so this solution should work out nicely. Work has finally started, with the front and back Read the Rest…

A Chicken Upgrade

Chicken pen idea for the side of our house using horizontal slats for the front fence/gate and chicken wire and posts for the sides and double back gates. We want a double gate leading to the yard so that we can pull our tractor-style coop out and clean the area. Also, there is chicken wire Read the Rest…

Backyard Progress

With the weather cooling and the summer months well behind us, our backyard is about to change drastically. We’ve made a ton of changes to the landscape in the last two months, all in mind of the long-term appearance of our yard. The first thing we did is put up some stakes and wires to Read the Rest…

From the Pumpkin Patch

Our bench underneath our giant pine tree in the front yard. The view of the house is our neighbor’s and there is nasty sap we need to clean off so DON’T SIT THERE. A couple of weeks ago I was at a client’s house and pulled into her driveway just as she was unloading a Read the Rest…

The Iceman Cometh

Like it or not, winter is not far away. Obviously there are a lucky few of you where this really isn’t an issue. Here, however, winter is very real, and very brutal. There’s less sunlight, there’s snow, and then there are those temperatures. It’s not uncommon for the thermometer around here to stay in the Read the Rest…

Grow your own herbs. Seriously, why aren’t you?

Growing herbs at home isn’t an uncommon thing. Plenty of us pick up a basil plant each spring or summer; maybe a rosemary or mint as well. But there’s a whole world of herbs out there that cost you almost nothing to grow and take very little of your time and attention. Everything, literally everything Read the Rest…

Gardening Ain’t Easy (But It Sure Is Fun)

The last thing we want to convey to you here at COOP is that we’re know-it-alls. We most definitely don’t know it all. We make mistakes. We make the wrong choices. Jessica didn’t just roll over one morning and wake up as an amazing interior designer. And likewise, I’ve got many years to go before Read the Rest…

Post-Summer Vegetables

For some of us, September and the advent of fall brings on a sea change to our gardens. As the weather cools, vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers that thrive in the heat of summer are replaced with hardier ones. Of course, with the temperatures behaving as they have over the last few months, I’m betting Read the Rest…

Garden Party

We have lived in our house for two and a half years and have hardly done any sort of landscaping other than a few plants in the front and a vegetable garden in our backyard. For shame, I tell you! Our backyard is huge. And, we live in the city, in a older house, which doesn’t Read the Rest…

Project: Backyard

This summer has been non-stop travel for Christopher and me. From Florida to Cape Cod to Los Angeles to Napa to New Mexico, and finally, to Europe. What does all that traveling do to a person? Makes you want to travel more! Well, that, and make us miss our house and animals a lot. That Read the Rest…

Meet the Chickens

If you follow COOP on Facebook or Twitter (which you should; it’s free!), you probably noticed that we took the plunge and picked up some chickens a little over a week ago. I’ll admit it–I was pretty terrified of the idea of having them as we were driving out to Black Sheep Farms on that Sunday. Read the Rest…

Efficient Gardening

Let’s face it, keeping up a garden can be pretty time-consuming, especially the larger it gets. We’re all busy people. Busy people who often times just want to plop down in front of the TV after a long day’s work, not change clothes, go outside, and work for another hour or two in often unbearable Read the Rest…

Oak Hill Farm, Sonoma

While Jessica and I were in Sonoma last weekend for a wedding, we found ourselves with a couple hours to wander around and access to a vehicle the day of the wedding. As anyone who’s visited that area already knows, you don’t have to drive far to find beautiful landscapes and locations, whether it’s wineries or Read the Rest…

The COOP 5: Greens

The title belies how interesting greens actually are. First things first, though: The COOP 5. This is our weekly list of all kinds of subjects related to our six categories here at COOP. Be sure to check back every Friday to see what we’ve got for you. So, down to it: greens can have a Read the Rest…

The Namesake

Every week in my culinary course this spring, the curriculum focused on one subject or type of cooking. The first week we focused on one single food item. The egg. It’s understandable–it’s incredibly versatile. It can be used for flavor, as a thickener, emulsifier, or just eaten alone. Its nearly endless adaptability is recognized in Read the Rest…