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10 Surprising facts about jelly beans

Food

Unless you’re an uber-fan, you probably don’t think about jelly beans a whole lot until Easter rolls around — then the little candies take center stage. But what do you really know about these sweet pops of flavor? Here are some juicy details. It can take 7 to 14 days to make a jelly bean […]

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Electric Lawn Mowers

Garden

Andy Amrhein has literally spent a lifetime selling and maintaining gas-powered lawn equipment. The owner of Evey True Value Hardware in Bethel Park has now become a champion of electric and battery-powered mowers, blowers, trimmers and more. “The world is changing. More and more people every year are going to the electric and cordless lawnmower,” […]

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This spring, focus on rivers and streams for consistent trout action

Outdoors

Birders have their returning tree swallows, hikers and other woods walkers their skunk cabbage, gardeners their daffodils, and tree lovers their cherry blossoms. All are signs of spring. Oh, sure, the season officially began on March 20. But for plenty of people, it only really arrives when their favorite brand of marker appears. It’s the […]

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Gardening with kids – Summer

Garden

With school out, this is a great time to play in the garden with the kids. The key word is play. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories from great gardeners about how they hated weeding and planting in the hot sun under the watchful eye of a parent. It’s fun to […]

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More bad news on the ruffed grouse front

Outdoors

There’s not a lot that’s positive to report right now when it comes to ruffed grouse. Populations of the forest-dwelling bird appear to down throughout the Northeast and Midwest, according to reports from wildlife management agencies from Maryland to Michigan and all points in between. The Ruffed Grouse Society, for example, holds a “national grouse […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a photographing tip

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: NanoDry Company: Matador  Gear type: Large travel towel Product description: Fishing can get messy, especially if there are children involved. But lugging around a big, bulky towel that gets wet and muddy and stays that way is no fun. A solution? […]

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Gardening with kids – Venus Fly Trap

Garden

I can remember seeing a Venus fly trap for the first time as a child. How about you? It’s a fascinating carnivorous plant that will eat flies and other small insects. They make a great indoor plant with this caveat, they need high humidity and plenty of water. They are the antithesis of most houseplants. […]

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In the Dirt – Indoor Plants

Garden

There’s lots of research showing that indoor plants help clean the air. A NASA study showed that many common houseplants not only convert carbon dioxide into oxygen but also help filter indoor pollutants. Snake plant (mother-in-law’s tongue), pothos, spider plant, philodendrons and many others not only purify the air, they give us something to take […]

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Planning Now for Fall Bulb Planting

Garden

The stunning color of the first crocus flowers fills our hearts with joy. The cheery blooms mark the start of the garden season. But the only way to get them is by planting the bulbs in the fall. Why talk about that job now? Because this is the time to begin studying the landscape as […]

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Vegan Thai-inspired snow pea salad with peanut dressing

Food

Crunchy, colorful and full of flavor. This crisp Thai-inspired salad tossed in a mildly spicy peanut dressing is a total powerhouse of nutrition. Carrots, snow peas, cabbage, quinoa — it’s going to be your new salad obsession. You can instantly add more oomph with grilled chicken, beef, or shrimp, but it’s just as satisfying and […]

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In the Dirt – June

Garden

As we start the summer season, those first beds, baskets and containers all look great, but this month is when we begin to help them stay healthy by feeding the plants. This is especially true with containers. It’s the gardener who supplies the water and fertilizer to keep the plants happy. There are lots of […]

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Gardening with kids – Cedar Bee House

Garden

We’ve all heard that honeybees are in trouble. Gardeners are planting lots of pollinator plants in hopes of helping them, which is great. Native bees are also struggling and many are much better pollinators than the non-native European honeybee. Here’s an easy project you can do with kids that will teach them about the importance […]

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Cracking Through 8 Myths About Eggs

Food

They’re cheap, nutritious, and an essential part in the diets of billions around the world. Still, there are a lot of myths surrounding the everyday egg. Get ready for a bit of shell shock. I’m about to scramble everything you think you know about eggs. MYTH: BROWN CHICKENS LAY BROWN EGGS. Truth: The color of a […]

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Gardening with kids – Floating Flowers

Garden

The arrival of spring flowers is the perfect time to share the garden with children and what kid doesn’t like to pick flowers? They will last the longest if cut early in the morning before things warm up. Early-blooming perennials like hellebores, spring bulbs like crocus, daffodils and glory of snow all make wonderful cut […]

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Prevention, treatment of blisters key to fun hiking, backpacking

Outdoors

We encountered trouble almost from the start. Well, some of us anyway. Backpacks cinched up, we set off, putting the group camping area in our rear view mirror. Our destination, a set of Adirondack shelters, lay roughly six miles away. That’s not a great distance by backpacking standards. But half or more of the hikers […]

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Gardening with kids – Pine Cone Feeder

Garden

There’s something so special about watching kids discover nature and one way is attracting birds. There’s a fun and easy project you can do together: making a bird feeder out of pine cones. The first step is to take children on an outdoor adventure to find the pine cones. If you don’t have any in […]

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In the Dirt – August

Garden

At one point the light in the garden changes as the day gets shorter and the angle of the sun is different. It’s a prelude to the end of the season. There is no more important time for gardeners than late summer and early fall. There are all sorts of things that enjoy being planted […]

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No guarantees with moving opening day of deer season

Outdoors

It won’t be a case of playing a hunch or taking a leap of faith, necessarily. Not entirely. But some new information suggests if Pennsylvania Game Commissioners move opening day of the statewide firearms deer season from the Monday after Thanksgiving to the preceding Saturday, they’ll do so without absolute certainty how people will react. […]

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In the Dirt – November

Garden

Looking back on the season helps prepare for the next. Pansies planted in mid-March caught the cool spring rain and thrived until July. I’m so anxious when the weather breaks, I fill every container with those pansies, not leaving any room for tender annuals when the time is right. I’m always looking ahead to the […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a tip for camping with children

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: Platinum curly tail grub Company: Mister Twister (https://www.mistertwister.com/) Lure type: Soft plastic Sizes and colors: Available in 3.5- and 4.5-inch models in nine colors, including clear/goldfish, clear/chartreuse flake, clear silver flake/red flake, chartreuse silver flake/black and clear/neon pink silver flake Target […]

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Early spring seed sowing

Garden

With two days of rain in the forecast, and warmer weather on the horizon, the perfect combination was in place to begin planting the spring garden. It’s exhilarating to be back in the cool soil after another long winter. Although traditionally St. Patrick’s Day has been the benchmark for an initial planting of peas, there’s […]

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14 Fun facts about Peeps

Food

Forget groundhog shadows and tulips. The first real signs of spring are bright yellow Peeps stocking the shelves at your local grocery store. Marshmallow Peeps are everyone’s favorite non-chocolate Easter candy — they even outsell jelly beans! Americans will eat 1.5 billion Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies this spring, but what do you really know about these […]

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Easy Tie-Dye Easter Eggs

Food

When Easter rolls around, everyone wants to get in on the fun of dying eggs. It’s a much-anticipated spring holiday tradition for many kids and families. Some treat it lightly, purchasing the dye kit at the grocery store, happy to apply some soft colors to those crisp, white eggshells. Others, like myself, take the tradition […]

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9 Genius food-related inventions created by women

Food

From frozen pizza to coffee filters, women inventors throughout history found it difficult to get the patents — and the recognition — they deserved. But these nine brilliant women, and their inventions, persevered and helped advance the food industry. Today, of course, women’s contributions to the industry are immeasurable, but in honor of National Women’s […]

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Spring gobbler tips from the Turkey Man

Outdoors

Turkeys took Eddie Salter all over the map in the past five decades, literally. He’s hunted the birds in 33 states. But then, his life has revolved around the birds forever it seems. The Greenville, Ala., native – known as “The Turkey Man” — started hunting turkeys at age 8 and killed his first at […]

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Releasing fish so they live to breed, fight again

Outdoors

You’ll feel good. Not outright heroic maybe, but certainly noble to at least some degree, believing you’ve done right by conservation and fishing. And maybe you have. Releasing fish you’ve caught can help sustain wild populations and, in the case of stocked fish – like all of those hatchery trout being released in so many […]

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