Mavis Asks Readers to Send in Gnomes

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send in the gnomes mavis butterfield
Last winter I was trying to think of a fun way to give back some of the money this little ol’ website of mine has made over the past year.

Thanks to all of you who have ever purchased anything from one of my links on the bottom of a blog post, printed a coupon or found something you liked enough to purchase via Mornings with Mavis, the blog has actually made some money. This goofy little blog of mine has turned my love of gardening and sharing how I save money, in to an official full time job.

Plus, the blog has also gotten me out of quite a bit of laundry and undesirable chores like cleaning the back deck, so again, thank you for your support. You are awesome.

send in the gnomes mavis

After lots of consideration {and many hours behind the scenes working out the details and getting approval} I have decided to ask for your help with a crazy idea I came up with a few months ago.

I would like you to send me a gnome.

What?

Yes, I would like YOU to send me a gnome.

If you send me a gnome {to be temporarily housed in my backyard} I will donate $10 for every gnome donated {big or small, ceramic or plastic, new or old} to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the end of this summer.*

st. judes garden{photo credit}

In case you didn’t know already, St. Jude has an awesome collection of 59 raised garden beds.

Having a garden on site shortens the time between harvesting and serving, which keeps the food’s nutritional value high and provides healthier fare for faculty, staff and patients who eat in the Kay Kafe. Serving foods from the St. Jude Garden also reduces the need to purchase large amounts of produce, which saves the hospital money. – St. Jude website

The Best Case Scenario:

  • 1,000 gnomes from around the world will descend on my backyard {and make the HH crazy}.
  • My helpers and I {including Mrs. Hillbilly, The Girl, Crazy Larry, possibly my online boyfriend Ryan + a whole slew of other people you know} will take an epic road trip towards the end of the summer and hand deliver a check for $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and will place 100 gnomes in the St. Jude Garden in an effort to celebrate kids, gardens and healthy food.
  • The remaining 900 gnomes will be placed in Public, Community and Children’s gardens along the way from Seattle to Memphis, with the possibility of leaving a boatload of gnomes in one unsuspecting strangers front yard. {Holy Crap!}

Worst Case Scenario:

  • You will call the authorities and have me committed.

send in the gnomes one hundred dollars a month

I know this sounds like a totally crazy idea, but I really think I can pull it off with YOUR help.

So what do you say? Will you send in a gnome?

Click HERE to see what gnomes have been sent in so far.

Mavis butterfield gnome St. Jude's wish list

Please send gnomes by August 1st, 2013 to:

Mavis Butterfield
P.O. Box 2083

Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

Under no circumstance will any gnome be returned. By donating a gnome to the Send in the Gnomes project you are giving Mavis and her helpers full authority to place your gnome, or anything else you send in, anywhere in the world.

St. Jude’s, here we come!

~Mavis

 * A maximum of $10,000 will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

The money will come from this years blog earnings {so keep that in mind the next time you see a link to a cool product on One Hundred Dollars A Month}. Again, thanks for your help. Giving back is cool!

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.



Gardening Projects for Kids – Planting Seeds in Eggshells

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planting seeds with eggshells

Chances are you’ll probably have a lot of egg shells on hand after Easter.

If you have young children, a fun way to get them excited about gardening is to let them to have a small area of their own to plant a garden.

Gardening Projects for Kids - Planting Seeds in Eggshells

It’s been my experience that peas are one of the easiest vegetables for children to grow. My kids have been planting them ever since they were around 2 or 3 and the size of the pea seed itself is perfect for tiny fingers to grasp.

planting peas in eggshells

How to Plant Peas in Eggshells

  • Collect a bunch of eggshells {half an egg shell is the perfect size}.
  • Rise the eggshells out with water.
  • Fill each egg shell with moistened potting soil.
  • Add 2 or 3 seeds and bury to the depth stated on the vegetable packet.
  • Place in a sunny windowsill and wait for the seeds to sprout {make sure to keep the seeds well watered}.
  • Once the seed has sprouted, wait until the seedling is about 4 to 5 inches tall before hardening off and setting outside.
  • Carefully crush the eggshell so the roots of the seedlings have room to grow.
  • Plant and water as you normally would any other plant in the garden.

pea seedling

Depending on the variety {I suggest Sugar Snap Peas for kids} peas should be ready to harvest in about 2 months. The cool thing about peas is you can build a teepee to hold up the vines or grow them along a fence. Either way they are fun for kids to watch grow because of the long vines and pretty flowers.

basket of fresh peas

And they’ll love picking and eating them of course too.

Do your kids help in the garden? If so, what is their favorite thing to grow?

~Mavis

gardening projects for kids

Be sure and check out the book The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun.

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.

Bartering with Mavis – Trading Garden Work for Rice and Sugar

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kids working in a garden

Yesterday I headed over to Girly Girl’s garden to do a little bartering. I used my love of pulling weeds {ha!} and mad gardening skills to tidy up her garden beds and plant her spring garden.

Luckily a few of her kiddos were wager to help.

snow sled with weeds

I asked one of the girls for a weed bucket and she brought me a snow sled. Awesome!

spring potatoes

There were still a bunch of new potatoes in last years potato bed and the kids had a ball searching for them. I think it made the digging and weed pulling go a lot faster because they all wanted to find some potatoes.

garden clean up

It took us just a little over 1 hour to clear 2 garden beds and pull the weeds in the surrounding areas.

mavis one hundred dollars a month

Removing the brush alongside the fence was never part of the deal thankfully.

waxing a SUV

For those of you who were wondering what Girly Girl was doing while I was pulling her weeds, she was playing Karate Kid and waxing her SUV with her husband Chino the Handyman.

raised garden beds

This is what the garden beds looked like before we started.

raised garden beds

And here they are all cleaned up.

costco rice and sugar

Two hours worth of garden clean up {with help from the kids} on a wonderfully sunny day was bartered for a 25 pound sack of sugar and a giant bag of rice.

Sounds like a pretty good trade to me.

I love gardening, and especially teaching young children about growing food. This is the 3rd spring in a row I’ve helped Girly Girl’s kids get their garden started, and I really have a good time while I’m over there. So it really doesn’t seem like to much work to me.

Do what you love, and everything will work itself out.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, I’m off to go pull some of my own weeds now.

~Mavis

The Backyard Homestead

Looking for a great gardening book? Check out The Backyard Homestead and learn how you can produce all the produce you need on only a quarter acre.

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 – Seedling Updates and Pictures

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basil seedlings

This year we are growing almost all of our garden vegetables {and flowers} from seed. I thought it would be fun show you how a few of the seedlings are doing.

If you’ve never started your seeds indoors before, not only is it easy to do, but it’s kind of nice to be able to grow something indoors when the weather is so stinkin’ chilly outside.

I like to plant seedlings in flats, to save space under the grow lights. This year I am growing 3 different kinds of basil.  Last year was my first successful year growing it and I think it may have been because I grew the basil in the greenhouse.

pepper seedlings

Peppers seedlings. The first true leaves should start to appear soon.

tomato plants 6 weeks

Check out these tomato plants I started back on February 1st.  Don’t you think the stems look nice and plump? Since the Handsome Husband killed off my heirloom tomato plants last year when I was out of town, this year I planted a second batch of seeds last week for back up. Hopefully we will have a ton of tomato plants to set out and extras to donate if all goes well. We shall see.

zinnia seedlings

Zinnias. The leaves look so happy I want to squeeze them!

grow lights

This is what the set up looks like. I have 2 tables set up next to my desk so I can keep an eye on the plants and talk to them.

As soon as the weather warms up a bit I think I’ll try and figure out a way to camouflage an extension cord and bring the whole grow light set up out to the greenhouse though.

Having a bunch of grow lights on in the front room when it’s dark outside and having the neighbors drive by and then call you to find out why there is a glowing light peering through your blinds at 10 pm is a little awkward.

Ahhhh Ha Ha!

Living in the suburbs is awesome.

~Mavis

P.S. Are you using grow lights this year? If so, what are you starting from seed?

grow lights

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 Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures – Week 13 of 52

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raised garden beds

Week 12 of 52 – Mavis’ Backyard Garden Plot

This past week was a chilly one here in the Pacific Northwest. Luckily the broccoli and cabbage starts I set out earlier in the week survived the cold temperatures and are doing great.

old potting bench

Look at all the color at the potting bench! Wahooo! Target has some cute little watering cans in bright colors in their dollar spot if you have wee ones.

pallet gardening

I’m glad I didn’t set out my lettuce starts last week. The endive I planted in the wood pallets is doing fine though. It looks like it’s going to warm up later this week so hopefully I can find some time to get the lettuce planted.

grow vegetables in raised garden beds

So much possibility.

daffodils

The daffodils and hyacinth are blooming like crazy.

bean teepee

Peas have been planted at the base of the teepees, and potatoes are in the garden plots to the right.

fairy garden

The beginning of a fairy garden. I’m hoping to get to it later this week.

perennial garden

Artichokes, poppies, rhubarb and gladiolas.

magnum glass greenhouse

I was able to get quite a few more flats planted, and I’ll do a greenhouse tour soon and show you what’s happening behind the glass walls.

recycled pallet garden

I’m headed to the feed store later today to get some straw so I can build my potato towers.

bark bomb

Bark bomb.garden on a wooded lot

A view of the future pumpkin patch and the chicken yard. Yesterday Mr. & Mrs. HB stopped by and collected 11 eggs! It’s really nice to have all those eggs coming in but sometimes it can be a wee bit overwhelming to look in the refrigerator and see 4 dozen eggs in there all at once.

raspberry patch in spring

I’m loving the view of the raspberry patch right now.

cascadia raspberry canes plants

If you look closely you can see bits of green starting to form on the branches. There are a lot more buds on the branches to the right of the raspberry patch than the left, so it will be interesting to see how many we get. I’m hoping for another bumper crop like we had in 2011.

grow herbs in containers

And the herb garden. We dragged the last of our giant pots out of the garage and set them up. Now all I need to do is fill the pots and get them planted.

I think for the most part the garden is coming along as expected. I just wish I had a wee bit more time. But then again, I’m sure we all do.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, enjoy your day!

~Mavis

free shipping botanical interests

This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company.  You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2013 Garden Seed Catalog 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.

How to Grow Spinach {Start to Finish}

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what do spinach seeds look like

I started some spinach seeds last week in the greenhouse gutters and I am anxiously waiting for them to pop through the soil. I thin that’s the hardest part about gardening if you ask me. Waiting.  Spinach is pretty easy to grow, and you can grown an incredible amount from just a tiny packet of seeds. I like the Monstrueux de Viroflay variety for it’s big, fat leaves.

spinach grown in gutters

Brief description:  Spinach is a cold-hardy leafy green.

Where to Plant Spinach:  Raised beds, garden beds, or containers.

spinach

Planting Seeds:  Plant 1/2″  deep.  Thin to 2″-6″ apart when seedlings are 1″ tall.  Plant 4-6 weeks before the last frost.   You can sow seeds every 3 weeks to get a continuous crop.

Growing Tips:  Spinach forms fairly deep roots and will do best if you loosen soil up to 1 foot deep all around your planting area.  To get a crop to grow throughout the summer, sow spinach in the shade of larger plants, such as corn or beans.

homegrown spinach

How to Harvest:  Pick individual leaves from outer part of the plant or cut the whole plant down at the base.

regional planting guides

Are you ready to start your garden but you’re not sure when you should plant your seeds or set out your transplants? Head on over HERE and you’ll be taken to a handy dandy chart that is broken down into what vegetables should be planted {or transplanted} each month in your area.

Anyone can do this. Dirt + Seeds+ Water = Food!

~Mavis

Here are a few of my Favorite Spinach recipes:

Ranch Pasta Salad with Broccoli, Spinach and Green Peas
Ranch Pasta Salad w/ Broccoli, Spinach, and Green Peas

recipe grilled chicken kabobs with spinach quinoa
Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Spinach Quinoa

Recipe Strawberry and Spinach Salad
Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Fun Fact:  Remember Popeye?  Spinach growers in the 1930′s attributed a 33% percent boost in spinach sales because of Popeye’s popularity. Go.Fight.Win.

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.

Fairy Houses and Miniature Gardens

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fairy house pictures

In December I cleared an area in the backyard in hopes on installing some sort of fairy garden this spring {see the pictures here}. Then, the other day I came across Mare’s WoodlandFairyVillage Esty page and started to drool over all the past and present fairy houses she made with her own two hands.

fairy house design pictures

One thing led to another and before I knew it I had emailed Mare to ask if she would mind sharing some of her fairy house pictures with all of you. Here are a few of  my favorites, and YES it was really hard to choose.

fairy house village

Artists are cool.

They can look at something and see what others cannot. Artists see something in their mind, and then put it together in a way that is so natural, so organic, and so very different that when we come across something so unique, we can’t help but stop and stare and wonder how they did it.

Who would have thought anyone could turn a few twigs, dried moss, rocks and a few other random things into something a awesome as a fairy house.

fairy house design ideas

Here is what Mare had to say about her fairy houses:

Designing fairy houses has allowed me the pleasure of escaping into a creative fantasy world, a magical woodland realm where forest fairies and creatures exist.

I create woodland fairy houses with a mixture of forest-style elements. They are one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted pieces which include my own personal touch along with decorative handmade and store bought dollhouse miniatures.

Combining the two creates a fairy house which represents my vision of forest fantasy art.

I have been creating my fairy houses for a few years, and I love every moment. My collection is called the Woodland FairyVillage, each house telling a story uniquely its own. It is my hope that each of the stories is read with magical eyes and wonderment.

Rock on Mare! Your fairy houses are awesome.

~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.

Will Work for Food – Garden Clean Up

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black shoes in a garden

Girly Girl promised me a 25 pound sack of sugar if I would clean up her garden boxes and get her spring vegetables planted for her. Last year we bartered my garden skills for a 25 pound sack of sugar and a giant case of Costco toilet paper.

So last night I went over to see exactly what needed to be done. And why on earth the toilet paper was taken off the table this year. I was hoping she had kept up with her garden all winter and it would only take me an hour or so to earn that sack of sugar.

raised garden beds

Can you say OH MY FREAKIN’ WORD?

What a mess! She wants me to clean all this up for a 25 pound sack for sugar that runs about $15 at Costco? Is she on soccer mom crack? This is going to take some time.

raised garden bed

She has four raised garden beds that all look about like this. Plus, I’m suppose to pull the weeds in the surrounding mulch.

What do you think is a fair trade for all this work? I’m estimating it should take me about 3 hours to pull all the weeds and get her boxes planted for spring.

A 25 pound bag of sugar is just not going to cut it. I’m thinking I might need one of those giant bags of jasmine rice too.

What do you think I should ask Girly Girl for {food wise}? Keep in mind she pretty much only shops at Costco these days.

~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.

Friday Night at the Movies – A Place at the Table

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Tonight, The Girl and I will be watching A Place at the Table.  It is by the same people who made Food, Inc. {an AWESOME film!} so I am super excited.  The film explores the connection between the availability of healthy food and income.  Basically, it shows how lower income children are not getting the nutrition they need to be successful because whole foods are just too expensive.

Right now, the film is in theaters {check your local listings}, available for rent on iTunes, or On Demand {for those of you that have satellite}, and on Amazon Instant Video.  It looks like it is $6.99 to rent on amazon, which for me is totally worth it, because for the first 100,000 tickets, downloads, or books purchased, Plum Organics will donate one essential nutrition pouch to a baby or toddler.  It’s win-win, I get to watch the movie and a little of my money goes toward something I believe in.

a place at the table

A huge thanks to Jo on Facebook for this awesome recommendation!  If you have a movie recommendation for me, let me know in the comments below.

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.  Did you love it? Hate it? Can’t wait to watch it over and over?

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.

How to Grow Broccoli {Start to Finish}

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mavis butterfield broccoli

This year we planted 3 varieties of broccoli:

Broccoli is a cool season vegetable and it is super hardy. I like to plant broccoli in both the early spring and again in the fall.

Where to Plant Broccoli:  Plant in full sun {though it will germinate in temperatures as low as 40 degrees.  It can be planted in raised beds, containers or garden beds.

how to plant broccoli

Planting Seeds:  Plant seeds 1/8″ deep.  Thin to 1 every 18″ {or one per pot} when seedlings are about 2″ tall.

Growing Tips:  Plant in fertile soil and water regularly–avoid getting developing heads wet, though.  You can fertilize 3 weeks after transplanting for bigger yields.

broccoli

How to Harvest:  Harvest when main head gets to be about 3″ in diameter, that will encourage side shoots to grow.

Little Known Fact:  The average American eats 4 lbs of broccoli per year. No freakin’ way!

regional planting guides

Are you ready to start your garden but you’re not sure when you should plant your seeds or set out your transplants? Head on over HERE and you’ll be taken to a handy dandy chart that is broken down into what vegetables should be planted {or transplanted} each month in your area.

Anyone can do this. Dirt + Seeds+ Water = Food!

~Mavis

Here are a few of my Favorite Broccoli recipes

Baked Potato Casserole with Sausage and Broccoli
Baked Potato Casserole with Sausage 

quiche broccoli cheddar

Broccoli, Bacon, Cheddar Quiche

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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