Mavis Checks in on Her Neighbor Girly Girl’s Garden

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blooming chives

Last night, Chino the Handyman called to ask why his chickens had stopped laying eggs. Chino is my neighbor Girly Girl’s husband. Last year we gave Chino’s kids 4 of our backyard chickens. They thought it would be fun for their kids to collect eggs. After about 6 weeks they sent one of the hens back because she was too noisy.

I’m not exactly sure they are cut out to have a mini farm in suburbia.

But I told Chino that even though I had no idea why his hens had stopped laying eggs, I would stop by anyway.

collecting rocks

When I got there I found Chino harvesting rocks.

making a rock border

He and Girly Girl didn’t want to BUY any rocks so they decided to just dig up the side yard instead and find some free ones. I think that’s called suburban farming. Anyway, let’s forget about the rocks and the chickens for a minute.

garden full of weeds

Remember how Girl Girl asked me to come weed her garden and plant her crops this 2 months ago in exchange for 25 pound sacks of rice and sugar? Well if you don’t, please take a moment and look at these pictures.

Notice how nice and clean {and WEED FREE} her garden looked after I finished?

pulling weeds

Ya, let’s just say garden maintenance isn’t her thing.

Over the past few weeks a couple of you wanted to know how Girly Girl’s garden was doing. Well, now you know.

man pulling weeds

Girly Girl wants me to come over next week and plant her squash seeds for her. I told her I would plant seeds with her kids ONLY IF all the weeds were gone by the time I came over.

But even with the weeds pulled, I’m not to sure she’s up to the whole task of backyard gardening.

What do you think?

Should I plant the seeds, or just toss her the packet and tell her to do it herself? ;)

~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 Your Own Food – 5/29/2013 Garden Tally

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raised garden beds organic gardening

This year I’m on a mission to grow 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in my suburban backyard. In 2012 I was able to grow 2,028 pounds, and in 2013 I’m going double or nothing. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to achieve my goal. But, as with any adventure, half the fun is getting there.   ~Mavis

*******

So far so good! As of today we have harvested just over 28 pounds of fresh, wholesome produce from our backyard garden. We still have a long way to get to 2 tons of food by the end of the year, but I’m pretty stinkin’ excited. Sure, it could be the fumes from the compost pile, but hey, whatever keeps me going, right? ;)

This week we harvested quite a few radishes, some basil and chives. The Handsome Husband found a whole sack of potatoes I forgot to plant when he cleaned out the garage this weekend. I’m thinking about harvesting some new potatoes and re-planting the area with the seed potatoes. What do you think? Is it to late to plant taters?

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

fresh organic  basil

Basil – 7 ounces

We made another batch of pesto the other night and it was delicious. I’ll be posting the recipe soon. Did you know you can also make pesto with spinach? How cool is that?

beets

Beets - 14 ounces

bok choy leaves

Bok Choy – 4 oz

Check out this Asian Noodle Salad with Bok Choy I made. It’s pretty awesome.

carrots

Carrots – 3 ounces

chives

Chives – 9 ounces

fresh eggs

Egg Count – 1,243

We collected  72 eggs this past week. The count was a little lower than we are used to and I’m wondering if it has something to do with the weather. It’s basically been raining off and on for the past week and a half. Do chickens get seasonal depression? Hmmm.

pallet gardening endive

Lettuce – 6 pounds 8 ounces

I need to get out there and harvest the rest of the salad. I’m having house guests this weekend… Guess what’s on the dinner menu?

microgreens

Microgreens 5 ounces

I need to grow some more of these. My favorite way to eat microgreens is with egg salad sandwiches.

oregano container herb garden

Oregano - 2 ounce

potatoes

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

radishes

Radish - 12 pound 13 ounces

My neighbor and her family came by yesterday to pull weeds and help harvest radishes. She took a few of them home and now I have a boatload of them sitting on my kitchen counter trying to figure out what the heck I am going to do with them.

fresh organic spinach

Spinach – 3 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts -1 pound 2 ounces

Here are instructions for growing your own sprouts.

Rainbow-Swiss-Chard-picture

Swiss Chard 12 ounces

cut-wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 28 pounds 6 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 1,243

If you are new to gardening or just want to learn more on the topic of organic gardening, my #1 favorite book is The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food By Tanya L.K. Denckla.

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.

Trading Farm Labor for Eggs and Radishes

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raised garden beds

My German neighbor Hudla stopped by this afternoon with a couple of field workers. Her family is in town for her daughter’s graduation and her Mother, sister, niece and Hans {who grows German red potatoes} wanted to check out the gardens.

radishes

Did I mention I don’t give garden tours? Yep, so it’s always kind of awkward when people I know want to bring their friends {or in this case family} by to look at my yard. Not awkward in a bad way, but I guess it’s kind of like when you have a garage sale and you feel like people are looking at all your junk.

I see all the things that still need to be done. The beds that need to be planted, the weeds that need to be pulled and the grass that needs to be mowed. They see a mini farm with brightly colored vegetables and chickens that lay eggs.

fresh eggs

Hudla’s niece fell in love with our chickens. Especially Piggey, the little white bantam. She stole her eggs of course, {they are planning on making a rhubarb custard pie tonight} and I have a feeling she will be begging her parents for some hens soon.

woman holding chicken

Fresh vegetables, chickens and a garden full of gnomes. What’s not to love right?

It doesn’t matter what you have in your garden, growing something will always be cool.

~Mavis

P.S. Hudla and Gretta — thank you for pulling all the weeds in my garden boxes and the potato patch today. You can stop by anytime! ;)

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.

Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse

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Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse

Growing food in a greenhouse is cool!

I thought I would give you a quick tour and show you all the goodness we have growing in our greenhouse. I was able to snag a few free containers over the weekend so I’ll be planting those and lining the sides of the greenhouse this week.raised garden beds greenhouse

Gnome Lady has been doing a fantastic job taking care of the raised garden beds alongside the greenhouse. The chives, lilies and potatoes all seem to be growing well together.

use gutters to grow food

Over the weekend I was able to replant the gutters on the left side of the greenhouse. We now have cucumbers, basil {just planted seeds last night} Swiss chard and hot peppers growing.

cucumber seedslings

The cucumber seeds we started a few weeks ago and I forgot to label them. I have no idea what variety I planted in the gutters but it’s either Marketmore, Lemon, or Burpless. I’m hoping they are the burpless ones because the vines are nice and long.

swiss chard seedlings

Swiss chard. Yipee! Are you as excited as I am? Ha! I planted the extra starts in the bed next to the greenhouse along with the cabbage. Hopefully they are good companion vegetables.

pepper plants

Although I grew peppers last summer in the greenhouse, they were planted in pots. I think it will be interesting to see how they do in the gutters. I noticed last summer their root systems were not especially long so we’ll see. I’ll also growing some pepper plants in pots as well.

grow strawberries in gutters

Strawberries LOVE growing in gutters. If this idea is new to you, read — How to grow strawberries in gutters. It will tell you how I planted mine.

strawberries in gutters

So far there are 2 red ones! Wahoooo! Strawberry Bruschetta can’t be too far behind.

growing tomatoes in a greenhouse

And last but not least, here is a look at the green zebra tomatoes that were transplanted to the old chicken brooder a few weeks ago. Tomatoes, carrots. onions and basil have been planted.

Yee-Haw! Now we’re farming!

~Mavis

You can see more pictures of our greenhouse and the progress we are making, in my Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse Series.

Greenhouse Gardener's Companion

Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion

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 Mail – Vasi From Romania Sends in Her Garden Photos

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start seeds in egg shellsHow to Start Seeds in Eggshells

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

Check out these beautiful pictures reader Vasi sent in from Romania!!!

sqaure foot garden

Vasi is an amateur gardener but has become addicted to growing. She likes to start her crops from the seed and she advocates everyday for organic gardening through her blog Vasi-Gioni.

Here is what Vasi had to say:

garden plants

This year I have grown 15 varieties of tomatoes, 5 varieties of capsicum and, in addition to the last years, Kiwano, american cucumbers, pak choi, red giant mustard and white  cucumbers.

dandilions

I discovered your blog last year and I learned a lot of things from you, everyday I take an impulse for organizing my garden as good as possible.

man holding pepper plants

The photos represent the beginning of the 2013 gardening season.

cucumber seedlings

~Mavis

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

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.

Square Foot Gardening – Slugs Ate My Cucumber Plants

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Square Foot Gardening

I think it’s been raining now for about the last week and a half. At first it was kind of nice but now, it’s getting a little depressing. Why can’t it just rain at night while we are all sleeping? Think how much more we could all get done outside in our gardens. Seriously.

brown slug

Mr. Brown Slug decided to slime his way over to the cucumber starts and eat them all. I hope he know this means war and that I will be going out there later today and salting his slimy little arse to death.

I’m not into pesticides, but salt, heck ya. Bring.It.On.

kale plant

I think when Ryan my online boyfriend comes to town later this week I am going to make him a kale smoothie. Yep, that’s one way to get rid of the leafy greens. ;)
broccoli plant

I don’t know about you, but I am having a heck of a time growing broccoli this year. Last year I was able to harvest a nice sized basket of the little green trees, but this year? No such luck. Boooo!

green bean seedlings

Check out the green beans. They look like little soldiers standing tall.

radish

I do believe it’s time to harvest the radishes! This will be our first harvest from the square foot garden. I’m excited to keep track of how much food we can produce this year from a 4×8 raised garden bed.

red leaf lettuce

And take a look at our red leafed lettuce. Isn’t she lovely? Award winning for sure.

sugar snap pea flower

The sugar snap peas vines are covered with tiny white flowers. It won’t be long now until stir-fry is on the menu. How are your peas doing? Do they have any flowers yet?

garden gnomes strawberries

And last but no least, Mr. Gnome Guy.Poor thing, he’s been getting soaked all week outside in the rain. It’s a good thing he’s a hardy little bugger. This being our first square foot garden, I think everything is looking pretty good.

I must say though, I am pretty surprised at how all the plants are getting along with each other. So far, so good.

~Mavis

Read more about my adventures in Square Foot Gardening.

Are you thinking about putting together a Square foot garden? See the how I built a square foot garden grid HERE.

All New Square Foot Gardening

For more information, check out All New Square Foot Gardening.  It is an amazon bestseller and the author, Mel Bartholomew is basically the king of square foot gardening.

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.

Chelsea Flower and Garden Show Gnomes

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garden gnomesPhoto Credit

Kathy from Facebook shared a link to the recent NPR article – Gnomes Crash Distinguished Garden Show In England. If you have a second go take a listen. I don’t know about you, but I could listen to British accents all day long!

In a nutshell, the 100th annual Chelsea Flower and Garden Show was held this past week and several  celebrities took the time to decorate garden gnomes to raise funds for the RHS campaign for school gardening.

So far, Elton John’s gnome has the highest bid at over 2,000 pounds! Wowza!

Can you guess which one is his from the pictures above?

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 22 of 52

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raised garden bed plans

Backyard Garden Plot Pictures – Week 22 of 52

peas growing along fence

Check out how tall the peas are getting. There are blossoms all over the place! We planted sugar snap peas along the fence and I cannot wait for some fresh peas.

wood pallet garden

The wood pallet garden is looking great. So far we have harvested endive and speckled Romaine lettuce. Next up will probably be the spinach.

raised garden beds

The raised garden beds are coming along. The beans I planted in the first box are finally coming up but the broccoli in the box behind the beans are not looking so hot.

I am becoming a little frustrated with those garden beds and I’m not quite sure what to do. Nothing seems to want to grow in them. I did have mint and oregano in those spots last year and am now wondering if it’s why I’m having problems.

pea teepees

I finally got around to tying the pea vines to the teepee poles. The weight of the pea vines was just to heavy this year and they needed a little help. Oh course had I not planted so stinkin’ many, they would have climbed up the poles easily. Oh well.

magnum glass greenhouse

The greenhouse. I’m still working on getting some more pots for my peppers.

potato towers

The potato towers are doing surprisingly well. The potato leaves are starting to pop out the sides of towers 2&3. You can read my recent post on them HERE.

wooded backyard

A view from the upper deck.

omlet chicken coop eglu cube orange

I’ll have to try and get a close picture next time, but the fava plants are doing pretty well. They are not as big as I had hoped, but I did spot a few blooms on the plants last week so it looks like we will stay get a mini crop of beans.

cascadia raspberry bushes western washington

The raspberry patch.

spooner farms raspberries

It’s a major jungle down there and the bees are buzzing around like crazy so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

container herb garden

And last but not least, the container herb garden. All our herbs — Oregano, Sage, Parsely, Rosemary, and thyme are doing great. Especially the thyme, it has really taken off.

How is your garden coming along?

Has the weather started to warm up yet in your neck of the woods? It’s stil raining off and on and the temps are in the mid 60′s. C’mon sunshine, I know you are out there somewhere.

~Mavisbotanical interests coupon

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, or visit my boyfriend Ryan’s blog 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.

Wood Pallet Garden – Harvesting Lettuce

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wood pallet garden

With the rain and cooler temps this past week, our pallet gardens have been growing like crazy!

Endive lettuce wood pallet garden

So far we have harvest 3 heads of endive lettuce.

It’s a little bitter {that’s normal} but it sure is pretty to grow. Kind of artsy if you ask me.

wood pallet garden endive

I think I’ll be replacing the endive beds with some Ruby Red Swiss chard once I get it all harvested.

grow strawberries in wood pallets

The strawberries are coming along nicely too. We have strawberries growing in 4 places this year. In the greenhouse, along side the house, in a hanging basket and in a wood pallet. So far the strawberries in the greenhouse are doing the best.

Last year I planted strawberries in a vertical pallet and I had it standing up for awhile, but eventually placed it flat on the ground so it would be easier to manage.

wood pallet garden spinach

The spinach is rockin’ too!

pallet gardening lettuce puggle

Lucy the lettuce dog taking her job seriously. Sampling is her primary duty.

wood pallet garden celery

Have you ever grown your own celery before? Homegrown celery has a totally different taste. We don’t use any chemicals on our vegetables, so I’m guessing that’s why they taste a little different than conventionally grown stuff you get in the stores.

freckles lettuce

And remember the red speckled lettuce and how I couldn’t figure out what variety it was? Well, it’s actually a romaine lettuce and the variety is called Freckles. If you ever find the seed packet at your local nursery center, grab one. It tastes just like regular Romaine only it’s prettier. ;)

No matter how you do it, gardening is cool!

Have a great weekend everyone.

~Mavis

heat treated wood pallet

Want to learn more about wood pallet gardening and how I put mine together? Click on the pallets above and it will take you to my first pallet garden post of the year. You’ll also learn what to look for when choosing a pallet.

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 – David Vs. Monsanto

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Tonight The Girl and I are watching David Vs. Monsanto.  It’s a documentary about a man who goes up against the agricultural giant Monsanto when GMO seeds blow into his crops, causing Monsanto to claim proprietary rights over his crops.

I usually get pretty worked up when I watch stuff like that {and for those of you that have been asking about my stance on GMO’s, I’m definitely working on it}, so hopefully I don’t turn my relaxing Friday evening upside down.

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

 

david vs. monsanto

Amazon Prime Members can watch David Vs. Monsanto for free.

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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