How to Have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back

Book Review: How to Have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back
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How to Have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back is a great primer for the garden mulch method of using wood chips to prepare your soil.

I think this has a lot of potential for us lazy gardeners as when I used this method weeds pulled out easily and my tomatoes were awesome.

I tried this method a few years ago with my raised bed garden.  It worked great.  Over time the wood chips degrade and fertilize the soil.

There is a scare about the decaying wood sucking up nutrients from the soil, but it isn’t as bad as people think and it is limited to the very top of the the dirt.

Leather Thumb Guard for Carving Review

Leather Thumb Guard for Carving
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When carving my first spoon with a hook-knife, I learned very quickly that my thumb and fingers needed protection.  I quickly bought a leather thumb guard so that I could carve without hurting myself.

The thumb guard I bought was an add-on item from Amazon, meaning it was so inexpensive I had to buy other items before they would ship it.  I rose to the challenge and bought a bunch of other neat stuff so I could make the video shown in this post.

Basically the thumb guard is just a leather patch that has elastic sewn onto it so that it forms a glove around your thumb.

This allow you to press against the double edged hook knife blade to carve with power and control but without pain.

I should have bought this when I got my knife, but I didn’t think it was necessary – boy was I wrong.  This tool really saved my thumb and made carving easier.

A thumb guard is not strictly necessary, but neither are shoes.  Once you have some you don’t want to go around without them.  They really make a difference in safety and comfort.

How to Use the Grilling Touch Test to Determine if Your Steak is Done

How to Use the Grilling Touch Test to Determine if Your Steak is Done


52 Unique Techniques for Stocking Food for Prepper
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This is a quick tip that makes grilling so much easier. Of course if I was cooking commercially, or for people that were very litigious I would use a cooking thermometer and poke holes all in the meat – as it is much more accurate.

For the rest of us, this post on the grilling touch test to check streak to see if it is done works very well.

Meat is muscle – and is obviously under no tension as it sits on the plate raw – if your hand is open and relaxed the meat at the base of your thumb is also meat without tension. If you use your finger and poke the meat it will have the same give and springiness as the base of your thumb.

As the meat cooks it will toughen and have less give.  Likewise, your thumb muscle will tense as you move it.  Consequently, the farther you move it the tougher it feels.   Which is why this tip works


  • Your thumb relaxed equals raw meat
  • Next, your thumb touching your index finger will tense the meat at the base of your thumb slightly which replicates rare meat
  • Then, your thumb touching the tip of your middle finger replicates medium rare meat
  • Thumb to the tip of your ring finger replicates the feel of medium meat.
  • Finally, if you stretch your thumb over to close with the tip of your pinky your hand will tense so that the base of your thumb will be as tight as well done meat.

Try it – you will be amazed….