Category Archives: Yard & garden

For Your Backyard: The Blaze Tower, Made in the USA

As we reach the end of July, there is still plenty of time to be outside enjoying the summer. Here’s a new way to “gather around the hearth” with family and friends.

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do! When I saw the Blaze Tower Kit, it was love at first sight. A fire pit, a grill and smoker all rolled into one! Made of 3/16″ thick American steel, the Blaze includes a thermometer for getting the perfect cooking temperature, a hanger for smoking meats and screens if you just want to sit back, relax and be mesmerized by the fire.If you have a few clear square feet to set the unit up (it takes two people to assemble the Blaze), then it really doesn’t matter if you are sitting water side, mountain side or in a small backyard with your nosey neighbors looking over the fence -because you will have your very own private outdoor fire pit.While my cooking skills over an open fire are pretty much limited to potatoes wrapped in foil, hot dogs and marshmallows (I love it when they go up in a ball of fire and you wait till every inch is covered in black), I can’t help but think that this multi purpose unit might inspire me to try something really daring like double stuffed baked potatoes or anything smoked.

If you are serious about the outdoors and spending time with your loved ones or best buds, then give this unit a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed..

Regards,

Paul

 

Kalamazoo Grills: Made in Michigan

Spring is in full bloom here in the Northeast and the outdoor grilling season has begun. So, when I saw these American-Made grills, smokers and pizza ovens offered by Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, I knew I had to bring them to your attention.

I really like the stainless steel finish and the robustness of the products. Of course, I am also impressed by the dedication of the owner to keep the business in the USA when so many companies are moving offshore. That’s what motivates us to write this blog. When I saw this smoker all I could think about a was how useful it would be at the annual food orgy one of my friend organizes. He calls it Moo,  Cluck and Squeal and the event centers on smoking /grilling brisket, chicken and ribs.Pizza is one of those foods that I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the pizza oven from Kalamazoo is something I really would love to own.If you are a purist and want to cook with wood or charcoal, then the Gaucho Grill is perfect for you. You control the cooking temperature by adjusting the height of the grill surface.

Now, not all of us can afford these high-end grills (the stand-alone smoker above is more than $13,000), but when finances allow and if you love to cook outdoors, you owe it to yourself to check out the range of products available.

Happy grilling.

Regards,

Paul

Tackling The Wood Pile The All-American Way

This past weekend I spent time doing two of my favorite things: riding my bicycle and working outdoors on my wood pile. We recently had some tree work done and there are lots of logs that need to be moved and split.  councilaxeMy Council Velvicut felling axe.

I split wood with a maul, wedge and sledgehammer. No hydraulic splitters for me, I love doing the work and being outside with some great music playing in the background.

I also use a Council Velvicut felling axe, shown above, which is manufactured in the USA and has a handle made of American Hickory. Council is celebrating 130 years in business and it’s a brand I really like. I own several products and the quality is excellent. Check out some of their other products:SledgehammerSledgehammerHookaroonHookaroonAxesRailsplitter Axes

PickaxesPickhead Axes

You can find a number of other Council Tool Products here.

I like to think that I use my tools hard but don’t abuse them. I’ll end up replacing a handle here and there but, oh, the satisfaction of doing the work yourself makes it worthwhile.

Regards,

Paul

Tough-Guy Garden Benches: Made in USA

Are you tired of prissy white garden benches with Victorian styling? Do you want a manly man’s bench from which to preside over your tomato plants?  Recycled Salvage design is the place for you.SalvagedBench2The recycled creations that come out of this Texas shop are one-of-a-kind, gritty as all get-out and just perfect for the tough-guy gardener or farmer who wants to make a statement.
SalvagedBench9SalvagedBench3Commonly used items include the tailgates from old American pick-up trucks. SalvagedBench5Salvaged chains, springs and signs are also used.SalvagedBench6 This bench was made from wrenches left over from the Texas oil boom.

To see all the benches, head over to Recycled Salvage design.

Big Sale at Hayneedle Features American-Made Outdoor Furnishings

If you’re looking to spruce-up your outdoor space, now’s your time to pounce. Hayneedle is having a big sale that features a variety of American-made benches, outdoor tables, Adirondack chairs, fire pits and more.  See them all here.

imageThe sale includes items like Uwharrie furniture…
imageMultiple brands of fire-pits… image60s style furniture from Groovystuff…
imageGarden benches made from recycled materials, and more.