Friday Night at the Movies – Sixteen Candles

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I’m still truckin’ along on my John Hughes kick.  Tonight, I’m planning on watching Sixteen Candles.  I like to re-watch it every few years because…well, it’s awesome.  If you haven’t seen it {you’ve been living under a rock, and it’s time to come out…kidding}, it’s about a girl whose family forgets her 16th birthday.  It’s “what’s happenin’ hot-stuff,” so you should totally check it out :) .

16 candles

Have you have already seen it?  Did you love it? Hate it? Can’t wait to watch it over and over?

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

 

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.



Mavis Garden Blog – My Fall Window Box Needs Something… But What?

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planting ornamental cabbage

I stopped by the garden center last night and couldn’t help but notice all the ornamental cabbage for sale. I don’t know what it is about them but every fall I get sucked into buying a bunch of cabbage at the garden center for my front porch and window box.

mini pumpkin

They even had these gorgeous pumpkins for $0.99! How’s a girl to resist with a price like that?

planting a fall window box

Anywho, as I started planting I quickly realized I needed more plants. But what kind? The only choices right now are chrysanthemums {barf} or pansies. I mean if I get desperate I could go the purple pansy route, but I’m hoping YOU have some other suggestions.

What else should I be looking for that would go with the green, purple and orange theme I’ve got going on?

fall window box with pumpkins and cabbage

Any suggestion you have would be greatly appreciated. {Said the girl with OCD who won’t be happy until her garden box is stuffed full of fall goodness!} ;)

~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.

How to Save Seeds for Next Years Garden

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How to Save Seeds for Next Years Garden

Saving seeds year after year can be a real money saver in the garden.  By saving the BEST of what you’ve grown year after year, the plants will adapt to your soil/climate and become naturally disease resistant.  The best part is that saving seeds is waaaay easier than people think.

If you are new to seed saving, here’s a quick guide to get you started:

silica-gel-packets

You’ll Need

Silica gel packets {I’ve been known to save these from other things that I buy}
Envelopes or Containers {to store seeds in}
Plate and/or bowl
Paper Towels
Sieve

how to grow bean seeds

Directions

First, make sure the seeds that you are saving are from open-pollinated plants {the original seed packet should tell you}.  Hybrids and cross pollinated plant seeds will not produce the same plant/fruit year after year.

Each plant is a little different. For beans and peas,  dry pods on the vine and harvest when they rattle in the pod and their skins are papery thin. remove the beans, and freeze them overnight to kill any bugs before storing them in an airtight container.

yellow pepper seeds

For peppers, melons, and squash cut open the ripened fruit and scoop out the seeds.  Rinse the seeds thoroughly {for sweeter fruits, like melons, you may want to use a mild dish soap to get all of the sugars off of the seeds.  Lay the rinsed seeds on a plate and gently pat them dry with a paper towel.  Leave the seeds on the plate to air dry completely.  This may take a few days {make sure to keep the plate in a pretty non-humid place}.

How to Save Your Tomato Seeds

Tomatoes are the most time consuming seeds to save {also the most worth it}.  For a full set of instructions, go HERE.

For cucumbers, gently cut open the fruit {so as not to cut the seeds while opening it}.  Scrape the seeds into a small sieve and rinse well.  As you are rinsing, gently rub the seeds along the bottom of the sieve to remove the coating.  Allow the seeds to dry as you would the peppers, melons, and squash.

When the seeds have dried completely, place them into marked envelopes.  To store the seeds long term, you’ll want to throw in a silica gel package to keep the moisture out.  Seeds can be stored indefinitely in the freezer {place envelopes into an air tight container and place several silica gel packets into the container}.  For year to year storage, a cool dark place like the fridge is best.  Either way, when it is time to use the seeds, DO NOT OPEN the container until is has come to room temperature.  That will keep the moisture out of your seeds.

That’s basically it.  Have any of you saved your seeds year after year?  Do you have stronger plants because of it?

~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.

Apples and Corn… Bring it On!

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corn

Last night the HH brought me home two boxes of FREE corn from his buddy Farmer Ted. Lucky for me, this years harvest didn’t coincide with our anniversary.  Nope. He got me a real gift this year.

shucking corn

I was in a really good this morning {like in I got 10 hours of sleep last night!} and so shucking the corn was a snap. In fact I actually felt kind of giddy afterwards. Weird. I know.

transparent yellow apples

So I decided to check in on my yellow transparent apple tree and was pleasantly surprise at the bumper crop we are enjoying this year. It’s the weirdest thing. No apples for 4 years then BAM… {the picture above represents about 1/5 of the apples we’ll be able to harvest this fall}. Not to shabby if you ask me.

making applesauce

Why is it that sometimes gardening and canning can seem like a chore, and other times. it’s makes you feel so alive?

See you later alligator…. I’ve got some canning to do.

~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.

It’s Time to Plant Lettuce in the Greenhouse!

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greenhouse gardening

It was a big chore, but I harvested the rest of our tomatoes and cucumbers from the greenhouse yesterday, and by the end of the afternoon, I was pretty exhausted from hauling pots. Now all that’s left to do in the greenhouse is sweep the floor and scrub the glass window-pains and the greenhouse will be ready for fall.
planting lettuce seeds

I also started 2 gutters with lettuce seeds. This fall I’m growing rocket lettuce {have you tried it? It’s super spicy} and a blend of mixed salad greens. With a little luck the lettuce should be ready to harvest around the early part of November.
planting lettuce seeds in a greenhouse

Growing lettuce in gutters is s piece of cake! Installing greenhouse gutters is super easy too. I typically start my strawberries, chard, lettuce and other greens in them in the spring and then fill them with more lettuce seeds in the fall. So far I’ve had great success with the planting method.
growing lettuce in greenhouse gutters

I use a traditional mix of potting soil so the gutters don’t get heavy, but I’m sure anyone with a green thumb can tell you gardening can be the best workout on the planet {both mentally and physically}. :)
growing seeds in gutters

And now the hard part begins.

Ahh summer! I’m sad to see you go.

~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.

Monthly Garden Chores for September- East Coast Edition

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1September – and my first-born begins HIGH SCHOOL. Did I say the words High School, cause I’m pretty sure I said Kindergarten just the other day.

On the upside, it’s September here in New England, which means we get a bit more summer hidden in between cooler spells – the warm weather feels like we’re cheating winter and that’s A-OK with me.2

September is also strangely satisfying. The kids go back to school and a regular schedule that my OCD self looooooves has been re-introduced and my garden is mass-producing produce. The chickens are being stuffed daily with gifts from the garden and getting spoiled horribly, and I’ve begun canning continuously.

In addition, I’ve discovered two new food dishes that I love. Kale chips {Mavis is a huge fan hahaha}! I ate a whole tray before I knew what happened {ps: don’t eat a whole tray, it’ll upset your stomach}, it was soo good though and I love the texture! And breakfast burritos. Now that the boy is a freshman and has a very demanding schedule with classes, late and early hockey practices- his sleep will be very… well, odd. So, I figured, the least I could do is feed him a not-cereal breakfast in the morning. By altering the recipe to his taste buds a bit, with no potatoes and adding banana peppers, he christened it delicious and I made a whole batch that are happily frozen and ready for Monday morning. Score one for mom. I think I’ll try Mavis’s Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches next. I’m pretty sure he’ll love those too.3

Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

Not having any fresh veggies over the winter has become an intolerable thought. And although my yard would not support {either in space or position to the sun} a greenhouse, I’ve decided on a cold frame. I’m thinking I can add to my garden box to create a cold frame. Step 1: create yet another project for myself {done}. Step 2: collect supplies {I’ve hunted down some old windows}. Step 3: Build {uuuuugggh}. I’ll keep you posted. Did I mention I’ve already planted some lettuce? I, eeer, ummm, the HH better get crackin!

What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month

I’ve got a bit of transplanting to do this month. I’ve got a few plants I’d like to add, split and generally re-arrange. Hostas and other local perennials do well to be divided every 2-3 years. If you just can’t use them put the call out to your friends and give them away. I have a couple of local FB groups that focus on gardens/environment and can always find someone who would like to use them.

Plants and/or Bulbs I Plan to Purchase this Month

I’m still hatching a plan to convince the HH that apple trees {only TWO} would look good in our unused “side yard” in our suburbia neighborhood. Wish me luck as I hatch mission: apple pie.

Keep a close eye on local plant nurseries this month, this time of year they’ll want to clear out their stock and prepare for spring deliveries. Last year I bought three {5 year} blueberry bushes and three container raspberries bushes for 50% off!! Total score.4

What I Plan to Harvest This Month

Holy smokes – what won’t I harvest. I’m on my 5th basket {each 14lbs} of plum tomatoes, which happens to be enough for a full crock-pot of peeled and chopped tomatoes that yields 5-6 pints of canned tomato sauce. So the tomato sauce stash is looking pretty good so far. And I’ve got another one sitting on the counter waiting for me.5

I’ve been faithfully collecting and drying herbs all summer including mint, chocolate mint, chamomile and lemon balm for teas, and oregano, thyme, and rosemary for cooking.6

Jalapenos – do I have jalapenos. Yes, the answer is yes. Bags and bags of cut, seeded, sliced, rinsed and frozen jalapenos. The HH is borderline gleeful over my stockpile of jalapenos.7

Corn. Although I don’t have the space to grow corn, I have visited the farmer down the street for five dozen ears and have shucked, cooked, cut and frozen bags of corn.8

Potatoes. The potatoes did pretty well in my raised garden box, and I got about a dozen big-sized potatoes, which is enough for Thanksgiving dinner. And a boatload of small sized potatoes, which will be perfect for breakfast potatoes. Overall I’ve decided that potatoes are just too cheap and my garden space just too small to use a whole garden box for a few dozen potatoes, so next year I’ll re-allocate the box to something I can freeze or can.9

Carrots – of the few that made it to full-grown carrot size have really blossomed. They are huge. I plan on digging them up for Thanksgiving dinner.10

Volunteerism in a great thing. These cucumbers, however, might very well grow legs and take over the universe. Check this out – incredible. There are mini cucs growing now so we’ll see how they do over the next month.

Remember the winter sowing experiment I did last winter? Well, I am totally doing it again – it worked like a charm! I grew an entire bed of perennial bloom seeds which has created a nice little border of wild flowers for my garden. And the beginning of my lavender hedge is looking pre-tt-y good also. Next year I expect these two sections to really take off!11

Chickens

Now is a good time before it gets too cold to give the coop a good, thorough, cleaning. Over the year I have continuously thrown in bags of leaves and/or straw for the chickens to play in, when you add leftover chix scraps and chicken poo, you end up with rockin’ compost. Scoop all that out and add it to an empty garden bed, then restock the coop with more leaves and/or straw. Check your coop for signs of insects, critters or anything else unsavory and take measures to remedy it. Note to self; that hawk sitting on the tree stump licking it’s chops over your chickens is not there for a playdate – now is also the time to repair the coop/roof and secure the pen if needed.

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

There are definitely some things to be done around here in this arena. I just realized there are plants I got when the boy was a baby – 15 years these plants have been kickin’ around in the same pots, in the same soil. Re-potting and dividing these monsters may not get done in September, as I am currently swimming in tomatoes, but it’s on my list. If you’ll be re-potting too, make sure to use a sterile potting soil, not garden/compost soil. If you are good about watering your houseplants, the compost soils retain too much water and the plants rot. If you’re like me, and water sparingly, the compost soil will accumulate too many salts and die.

Trees and Shrubs

After a severe scale infestation last winter, my lil lemon tree has recuperated and doing great! Look how nice and lush he looks.

Weed and Pest Control

Weeding the front walk is absolutely no fun. We’ve thought about paving it, but the sewer entrance is directly under it. I’ve sprayed it with the vinegar combo {1 gallon of vinegar + 2 cups of Epson salt + 2 tbls of dish soap, shake and spray} and it works really well. But I’ve found the best weed control – are my kids. Come home late from curfew? Go weed. Talk back and/or general disrespect? Go weed. Don’t do your chores? Go weed. Weeding worked for me {although now I find it a bit of a zenning moment} and it’ll work for them. Guess I should call my mom, she’s sure to find that hilarious.

Lawn Care

This is a big month for the lawn; it’s generally time to prepare it for next spring. Just as you will put your garden “to bed”, the same thing goes for the lawn. Keep in mind that mid Oct. is your end date. So September is the time to get everything done. Aerate {core is better than pine} and seed. Then fertilize.

How is your garden going? Because I’ll be rotating crops and removing some {like potatoes} and adding another box of a successful crop {plum tomatoes} I’m wondering… what was your most successful and/or useful crop?12

I’m off to pick, cut, clean, steam, pack, and can veggies…

**These garden chores are based on my Zone 5b Southeast/Boston MA location. Find your garden zone HERE.

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.

Friday Night at the Movies – Uncle Buck

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I’m on a John Hughes kick lately.  He seriously puts out what I would call the “classics” of the 80′s and 90′s.  This weekend, I am going to watch Uncle Buck.  In case you haven’t seen it, it’s about a couple who need someone to watch their kids while they head out of town on a family emergency.  The only option is the husband’s less-than-desirable brother:  Uncle Buck.  John Candy is awesome as Uncle Buck–seriously, you will quote this movie for the rest of your life.

I love revisiting my favorite comedies.  What’s your favorite John Hughes movie?  Maybe I’ll add it to my fall line-up.

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies? Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE! Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend, ~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.

What Am I Suppose to do With All This Zucchini?

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zucchini and beans

You know that feeling you get towards the end of summer when you’ve tried every recipe you have and even though there are more vegetables to harvest in your garden, you simply have no clue what to do with them?lucy the puggle dog

It’s like your brain just shuts off and calls it quits. Well that’s where I’m at right now.

lucy puggle

So please, if you have a favorite zucchini or bean recipe you think is the bomb diggety and you think we should try it… please leave it {or a link} in the comments below.

I’d sure appreciate it.

~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.

Seatle Tilth’s FREE Annual Harvest Fair September 6th

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fairCelebrate harvest season at Seattle Tilth’s Harvest Fair. This annual urban farm festival is hands-on and fun for the entire community with workshops, cooking demonstrations and fun activities for all ages. Eat tasty food, enjoy live music and check out the colorful and delicious produce local farms and gardens are overflowing with.

Now in its 27th year, this family friendly festival is right around the corner: 

Seattle Tilth’s Harvest Fair
Saturday, September 6 from 10 am-4 pm
Meridian Park {4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle}

Come hang out and press cider from local apples, enjoy fresh, delicious food, nuzzle a goat or chicken, make an herb crown, or even join the parade. Local and organic farm stands will be stocked with fresh produce at the height of harvest season. The Harvest Fair is a great place to stock-up on fresh foods, farm crafts, native and edible plants, garden supplies and sustainable goods. You can also learn tips for canning and cooking, or bring goods to trade and barter.

See the full schedule of activities and the list of participating farmers, vendors and organizations.

Activities include:

  • Workshops
  • Live music
  • Local food trucks and tents
  • Organic farmers market
  • Urban farm demonstration
  • Sustainable vendors
  • Kids parade (noon)
  • Barter (1-3 p.m.)
  • Canning and cooking demonstrations
  • Cider pressing
  • DIY herb crowns
  • Seed swap
  • Raffle
  • Kids crafts in the children’s gardenUrban Livestock Howdy

Volunteers are needed to help make it all happen and volunteering is a fun way to participate. Sign-up to volunteer HERE!

Admission is free but donations are encouraged at the entrances to help cover event costs.

Seattle Tilth inspires and educates 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.

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.

Mavis Garden Blog – It’s Time to Clean Out the Greenhouse

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greenhouse tomatoes

I was out in the greenhouse picking tomatoes for some homemade sauce last night when I noticed a few of my tomato plants are on their way out.  :( The leaves are starting to curl and turn brown as if to say “I’m done, please let me die.” growing tomatoes in a greenhouse

The tomato plants in the stock tanks are still hanging in there, but the tomatoes I had growing in pots, well those needed to go.
greenhouse gutters

So I guess you know what that means… It’s time to get the cool weather crops planted! Which is pretty stinkin’ awesome if you ask me because I’ve been missing my dinner salads. My goal is to get my greenhouse gutters planted with some leafy greens, maybe some baby bok choy too.

dragging pot out of a greenhouse

Ahh, to everything there is a season. Right?

How’s it going at your place? Are your tomato plants still hanging in there, or are they done for the season?

~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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