Upcoming Seattle Tilth Events and Classes

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Seattle tilth fall classes

The Seattle Tilth is such a cool organization. They inspire and educate people to safeguard our natural resources while building an equitable and sustainable local food system. They have been providing hands-on education in organic agriculture for 36 years. They believe that all people deserve access to healthy, nutritious food and that changing the way in which we grow, cook and eat food has the potential to transform people’s lives as well as the communities in which we live. Check out what classes and events they have coming up:

KidsEdRBUFW 2Announcing Enhanced Garden Educator Workshops
The Seattle Tilth is partnering with the University of Washington’s College of Education to include a new component to their Garden Educator Workshops this fall. Join them to learn about incorporating Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core requirements in your garden education lessons and learn about useful resources and teaching techniques. They have an upcoming workshop on November 22. Or ignite your children’s passion for the natural world with hands-on learning in their school garden and farm tours.

Seattle Tilth Garden Drive
This fall, go beyond the old school canned food drive and join their Just Garden program’s Garden Drive! Invite members of your congregation, school or workplace to support food garden construction for families and communities facing hunger in King County.

Compost BinsFall Classes:

Composting
Fall is a great time to gather materials and learn how to create your own compost — join our final composting class for the year and take part in building a hot compost pile.
Composting 101 Sat. Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-noon

Garden Educator Training
Teachers and parents: bring garden education to schools, classrooms, youth programs, child care programs and community centers.
Schoolyards & Sustainability Sat, Nov. 22 10 a.m.-noon

Buy Apples to Fund Farm Education
This fall, eating an apple a day comes with a bigger benefit than keeping the doctor away! If you shop at PCC, be sure to pick up specially marked Farm to School bags of Fuji apples. Proceeds support hands-on educational field trips for K-12 students to Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands and Garden Educator Workshops that show teachers how to create garden classrooms.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Halloween Safety Tips

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Halloween Safety Tips

I love Halloween.  And not just because it gives me a reason to grow tons of Jack-o-lantern pumpkins.  I just love the whole dressing up and excitement of it all.  The kids are giddy, there’s candy.  Seriously, what’s not to love?

If you plan on heading out with your little ones this Halloween–or if  they are finally old enough to head out on their own, here are a couple of tips to keep them safe during their sugar-buzzed frenzy:

  1. Glow sticks are awesome.  They are cheap, the kids can wear them around their neck, and best of all, cars can see them.
  2. Masks are cool, but it your little one can’t see, they become kind of a risky blindfold.  If the mask makes the costume, consider cutting out larger eye holes.
  3. If your kiddos head out on their own, plan a route that you both agree on ahead of time.  That way, you know where they are, and they know exactly where they are supposed to be.
  4. Feed the kids a HUGE healthy meal prior to them leaving.  They will be way too full to over-indulge in candy {or at least, they will in theory!}
  5. Try battery operated candles instead of real ones in your pumpkin.  You completely eliminate the fire hazard, because face it, no one wants to remember the Halloween that the house went up in flames.
  6. If your child’s costume is darkly colored, consider adding reflective tape.  It can be super hard to see little ones darting across the street otherwise.
  7. Only go to well-lit homes.  This eliminates the hazard of kiddos tripping, and it just plain respectful to people who don’t really want to participate in the holiday.
  8. Kids going without an adult should always travel in a group.  Safety in numbers.
  9. Check your kids’ candy at the end of the night.  Feel free to confiscate all of the KitKat bars for yourself–for safety reasons, of course.
  10. If you are handing out candy, make sure to clear your own porch of any tripping hazards, etc.  {Roll up the hoses and secure the trap doors–ha!}  Nobody needs a broken leg and a lawsuit.

Hope you have a safe and HAPPY Halloween.

~Mavis

 

 

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Labeling GMOs

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non gmo project verified

Both Colorado and Oregon voters will have to decide whether they want to require GMO labels on their food this fall. according to an article I found recently.  Both bills would require labels on GMO grown foods {though, it will not require meat or milk from cows that have been fed GMO crops, gum, alcohol, or pet food to be labeled}.

At this point, I’m pretty sure basically everyone has heard of GMOs, and has an opinion on it one way or another–and that’s what I found super interesting about this debate.  Each side has their own argument for and against the bill.  Obviously, proponents of the bill feel consumers have a right to know what is in their food and how it is grown.  One proponent said the debate isn’t about “whether GMOs are safe or they’re good for you or bad for you.  But it is about a right to know what’s in our fod supply.”  Opponents say that one, there is not enough evidence that GMOs are harmful, and two, because there is not enough evidence that they are harmful, it is inviting too much government regulation.  One farmer who grows GMO sugar beets feels that labeling his sugar GMO would be misleading, as the end result sugar contains “‘no GE material in the sugar’ because there’s no DNA or protein left in the final sugar product.”

I’ll admit, I’m super curious to see how this one goes.  I would love it if they labeled GMO grown food.  Personally, when I am shopping, and see food labeled NON GMO, I am more likely to grab that product over another.  So, that leads me to another question, if they can’t get GMO labels, would you like to see more NON GMO verified labels on your food?  Would it make a difference in what you bought?

~Mavis

 

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Easy Moving Tips: Use Linens & Table Runners to Pack Dishes

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unnamedAs you are probably well aware, we just got done with a pretty big move. Through that moving process I picked up on a bunch of moving and packing tips that helped us out a ton!  Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite.

Sometimes the easiest tips are the best. Here’s one that won’t cost you a penny and will actually save you some money you might have spent on packing material. I used all my table runners and linens to pack my dishes. Fold them up, line them with or stuff them in. Whatever way you choose to use them, they help keep glass from touching glass, resulting in chips and breaks.

Now I mostly used just the linens and table runners because I had plenty. But you can also use dish towels, bathrooms towels and I’ve even heard of people wrapping their glasses in socks, although that totally weirds me out!

So there you have it. One super simple moving/packing tip. What are some of your best packing tips?

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

7 Tips for Getting Kids to Bed on Time

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7 Tips for Getting Kids to Bed on Time

One of the reason I used to love summer is that we could relax a little bit on the strict bedtime routine that the school year required.  I didn’t sweat it as much if the kids were still un-showered and playing outside as dusk fell.  When the school year returned, though, that laid back attitude did not fly.  I was strict about bedtimes, and for a couple of reasons.

One, I was usually spent by the end of the day.  I was ready for some R&R–or at the very least, less noise.  Two, if my kids didn’t get enough sleep, they were bears to deal with the next day.  They were whiney in the morning, and quick to tears by the evening.  So, at the Butterfield house, bedtime became a pretty strict business.  Getting them into that routine, however, wasn’t always easy.  Life obligations occasionally got in the way, and there was nothing I could do about that.

If you are struggling to get back into a bedtime routine, here are some tips to help you get the kiddos all nestled into their beds, so that you can curl up with a book…or just sit and stare blankly at a wall in peace.

  1. About and hour or two before bedtime offer a final snack.  Make sure that they know that this is the last call for the kitchen.  That way, they can’t pull, “I’m huuunngry,” right as you tell them it’s time for bed.
  2. Decide on a bedtime.  This is non-negotiable.  It means you may have to say no to other activities.  If 8 p.m. is bedtime, then make it a priority and avoid being out past 8 p.m. if at all possible.
  3. Create a bedtime routine.  If baths are part of your nightly ritual, start them about 45 minutes BEFORE lights out.  Bathe, brush teeth, read a book.  Your child will start to associate the routine with bedtime, and eventually, their bodies will comply.
  4. If you have a child that is resistant to bedtimes, be firm, but don’t let them see you get riled up {waaaay easier said than done!}.  If they keep getting out of bed, don’t say a word, simply gently guide them back into bed.  The key is not to speak.  They want attention–any will do.  The less you give, the less fun staying awake becomes.  You may have to escort them back to bed several times a night for several nights.  If you remain firm, they WILL stay in bed…eventually.
  5. Rest assured that you are doing them a favor.  Sleep is when their bodies regenerate.  They need it for their health.  By strictly enforcing bedtime, you are giving their health a priority.  Plain and simple.  Seriously, changing your mindset about it will totally change the mood of bedtime.
  6. For older kids, allow a little personal time in bed.  Allow them to read for 15 minutes before lights out.  Tell them what time you want lights out and then act as though you are giving them soooo much freedom by allowing them 15 minutes to unwind in bed.  Older kids eat that stuff up.
  7. Go to bed yourself.  Kids are watching–they know if YOU are making sleep a priority.  If you have a strict bedtime for yourself, make sure to play up each morning how chipper and rested you feel.  It may seem overdone, but little ones are creating habits, and a lot of times, they create their habits by watching you.

I know lots of you have great tips for getting your kids to bed on time…make sure to share the love in the comments below!

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

10 Ways to Make Your Produce Last Longer

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10 Ways to Make Your Produce Last LongerFood waste is a bummer.  Even more of a bummer is wasting your hard earned money by having produce go bad before you have a chance to use it.  Properly storing produce is key when it comes to getting the longest life out of it.  Here’s a couple of tips to keep your produce fresher longer:How to Organize Your Refrigerator to Reduce Food Waste

  1. Keep your fridge clean.  Mold spores from aging food don’t discriminate between that 5 day left-over casserole and your newly purchased cucumbers.  Keeping the fridge clean will keep those spores at bay.
  2. Keep fresh food away from your oven/stove.  If your bananas are hanging near a heat source, especially if you have a gas stove, it increases the amount of ethylene gas and sends the ripening process into hyperdrive.odd shaped potatoes
  3. Potatoes and apples will help each other out.  Apples slow down the sprouting process on potatoes.
  4. Wrap your lettuce in a paper towel and change it frequently.  Moisture will ruin a head a lettuce lightening fast.  The paper towel will absorb excess moisture.How to Make Berries Last Longer
  5. Clean produce with 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water.  It’s a great all-purpose fruit and veggie cleaner, plus it removes mold spores which will buy you a couple of extra days at least.
  6. Store your ginger in the freezer.  It will last for basically ever and it is super easy to peel and grate when it is frozen.blueberry orange spinach smoothies
  7. If you know you won’t be able to get to fruits/veggies in time, consider chopping and freezing them for health packed smoothies {HERE are some of my favorite smoothie recipes}.
  8. If you have excess herbs or know you won’t use them in time, try freezing them in olive oil.
  9. Bananas will last longer if you wrap them in plastic wrap.
  10. Some fruits produce more ethylene gas than others, so it’s best not to store them with more sensitive fruits and veggies.  Here’s a quick list of the worst offenders:  apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, honeydew, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes.  They will make produce like apples, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, green beans, etc. go bad much, much faster.

What is your BEST tip for lengthening the life of your produce?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Skipchen – Another Solution to Food Waste

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Recently, One Hundred Dollars a Month Reader, Jess, shared a link on Facebook to a pretty awesome article about a group of volunteers in Bristol England and their solution to food waste {thanks Jess!}.

Apparently, they are taking the no food waste thing to another level by scavenging for still edible food, otherwise destined for the garbage, and instead, turning it into lunch at a restaurant appropriately called Skipchen.  Each night, the volunteers from the nonprofit restaurant scour the usual food waste sites:  grocery stores, farms, restaurants, etc. and gather food that is past its supposed expiration date, but still very edible.  They take the food back to the restaurant and prepare a unique daily menu–completely dependent on the kind of food they were able to “intercept.”  The restaurant is designed to manage food waste and provide affordable nourishing meals {customers can eat for free, or pay whatever they decide is fair}.

I think this is a pretty cool idea.  I mean, it’s like a soup kitchen for the masses–it isn’t about income, it’s about nutritious food that would otherwise end up in the landfills.

What do YOU think, would you be willing to give Skipchen a try?

~Mavis

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

New Amazon Prime Perk: Get Early Access to Lightening Deals

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Amazon-Prime-Early-Access-LightningJust when I thought Amazon Prime couldn’t get any more awesome, they go and announce this:

All Amazon Prime members will get 30-minute early access to select Lightning Deals on Amazon, and shop new events on MyHabit.com 30 minutes before other customers can access these designer deals.

If you know anything about Amazon Lightening Deals, you’ll know how helpful that is, especially with the holiday shopping season gearing up. Those Lightening Deals go FAST! Here’s what Amazon has to say about Lightening Deals:

Lightening Deals are hand-picked limited-time deals at great prices. When time has expired or the select quantity has been purchased, the deal is over. These Lightening Deals are for top electronic products, video games, tools, items for your kitchen and home, sporting goods, computer software, and more. They include hundreds of items throughout Amazon like HDTVs, movies or TV shows, fashion items like clothing, jewelry, and watches, toys, magazines and more.

Because those deals go so quickly, having a 30 minute head start can make the difference between scoring the deal or losing out. Yet another reason I love Amazon Prime!

Learn more about Amazon Prime HERE.

Check out my 10 Secrets to Save Big on Amazon HERE.

If you haven’t been an Amazon Prime member in the last 13 months, you can go HERE to sign up for a free trial.

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How Much Water Does it Take to Make Food?

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backyard garden harvest

So, until I ran across an article on Huffington Post about the relationship to water and food production, I literally had NO IDEA that it took so much water to make food.   Seriously, mind blown.  I mean, looking back on the information logically, it totally makes sense, but I never really gave it much thought.

Basically, the article broke down how much water is needed to make food and drinks that most of us consume regularly.  They calculated how much water it takes to produce a pound of each item.  The article put it in a sort of competition framework:  coffee vs. tea, chocolate vs. vanilla, chicken vs. beef, etc.  But, seriously, it all takes quite a bit of water.  Honestly, since I don’t live in an area that has huge drought issues, sometimes water conservation isn’t on my mind, but holy buckets people, when you get down to it, we use a lot of water we don’t even realize we are using, just to eat our favorite foods.

mavis garden blog greenhouse tomatoes

Here’s the breakdown {this is to make a pound of the food or drink, and I am not listing all of them, so check out the article for a more extensive list}:

Tea takes 108 gallons.
Coffee takes 1,056 gallons
Chicken takes 518 gallons
Beef takes 1,847 gallons
Rice takes 299 gallons
Pasta takes 222 gallons
Oats take 290 gallons
Almonds take 1,929 gallons
Broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts take 34 gallons {that seems like a ton on it’s own, but when you compare it to the others, it seems like a pretty good choice}
Olive oil takes 1,729 gallons
Chocolate takes 2,061 gallons {Yikes, my beloved chocolate is one of the worst as far as water goes}
Cinnamon takes 1,860 gallons

Seriously, the list goes on. Does this surprise you?  I am totally aware as a gardener that it takes water to grow my produce, but this is a lot of water.  Next time I cook up a pound of taco meat, I’ll totally think about how it took 1,847 gallons of water just for us to have tacos.  Crazy, I tell ya.

Does this surprise you the way it surprised me?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

10 Non-Edible Treats to Pass Out on Halloween

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10 Non-Edible Treats to Pass Out on HalloweenWhen I was little, candy was a treat.  So, Halloween candy wasn’t that big of a deal.  It wasn’t like I was going to get it for standing in line quietly at school, and it certainly wasn’t in a steady rotation in our pantry.  It seems like kids get candy everywhere, daily, now though, so it’s a bit hard to feed the problem when it comes to Halloween.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by the volume of candy, but don’t want to give up the fun of the holiday completely, here’s 10 non-edible treats you can pass out instead:10 Non-Edible Treats to Pass Out on Halloween

  1. Mini Play-Dough.  Every kid loves brand new playdough {who am I kidding, I love it too}.
  2. Glow sticks.  Glow sticks can be used right then and there-or they can save them and use them later.
  3. Stickers.  They are cost effective to buy in bulk, but still get the job done.
  4. Temporary tattoos.  You can always find pretty cool temporary tattoos in bulk around Halloween.
  5. Hit up Oriental Trading and get little novelty items to give out {crazy straws, cards, bracelets, etc.}.
  6. Bubbles.  You can never have enough bubbles, plain and simple.
  7. Halloween themed toys:  plastic fangs, rubber eyeballs.  The kids seem to think the grosser the better.
  8. Sidewalk chalk.  Enough said.
  9. Little jars of slime or goo.  Kids love them.  Parents will hate you.  All in a days work.
  10. Mini Water Bottles.  Over the years, I’ve seen the kids sprint from house to house like their life depended on it.  By the end of the night, they are parched, the water won’t go to waste, I promise.

Do you have any ideas to add?

Have a safe and happy Halloween.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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