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Author Merit Badge Awardees - Woo-hoo Sisters!:  Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badge Awardees 
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  11:33:45 AM  Show Profile
Tasha-Rose Mirick #88 has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an intermediate level Shopping Green badge!

"I have already been cleaning my home, from the get go, using non toxic cleaners and only buy products that aren't going to be harmful. I am always on the look out for better ways of doing the things I do, too!

Clean home and healthy family!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  11:36:26 AM  Show Profile
Tasha-Rose Mirick #88 has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an expert level Shopping Green badge!

"I have a local chapter, but I am a member standing alone! I am in a swap presently for reusable shopping bags and I often give talks about switching to using cloth in your entire home for as many things as possible. I recently had a woman approach me who had taken my class about cloth in the home two years ago. She mentioned because of that class the only thing they aren't using in their home in a cloth capacity is their toilet paper. She made the switch to cloth bags, her daughter got cloth diapers from her when she had her baby and she is doing everything she can to convince women she knows to switch to cloth menstrual products!

How has it turned out? Famously! I love telling people about the things they can do to make a positive change for the planet, their pocketbooks, their health and their community!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  11:39:40 AM  Show Profile
Tasha-Rose Mirick #88 has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an intermediate level Going Green badge!

"I give talks quite often about non-toxic cleaning at local events. At these events I always raffle off a box of everything I use in my home to clean, plus a few goodies to help make it fun, including the recipes, an apron, gloves that have been glammed up and a handmade soy candle.

I have been making my own laundry powder, dryer sachets and soap for years and have kept a toxic cleaner-free home since moving in.

It's lovely! My home is clean, we all breathe easy, and I don't fear cleaning or what the cleaners might do to us if I can't open a window in the wintertime!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  11:48:36 AM  Show Profile
Tasha-Rose Mirick #88 has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Backyard Farmer badge!

"I have a flock of guinea hens, Black Langshans, and mixed breed birds. I keep right around 100 birds consisting mostly of hens. I have 5 roosters. Our eggs are so amazing! I get sad in the cold months when I don't have many eggs from our birds. I have to go buy eggs — organic, but not nearly as tasty as homegrown. Our feed supplier is Buckwheat Growers out of Wadena, MN. To my understanding they are the only organic feed supplier in MN. It's a long drive, about 120 miles round-trip to load up on feed for all of our animals, but it's well worth it!

Our eggs are to die for! Fantastic omelets, amazing quiche, lovely cakes and the best scrambled eggs you've ever had, especially if they are made using fresh goat milk!!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  11:51:17 AM  Show Profile
Tasha-Rose Mirick #88 has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an intermediate level Backyard Farmer badge!

"I keep goats, Alpines and Boers. The Alpines are our milk nannies. Their names are Tulip and Daisy, mother and daughter. I knew how to milk already upon getting them, so when Grace asked to learn, I let her try. It took some getting use to, but she got it eventually and now this summer, one of her chores is goat-milking!!

Goat milk is so lovely and fresh tasting!!

As for rare chicken breeds, Rob and I have decided that we are addicted to Black Langshans after our experience in hatching them last season. This year our Langshans are segregated from the rest of the flock so we can continue in hatching out this dying breed.

Langshans are gorgeous with their black and iridescent greenish-blue feathers. They are enormous birds and the best part — the hawks are afraid of them!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  11:52:55 AM  Show Profile
Tasha-Rose Mirick #88 has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an expert level Backyard Farmer badge!

"When I need to purchase meat, I purchase from Shamp's meat market. The Shamp family is a long time family friend of our family and they are local growers. This past fall we culled our first goat and have culled chickens as long as we have kept them. I gave a community ed evening class recently (November) that was attended by the local editor of our paper. The topic was meat and milk. There are a number of factory farms around our area and it is saddening to me.

Our food is so healthy and tasty and the best part is that we know where it comes from and how the animals have been treated! I could never go back to buying commercial meats and dairy."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  12:42:46 PM  Show Profile
Cheryl Severeide #309 has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Sew Wonderful badge!

"I gathered sewing items for a sewing kit for my daughter — buttons, thread, scissors, needles, pins — and put them in a cute black floral tin.

It turned out cute and a start for her to keep handy to use. I gave it to her when I saw her last weekend in Washington. She was very pleased."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  12:52:16 PM  Show Profile
Cheryl Severeide #309 has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Buttoned Up badge!

"I was given some buttons of my grandmother's when she passed away. I remember sorting them as a child with her. I have been adding to them by purchasing from thrift stores, yard sales and have accumulated a large wooden bowl full.

I keep finding buttons in boxes at thrift stores and cut old ones from clothing before recycling them. I love using them in my hand-crafted dolls and displaying them in my home."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  1:00:37 PM  Show Profile
Cheryl Severeide #309 has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Heirlooms Forever! badge.

"I have been purchasing heirloom seeds to plant in my Spring garden. I have read Lynn Coulter's book and plan to plant only heirloom seeds and organics this year. 1/2 will be heirloom.

I have been exchanging seeds with other MJ farmgirls and have great expectations for a very big garden."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  1:12:04 PM  Show Profile
Cheryl Severeide #309 has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Backyard Farmer badge!

"Raising chickens since January 2009. Selling extra eggs. Feeding them organic feed and they forage the farm for extra yummies.

I will raise 7 more chickens for laying eggs. Built them a nice coop with help from my husband."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2009 :  3:07:35 PM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Lend a Hand to Families badge!

"I spent over 10 hours this week helping out an elderly farmgal friend/neighbor of mine. She is 85 years young, and was raised in the house in which she lives, used to milk, farm, tend chickens and raise kids. Her yard was full of sticks from a recent storm and she is not in the best health to be out bending over, lugging timber, so I went over and picked up sticks for 2 days. Then I started to clear out her front flower beds. I started this project on March 21. Worked the 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 28th. A total of 10-ish hours."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  09:39:23 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Public Service badge!

"On the 2nd Tuesday of March, I attended my first township meeting in regards to a new ballpark being built on the old school site. Votes were cast as to whom should be in charge of clearing the land."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  09:40:49 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Farmgirl Gratitude badge!

"My journal started October 13, 2008 and was supposed to end November 13, 2008. However, I could not pass up the opportunity to remind myself every day how blessed I really am. Here are some excerpts from that time period:
~~Today I am grateful for the dark chocolate brown egg I got from my Welsummer, Mocha. I am reminded of His great work and the beauty of everyday life.
~~Today I received a phone call from a farmgirl hen-fren in Missouri. I treasure the easy laughter we shared.
~~Today I am grateful for my family, because even when I'm in the worst of moods, they still love me."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  09:42:48 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level Know Your Food badge!

"This badge was earned while the Mavens read 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle', by Barbara Kingsolver. Here are some excerpts of the good, the bad, and the ugly:

*Breakfast: Cereal, milk.
*Lunch: Schwan's frozen ravioli and water.
*Supper: Chicken and dumplings, green beans, bread, butter and milk.
*Snacks: Handful of Dorito's, ice cream,a donut at work, gum, water.

*Breakfast: Nothing, running late.
*Lunch: Schwan's frozen chicken, rice, broccoli & cheese; water.
*Supper: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, bread, butter, milk.
*Snacks: Protein shake, trail mix, ice cream.

*Breakfast: Bagel & cream cheese.
*Lunch: Individual frozen pizza.
*Supper: Cereal and milk.
*Snacks: No snacks today.

I learned that I'm a very sporadic eater, and I eat portions that are double or triple the size I need. I also learned that I'm addicted to ice cream..."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  09:44:08 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level ChillOver ComeOver badge!

"I made MJ's ChillOver for Christmas. I made the juice wiggles for the kids. I used cranberry and orange juice. Very tasty and a huge hit with the nieces!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  09:58:15 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level Organic on a Budget badge!

"In December, I ordered the Budget Mix. I have to admit I was afraid to try it for quite some time. Then in January, 2009, I made blueberry pancakes. May I die and go to Heaven, they were sooooo good! Light, fluffy and melt in your mouth. The only thing I didn't like is that they don't turn a golden brown like my other pancakes do.

I've also been perimeter shopping for 4 months. I love doing one loop and being on my way! I also love the way fresh food looks in my cart... tons of color!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  10:01:58 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level Bustin' Out badge!

"Again, as part of the Maven chapter and reading 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle', we decided to try organic food for a week. I started off really easy with organic yogurt. Then I purchased organic beans in a can, and 3 different organic veggies at the store. My 16 year old daughter even commented on the taste of dinner that night, stating that the carrots were 'really tasty'! I then purchased organic milk, and organic turkey.

I cannot say enough about the taste. Delicious! We continue to purchase organic veggies, fruit and dairy, although, finding the meat has been a challenge."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  10:04:26 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level Get It Together badge!

"Okay. The Mavens are coming! The Mavens are coming! Yep, gathering at my house this spring. So I needed to spring into action before hosting 7 or more farmgirls. I cleaned out all my cupboards, pitched/recycled the lids that had no mates. Reorganized my cupboards into the following categories: Breakfast/Snacks, Cooking/Canned Goods, and Baking/Spices. A place for everything and everything in its place. Who da thunk it??"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  10:07:39 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth badge!

"Okay, so I already HAD a garden 10'x6'. Well, now I really have a garden. Over 1/4 acre to plant; tons of food to save, eat and share. I have not used any pesticides for 3 years on my gardens, and am reading up on homemade bug control and companion gardening!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  10:10:04 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Gaining Ground badge!

"I started my compost pile last November. We haven't had much rain until lately. My hubby laughs hysterically at me, because I will don rain gear to go pick up worms and put them in the pile. Imagine, a 38 year old worm wrangler out in the rain!

We are now 4 months into it and to be honest, I think I need help. I tried turning and layering, but nothing looks like it's breaking down well. Time will tell, I suppose."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  10:11:31 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Backyard Farmer badge!

"I have chickens! And getting more! I started out with 10 baby peeps and now have a rainbow of colors (hens and eggs). I sell my eggs locally and allow them free range when possible. Nothing beats a fresh egg! YUM YUM!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  10:13:26 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a beginner level Disconnect to Reconnect badge!

"I unplugged for the weekend of March 18-21, 2008. Well, technically it was Wednesday through Saturday. I went to WV for the weekend, to relax, sleep, and clear my head. I had no cellular signal, no TV, radio, or electric. I slept most of that time. It was heavenly."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  10:16:02 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an intermediate level Going Green badge!

"I have made my own laundry soap per the Farmgirl Connection. I've been using it since late last summer, and love, love, love it. I have saved about $60 since I started this and my skin has cleared up, and my clothes seem to be lasting longer and looking better as well. I've also switched to homemade bath soap, and make all my own cleaners utilizing white vinegar, baking soda, sea salt, and essential oils. I even scrubbed my vinyl flooring with club soda (out of the Farmer's Almanac) and yes, it DOES sparkle! Once a week I add a 1/2 cup baking soda to my toilets and let it sit. I swish it around and flush and the bowls stay cleaner.

I will not go back to the chemical aisle again! I also utilize a clothesline whenever possible to dry my laundry. Sometimes I have to defrost slightly frozen clothes, but it's worth it!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2009 :  10:17:25 AM  Show Profile
Dawn McKinney #279 has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level Self-sufficiency badge!

"Last summer I dried my basil, rosemary, mints and sage. I made up a chocolate-mint blend that I incorporate into my homemade cocoa mix which also includes ChillOver powder as opposed to pudding. I also made up a baby bath 'tea' of comfrey, hops, calendula, lavender, and chickweed for my girlfriend's new baby to play in! All those herbs are soothing to the skin, and safe if ingested."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2009 :  3:32:59 PM  Show Profile
René Groom #185 has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Little Squirts badge!

"To earn my beginner badge I first researched the lubricant that I was going to use. I wanted an all-purpose one that was also safe for the environment. I found one called Tom’s Secret Formula by Camie-Campbell. Then I walked around giving each door hinge a good oiling. I had never realized how many doors I have in the house. Nor how many of them needed a little “help”.

Then I was onto the bikes in the garage – which actually turned out to be a bigger project then I had thought it might as I wasn’t quit sure what exactly to oil. I remember as a young girl waiting for my grandpa to oil the chains and I thought the wait would kill me. So I headed back into the house and did a search on the topic, here is what I found:

Step1 -Place the bicycle over newspapers or in a place that can get dirty.
Step2 -Lean the bike against something so that the pedals can still turn freely.
Step3 -Hold a rag under the chain to prevent lube from dripping onto the wheel.
Step4 - Using a bike specific lubricant drip a drop of oil onto each roller of the chain. It is best to apply lube to the part of the chain that touches the gears. Avoid lubing the gears of the bike, they don't need it and excess lube can cause them to wear out quickly.
Step5 -Slowly spin the pedal backwards while continuing to drip lube onto the chain.
Step6 - Once the chain is covered entirely in a thin coating of lube stop lubing!
Step7 - Grab the chain lightly with a rag and spin the pedals backwards. This removes excess lube that can attract dirt and wear out your chain.
Step8 - Wipe any excess or splattered oil off the bike with a rag paying special attention to the rim.

Now that I was an expert in how to oil a bike chain and our bikes were now duly oiled, I headed out to my garden tools. I feel dumb admitting that I had never oiled my tools at the end of the season before storing them away... but, I hadn’t. So, back to my trusty computer: Here is the article that I found on DIY.
Old sayings stay around because there's lots of truth in them. A perfect example is "if you take care of your tools, they'll take care of you". The secret to having garden tools you can count on year after year is to buy good quality tools to start with, and then maintain them. If you do those two things, your children will still be using your garden tools long after you've stopped gardening. Taking care of your gardening tools isn't hard and it just takes a few minutes and some common household products.
Here's all you'll need to take care of your garden tools:
• Work gloves and safety goggles
• A bastard file(8 or 10 inches)
• Wire brush
• Cloths or rags
• Linseed oil or water replacement lubricant
• Drop cloths or newspapers
The main enemies of all garden tools are moisture (causes rust), and poor or inadequate maintenance that prevents them from doing their job properly or causes them to wear and break. So, the trick to maintaining your gardening tools is to prevent moisture and wear from attacking them. Here are some basic fundamentals for keeping your gardening tools around for a long time.
• Clean your tools after each use
• Store your tools off the ground and in a dry place
• Remove any rust that forms on a tool
• Keep wooden handles smooth by sanding and oiling them
• Keep cutting edges sharp
• Before putting them away for the winter clean them well and give them a coating of oil.

Sharpening Shovels and Hoes
In addition to removing any clumps of dirt and drying off the head, digging tools need to be kept sharp so they're easy to work with. Depending on how much digging you actually do, this can be a once a year job or once a month. If you need to dig through any roots, it's nice to have a sharp shovel.
When sharpening a shovel you only need to sharpen the upper edge of the shovel. A straightforward way to do this is to fasten the shovel into a large vise with the head near the vise and facing up. Start at one side of the shovel and, holding your file at a 45-degree angle to the edge of the shovel and pointing towards the middle, make four or five strokes. Move your file in an inch or two towards the center and repeat the motions until you get to the middle of the shovel. Once you reach the center, move over to the other outside edge and once again work your way back into the middle of the shovel.
Once you've sharpened the shovel, spray it with oil or a lubricant and wipe all over the surface with a cloth. The oil will prevent the fresh edge from rusting.
Sharpen hoes in the same way. Use a file on one side only; work slowly from one edge to the other and finish by giving the head a quick run with oil to prevent rust.

Pruners
There are two basic styles of pruners, bypass or anvil. While both have a single cutting surface, the cutting blade on bypass pruners slides past a blunt edge, while on anvil pruners the cutting blade butts into a flat solid surface. Anvil pruners are good for cutting branches or solid stalks while bypass pruners work better on thinner stalks and branches. On either design you only need to sharpen one cutting edge.
Good quality pruners are easy to take apart for cleaning or sharpening. They usually have a screw at the base of the jaws that can be removed. Once removed the cutting blade can be sharpened using a whetstone or even a kitchen knife sharpener. After you've sharpened the blade spread some oil on it to prevent rust before reassembling the pruners.

Long Wooden Handles
The wooden handles of rakes, hoes and shovels need maintenance as well. Over time, the wood will dry out and begin to splinter. You can ensure the wooden handles of your garden tools don't ever do this by sanding the handles with medium grade sandpaper (100 grit) and then rubbing the handle with linseed oil. You can do this anytime of the year, but it provides extra value when you are putting your tools away for the winter. Cold air tends to draw moisture out of the wood so the extra protection provided by the linseed oil keeps the handles from drying out and splintering.

Gardening books or magazines will give you lots of innovative ideas about things you can do to maintain your gardening tools. Things like putting your long-handled tools into a capped plastic pipe filled with linseed oil or storing your digging tools head down in a bucket of sand that's had a quart of old motor oil poured in. Undoubtedly these ideas will work, but when you think about it, all you're trying to do is prevent the handles from drying out and the metal from rusting. You don't really need to go to those extremes, just follow the basic ideas we've talked about here, and you'll be working with your garden tools for years to come.

I followed each step.

This Spring I went and dug out my tools. They were all in such great shape."
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