How to Make the Most of Your Backyard

Many people often underutilize their backyard space, sometimes overlooking the potential it may have due to its awkward shape, or maybe because the area is considered too small. However, there are numerous tricks and hacks you can apply to create a beautiful and usable space. 

Read on for our quick guide on How to Make the Most of Your Backyard.

Create Multiple Levels

Pushed for space? Then install multiple levels to create an illusion of space. Adding raised platforms and steps which take you from one place to the next can really make your backyard feel and look bigger, even though in reality, you’re still working within those four same walls (or fences…)

Creating more than one level can give you a designated dining or social space, a BBQ/ Pizza Oven area, a space for plants and flowers, or maybe even a hot tub. 

Create Multiple Levels

Build Around a Focal Point or Key Feature

Adding a large visual to create a focal point in your backyard can also help to make the remaining space seem bigger. This could be a water feature or an arrangement of plant pots, for example, immediately catching the attention of guests and giving the yard an anchor point. 

This can also be achieved with a unique seating area, as a corner bench can be a valuable space saver and an attractive, modern feature. Perhaps even a pergola or canopy to offer some shade in the summer months, fabricating a Meditteranean feel.  


Keep It Minimal

A sure-fire way to make an area feel small and confined is unnecessary clutter and a lack of floor space. Many people pack their backyards with ornaments, plants, additional seating, and gadgets which makes the area unwelcoming and claustrophobic. Therefore, we recommend a minimal design that uses clever techniques to fool the eye. 

Using a limited color palette can work wonders in terms of achieving a clean and minimal look, in addition to adopting simple, horizontal lines which can make the area feel more spacious and add depth. 


Use Lighting To Create Atmosphere

If you are looking to design a comfortable evening space to dine and welcome guests then the lighting can really make or break the environment. Subtle lighting can contribute to an ambient atmosphere, while still providing enough illumination for even the darkest winter evenings. 

As with all electrical installations, it is important to seek the help of an expert, so if you are based in and around Silicon Valley we highly recommend Sod Home Group for professional landscape lighting in San Jose.

Divide Your Yard Into Different Areas

You might think that splitting an already small space into even smaller areas is illogical, but designating areas for a specific use and employing clever design tricks can help make your backyard feel much bigger. 

One idea could be to section off an outdoor eating space, which acts as an extension to your kitchen or dining room, while the rest of your yard acts as a completely different area for gardening or lounging. Many Americans have also…

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Homemade Cheap Chicken Watering System Project

This step by step tutorial of how to make a homemade cheap chicken watering system project is helpful to chicken flock owners.

This irrigation project is the perfect solution to watering issues and costs under $40. The project is designed to provide a simple and easy to follow blueprint that can be easily completed in an afternoon and potentially save hundreds of dollars over commercially available systems.

Homemade Cheap Chicken Watering System Project
Homesteading can be one of the most rewarding ways of life for those who have what it takes to get the most that they can out of what the land and life gives them. Your typical homesteaders live very simple lives and look to make what they have stretch as far as they can.

This includes being able to raise farm animals which they use both for food and livelihood for many. Being able to provide their chickens with adequate water is very important, but commercial water systems can be very expensive.

Here is a chicken watering system that you can buy:

RentACoop 5 Gallon/ 4 Automatic Chicken Nipple Water Cup Chicken Waterer (Corner Placement):

Benefits of following the Do It Yourself Project – Chicken Watering System for Under $40

● Project includes a complete list of all necessary supplies, materials and tools

● Includes suggestions on where to acquire the items if necessary

● Includes a very detailed step by step instruction guide to help out the beginner DIY’er

● Has numerous full color images and diagrams to help illustrate some of the steps

Click here to read about how to make Homemade Cheap Chicken Watering System DIY Project.

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What do the crops you know from the shops look like before harvest? Some photos will surprise you

The time when we only knew fruits and vegetables that grew in our climate is long gone. Thanks to globalisation and the possibilities of fast transport, food from all over the world has gradually made its way to every possible country and state.

Most of the exotic crops we never had the opportunity to see for ourselves in the run-up to the harvest. We have therefore selected images that may surprise many of you.

Kiwi, bananas, peanuts or pistachios. No news, we all know what they taste like. They are commonly found in our kitchens. As well as the increasingly popular avocado, which is the most popular in the world and is consumed in California. Avocado sandwiches are very popular in Hollywood and are making their way into many hipster bistros.

Yet avocados are still one of those crops we know neatly stacked on supermarket shelves. But how does it grow? On a tree, a bush, a field? And what about the wasabi we most often encounter in sushi? All these questions are answered in our gallery.

Which crop surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments!








Brussels sproutsBrussels sprouts

sesame seedssesame seeds







black pepperblack pepper


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Canning Cherries in Apple Juice Recipe


On average, as a very rough guideline, expect to need about 1  kg (2.5 lbs) of cherries per 1 litre (US quart) jar of canned cherries

  • 8  (17.5 lbs) of cherries = 7 litres (US quarts) canned cherries
  • 5  kg (11 lbs ) of cherriess = 9 x ½ litres (US pints) canned cherries

Quality: Select bright, uniformly colored cherries that are mature (of ideal quality for eating fresh or cooking).

Canning Cherries in Apple Juice Recipe

  1. Prepare a very large pot or bowl of water that has been acidulated (by adding lemon juice or ascorbic acid.)
  2. Wash the cherries, stem them, and pit them.

  3. Place pitted cherries in that acidulated water to prevent the exposed flesh from browning.

  4. Continue until all your cherries are prepped.

  5. Remove cherries from water, drain well.

  6. Measure them as you put them into a pot.

  7. For each 750 g (1 litre / 1 quart / 4 cups volume / 1 ½ lbs) of fruit you put into the pot, you will add 125 ml (½ cup / 4 oz) of water.

  8. Bring this pot to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes until all cherries are heated through (don’t cook them.)

  9. Pack cherries into jars.

  10. Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.

  11. Top up with the water you boiled them in from the pot or if there isn’t enough, clean boiling water (such as from a kettle, for instance).

  12. Leave 2 cm (½ inch) headspace after being filled with liquid.

  13. Debubble, adjust headspace.

  14. Wipe jar rims.

  15. Put lids on.

  16. Process in a water bath or steam canner.

  17. Processing time: ½ litre (US pint) jars for 15 minutes; litre (US quart) jars for 20 minutes. Increase time as needed for your altitude.

Can I use cornstarch or some other type of thickener while canning?
This is a great question, and undoubtedly the one I get THE MOST on this topic! The answer is NO, it is recommended that no starch should be added during the canning process.

It really only takes about 3 minutes to thicken the syrup when you go to use it, so I like to air on the side of caution and “follow the rules” on this one!


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40 Ways to Use Garbage Bags in Emergencies

Unfortunately with the help of TV programming, many people have the misconception that prepping has to be an expensive undertaking. This is simply not true. Especially when you consider all the dirt-cheap “gems” we find in emergency prepping such as garbage bags.


Check out the 40 uses for garbage bags I’ve found to be most useful in an emergency situation:

  1. Set Up as a Rain Catcher
  2. Use as a Poncho
  3. Waterproof Shoes by Covering with Bag and Tying Around the Ankle
  4. Emergency Shelter (with multiples)
  5. Fill with Leaves and Climb In for Emergency Sleeping Bag (or sleep on top to use as mattress – keeping the cold ground from sucking the heat out of you)
  6. Store Food In
  7. Use as a Sling
  8. Use as a Swimming Suit so You Keep Clothing Dry (how stylish)
  9. Store Garbage (duh)
  10. Store Toilet Paper and other Paper Supplies to Keep Dry
  11. Use as a Windbreaker
  12. Use as a Sun Jacket
  13. Cut a Strip with Two Slits for Your Eyes and Tie Around Your Face Like Zorro for Make-Shift Sunglasses (it worked for the Inuits, it’ll work for you)
  14. Use as Compression Bandage
  15. Fill with Water for Storage (short term)
  16. Use as Tent Floor/Ground Cloth
  17.  Tape Edges of Bag to the Edges of Your Window Frame to Blackout Windows (must be heavy duty to shield light)
  18. Use as a Backpack
  19. Use to Create Shade from Sun
  20. Use as Porta-Sink
  21. Use to Wash Clothes In
  22. Mix Ingredients for Cooking In It
  23. Seal Off Room with Multiple Bags and Tape to Quarantine an Ill Person
  24. Turn Off Water and Line Toilets with Bags (or line 5 gallon buckets)
  25. Store Newspaper for Future Use as Fire Starter (keeping it dry)
  26. Use for Concealment by Wearing Over Clothes at Night (black garbage bags)
  27. Cover Wounds with Gauze and Wrap with Strips of Garbage Bag
  28. Fill with Water, Tie to a Tree Branch and Poke Small Holes into the Bottom – You’ve Got an Emergency Shower
  29. Use as Disposable Gloves for Cleaning
  30. Use as a Tourniquet
  31. Wrap Around Cloth Gloves to Make Waterproof
  32. Fill with Water, Place in a Ditch then Add Hot Stones to Sterilize Water for Drinking (stones need to be hot enough to boil the water)
  33. Great Bartering Item
  34. Use them as Sterile Surface to Prepare Food
  35. Use as Emergency Signal
  36. Fill with Cold Water and Use as Cold Compress for Injuries (same can be said with hot water)
  37. Use as Ties for Splints
  38. While Wearing Socks, Step Into Two Layers of Bags to Use as Shoes
  39. Use as Diapers (line with toilet paper)
  40. Stuff Inside Your Clothing for Insulation

So there you have it. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Garbage bags are no exception. Many of these uses go for plastic grocery bags as well. So start hoarding and stock up on those garbage bags. You never know when one of these 40 will be applicable to you. Have more uses for your garbage bags? Leave them in the comments below.

Kirkland Signature Drawstring Trash Bags – 33 Gallon – Xl Size – 90 Count

Black Garbage Bags, 33×39, 33 Gallon, 100/Case, 1.7 Mil