Mavis Mail – Send Pictures of Your Garden For a Chance to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

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Send Pictures of Your Garden For a Chance to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

Alright lovely readers, who has some garden pictures you’ve just been dying to share with me? And who wants a $20 gift card to Amazon? I realize your gardens might look a little shabby right now {all of ours do, it’s just that time of year!}, but that’s no reason not to snap some pics and show me your progress {and a $20 Amazon gift card is a great incentive, right?!}.

I want to see what you are doing in your backyards {or indoors even!}. I love my garden, but sometimes I really get sick of looking at it. So I want to see yours! Here are some of the coolest ones that have been submitted by you guys:

Harlem Garden ApartmentSquare Inch Gardening in New York

Harlem, New Yorker, Holly, proves space isn’t an excuse when it comes to gardening. They have a tiny back porch off of their apartment and they put every last square inch to good garden use!

bean garden trellisAmazing Bean Trellis and Garden Box Photos:

I don’t like to pick favorites, but this picture might be my favorite of all your submissions. That bean trellis is simply gorgeous. I totally want one. But even more I love how Heather’s daughter is so content under it, chewing on beans that it produced. Love it!

cinder block garden cute chicken coop designTexas Cinder Block Garden:

Lindsey’s unique cinder block garden totally caught my attention. What a great idea for garden bed containers! Plus she has some beautiful chickens and a chicken coop I’m envious of.

Strawberry tower made from fence boardsVertical Fence Board Strawberry Tower and Garden:

April invented the coolest vertical gardening tower ever. Using old fence boards she grew a successful strawberry plant vertically. Perfect when you’re short on space.

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.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com {take some deep breaths and contain your excitement}.

isle of man

Things to keep in mind when you send me your stuff:

  1. I have major OCD. You do not have to be a professional photographer, but your photos do need to be clear and well lit or I won’t be able to use them.
  2. All photos must be original, and they must have been taken by YOU.
  3. I won’t be able to use or get back to everyone–but just assume that whatever you sent in was awesome.
  4. Be sure to include a little information about yourself, like how long you’ve been gardening, raising chickens, ect. Also, please include your name and what state or country you are from.
  5. If you have a blog and would like me to link back to it, please let me know, I’d be happy too.
  6. Ideally I’d prefer at least 5 pictures per submission, but the more the merrier just in case I do not select them all.

Okay, peeps, that about covers it. Whether you submit something or not, I think you’re all amazing just for being part of our little One Hundred Dollars a Month family. Thanks for reading, sharing, commenting and emailing. I could have never imagined when I started this blog back in 2009 it would have turned into what it is today. You.Are.Awesome.

~Mavis

Send your garden, and chicken related pictures with stories via email to onehundreddollarsamonth @ gmail.com {remove the spaces} and be sure and put Mavis Mail in the subject line. Thank you. I’m looking forward to your submissions.

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.



Chicken Coop Photos from Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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vicky and her chickenVicky and Buttercup

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

Check out these cool chicken coop photos and the stories behind them Vicky from Winston-Salem, North Carolina sent in:

chicken coop picturesHi there, Mavis!

In February of last year, after months of online research, I purchased four 6-week-old Buff Orpington pullets.  Until October, they lived in a Tractor Supply chicken coop and run.  I let them out a couple of times a day, but they were getting a little “cooped up” (nyuk nyuk) in there.  So we bought a Wichita-style chicken coop and everyone is happy.
wooden chicken coop
I live in the city and am allowed a maximum of 5 hens (no roosters) with very strict rules about their living situation (3 square feet/chicken for the coop; 10 square feet/chicken for the run, which must be enclosed).
buff orpington chickens
My girls are Buttercup (I’m holding her in the photo), Marigold, Sunflower, and Daisy.  They are all Buff Orpingtons.  Our winters are generally mild, but even after our recent frigid temperatures (it dropped to 5 degrees!), they have continued to lay regularly.  Such good girls!

chicken coop interior

Check out all the fine art! Who wouldn’t feel inspired to lay a few eggs in here? ;) ~ Vicky
old licence plate frames

Wow Vicky, I would have never thought to hang photographs of eggs in my coop to inspire my hens. I think you might be on to something.  With all this cold weather we’ve been having, I’m willing to try anything to get my girls to lay a few more eggs.

Thanks for sending in your story,

~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.

Southern Virginia Garden Tour – Vegetables, Kids, Pigs and Chickens!

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garden girl

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 photos and the stories behind them Amanda from Virginia sent in:

kids and garden vegetbales

Last spring/summer we decided to turn our bare backyard into our little “Half-Acre Home on the Range” and I wanted to share some of the pictures of our journey. Our little backyard garden and farmyard is a labor of love for our little family. My husband is the builder. He built our garden boxes, chicken coop, and pig house/pen. He leaves it to the girls and I to fill them with living things! I am really so thankful he goes along with all of our crazy ideas!

This was our very first gardening adventure. Which seems kind of silly to me. My dad is a farmer, and I grew up on a farm, so I really have no idea why it took me so long to start a garden!

There was not a lot of planning this first year. My focus was on letting the girls enjoy and be part of every moment. They helped dig in the dirt, and I let them plant the seeds. Naturally, the first harvest belonged to them ;) I loved that they wanted to be outside, right beside me, breathing fresh air and growing fun things.

kids in garden boxMy big girl named our garden the “Happy Foods” Garden, so we had to make a sign…of course!

It was so much fun watching new things pop up in the garden!!

girl feeding a chicken

Then, we talked our guy into chickens!!! He worked hard to build us the cutest little coop.

handmade chicken coopOur big girl looked out over our backyard at the end of the summer and said that she loved our little home because it made all of our dreams come true :) As a mom, that was one of the best moments!

garden vegetablesWe had lots of rain, so the garden, the bugs, and the grass got a little out of control! Throughout the summer we harvested some squash, cucumbers, basil, cilantro, radishes, lettuce, swiss chard, and a few other things.

garden vegetablesMy tomato plants ended up with some kind of disease, and I didn’t plant nearly enough beans…I still have a great deal to learn! But we had such a blast together. ~ And the girls were always looking for a chance to play in water ;)

piggyAnd we added a pig! I have always wanted a little pet pig!! Someone in our community needed a new home for her pot belly pig, so the girls and I brought her home! :) It was love at first sight!! (And she likes kale!)

pig penOnce again, our guy went to work building our dreams. She has her own little pen to root around in the mud, and we hung her some bunting. Every girl needs a little bunting.

Our July babies have finally started laying eggs, and it’s so exciting to check the nest boxes each day! The girls have to take turns carrying the eggs back to the house. Chickens are just awesome!

chicken garlic shootsEverything seems so brown and dead this time of year, but we do have a few garlic shoots from the fall popping up!! It’s so fun to see the garden still alive through the winter!

We enjoy our little backyard farmyard so much! We are ready to dig in the dirt again and are preparing for spring! We hope to have a bigger, better garden this year. I have already received my first order of seeds, and I ordered a set of grow lights for myself for Christmas, YAY!! :) I write a little about our backyard adventures and share pictures of our day-to-day at mychaosandcoffee.

garden photos

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.

Chicken Coop Pictures from Sandpoint, Idaho

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chicken coop and chickensA 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 chicken coop photos an story Holly from Sandpoint, Idaho sent in:

insulated chicken coopHi Mavis!

I’ve been enjoying all the photos of chicken coops that are being sent to you. Wow and amazing. What fun to see how everyone takes care of their girls!

chicken coop in winterI’ve been a reader of your blog for a year and live near Sandpoint, Idaho………yeah, snow country…….and when we decided to get chickens last Spring we thought we knew everything…..haha….but soon found out we didn’t. We have two Rhode Island Reds, two Barred Rocks, two Golden Sex Links and one Araucana {yay for blue-green eggs!}

We ordered a pre-made coop and run on the internet. Found out later it was made in China and totally uninsulated. Yep. Pretty darn cute……but all looks and no substance. It was fine until the weather turned cold in the Fall and our seven girls got bigger.

rhode island red chickenThe temps in the coop got pretty darn cold at night……and the girls were cramped. Don’t ever take as gospel what the coop manufacturers say as far as how many chickens a coop will handle.

My HH decided around October that this cutesy coop would not work through our winters here. We quickly came up with a simple shed roof coop plan of our own with windows (hey, happy hens gotta look out!) so it would look cute on the edge of my garden. He built it in record time before the first snowfall. We have a friend who now calls it the Ritz. Funny.

The new insulated coop is just 6 x 8. But it’s warm and keeps them happy. We have plans to build an enclosed run when the snow and ice melt. For now the girls seem to be content…..except I’m not when they hop their fence into my garden! Even with the snow they love to peck at my growing garlic. We need to put up a wire on the fence so they can’t jump over……it seems like there are always more to-dos with chickens!!!!!

backyard garden with snowThis long-term Arizona girl {me} is having an interesting time with snow and cold and chickens……….but it’s all so do-able. Not always fun but do-able. They’re happy…..and if they’re happy then I’m happy.

chickens in gardenI started a blog last year …..www.dirtanddenim.com ……..to chronicle our garden and chicken adventures here in snow country.

I totally enjoy your blog and humor and pics and Lucy. Keep up the good work!

Holly

roosting chickensIf 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.

Mavis Mail – Send Me Your Tips, Tricks, Pics, and Recipes For a Chance to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

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chickens isle of man{Betty & Margo, 2 hens on the Isle of Man sent in by reader Angie from The Cinnamon Coach}

I love to get mail from my readers. Lately, I’ve been getting some pretty awesome pictures, recipes, gardening stories and chicken goodness in the mail.  And you know what I’ve decided?  My readers are so fun and wise, I should ask for their help.  So, as things start to get busier out in the garden, I would like to feature some of your ideas to help ease the load. I can’t do it alone–I neeeeed you!

garden isle of man{I vote we all move to the Isle of Man and live with Angie. Her children are all grown and I’m sure we could help out around her place in exchange for seeing that awesome view every day.}

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 {take some deep breaths and contain your excitement}.

isle of man

Things to keep in mind when you send me your stuff:

  1. I have major OCD. You do not have to be a professional photographer, but your photos do need to be clear and well lit or I won’t be able to use them.
  2. All photos must be original, and they must have been taken by YOU.
  3. I won’t be able to use or get back to everyone–but just assume that whatever you sent in was awesome.
  4. Be sure to include a little information about yourself, like how long you’ve been gardening, raising chickens, ect. Also, please include your name and what state or country you are from.
  5. If you have a blog and would like me to link back to it, please let me know, I’d be happy too.
  6. Ideally I’d prefer about 5 pictures per submission, so the more the merrier just in case I do not select them all.

Okay, peeps, that about covers it. Whether you submit something or not, thank you from the bottom of my heart for visiting, leaving comments, and sending me emails. I could have never imagined when I started this blog back in 2009 it would have turned into what it is today. You.Are.Awesome.

~Mavis

Send your garden, and chicken related pictures with stories via email to onehundreddollarsamonth @ gmail.com {remove the spaces} and be sure and put Mavis Mail in the subject line. Thank you. I’m looking forward to your submissions.

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 Asks for Forgiveness and Answers Your Pressing Questions

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mavis butterfield

Confession time. I’m not perfect. Now I’ve known that for years, but sometimes this blog of mine glosses over that fact and all you see are colorful pictures of awesomeness. And I’m a little awesome too. But awesome people still make mistakes {lots of them, but who’s counting, right?}.

You see I had a site redesign many {many} months ago. During that redesign, my contact page was revamped making it easier to contact me. Or so you all thought. I guess the jokes on you, because I’m a technological idiot sometimes. All those hundreds of messages you’ve been sending me over the last many months were no longer delivered to me via email like they used to be. They were tucked safely inside a “comments” folder on the back end of the site, never to be seen by me until, well, now.

Yikes.

There were about 600 comments hidden in there that I never knew existed.

Double yikes.

Truth be told, it’s really a miracle I can even upload a photo, so this should come as no surprise. While Martha Stewart strives for perfection, I strive to simply brush my teeth and change out of pj’s before my kids get home from school every day. Perfection is not a language I speak.  So forgive me? Pretty please? I promise, now that I know where to find them, I’ll stop ignoring your comments and reply as soon as I am able. Like I’m going to do right now for a few of those more pressing comments I found trapped in the abyss:

ask mavis

Hi Mavis- Love your blog, and I just wanted to mention that the number of typos, or auto-correct mistakes, seems to have increased over the last few months. So much so that I have stopped following the blog. I came back today to check it out, and the typo in the first sentence I read inspired me to contact you to let you know. I can’t imagine all the hard work that goes into your blog, and it’s a shame when simple mistakes take away from that. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my message. Cindy

Amen, Cindy. Amen. I’m not a writer. I accidentally have a blog with thousands of followers. I didn’t set out to write for people other than my very forgiving family to read {although I’m totally glad you guys show up every day!}. I’m a one man show, so sometimes it’s way more important for me to spend my time getting the content out there for you guys and way less important to spend hours editing. I know occasionally my posts can be used as an example in a high school English class on “How Not to Punctuate,” but I’m not losing sleep over it. ;)

I get that that might be like nails on a chalkboard to all you Journalism majors, but it’s really the best I can do. Here’s hoping if you put some punctuation blinders on, you’ll still be able to get some helpful tips and useful info out of my site. I always welcome your corrections, so get out your red pens and feel free to be grammar Nazis for me. But if my shortcomings are too much for you to handle, the beauty about living in a free country is you can click on that little “x” at the top of your screen and make me go away!

ps. Cindy, the commas before and after “or auto-correct mistakes” in your email are technically unnecessary and would be removed by an editor. But luckily I’m a pretty forgiving person, so I overlooked that error and kept reading your response. ;)

canonHi Mavis, I just wondered what camera you use for your great photos. Thanks!

Good question. I use a Canon EOS Rebel T3i and I love it. I’m not the best photographer, so it’s a pretty forgiving camera. It takes some great shots, makes me look way more talented in that department than I am, and is pretty easy to use. If you’re in the market for a camera, I’d totally recommend the one I have. I bought it because the reviews were great and said it was really user friendly and it totally is.

food waste in america

Hello- I have really enjoyed your blog! I was wondering if there are any special tricks to asking for the scrap boxes? Magic words? back flips? No but really do you just ask the manager? Thanks for the wonderful blog candy!  Jessie

Although I can do a mean back flip, I figured showing off my mad skillz down the aisles of the store would be messy and make Mr. Produce man hate me. Kinda defeats the purpose, so I reserve that talent for smaller audiences. Truth though? I just asked nicely. He voiced some concerns {in his case, taking time to set the scraps aside for me and worrying I’d never consistently show up}, so we began on a trial basis. Maybe suggest that with your produce manager and see what they say?

tacoma city marathonMavis- I am Nick Butcher’s grandma and my husband and I are both gardeners. Thanks for your website, read it every day. I also want to thank you for being so nice to Nick at the marathon.  Joy

Joy, the pleasure was all ours. We had the best time surviving the Tacoma City Marathon with Nick.  Should have guessed a great young man like that came from great stock who aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty! Thanks for reading and tell Nick we said hi!

Hey Mavis

We were wondering if your husband works full time with you or if you have income that comes in to the household as well through him.

I’m planning on winning the lottery any day now {well as soon as I start playing!}, but until that happens, my husband will continue to work his full-time job outside our home to support our family!Rhubarb Walnut MuffinsFirst off, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! I wanted to tell you that everything I click at the top of your blog, it always takes me back to June 2, 2013. It doesn’t want to take me to your latest post. :( Hope it’s fixable! [A] dedicated reader, Angie

First off, thanks so much for the praise! Second, I’ve looked back on the posts from June, 2nd and the only conclusion I can come to is that the universe is trying to tell you to make the Rhubarb Walnut Muffins I posted the recipe for that day. I get it. They were that good. Seriously though, try clearing your browser’s cache and it should fix the problem!

winco shopping trip

So, the question I have is… how do you define “groceries?” Are groceries just your food, or does it include toiletries, soap/shampoo/rinse/laundry soap, toilet paper, and pet food?

Technically, Webster says groceries are anything sold by a grocer, but Webster also says the word “amazeballs” doesn’t exist, so what does he know?! I just define groceries for budgeting purposes here on the site as any food item my family eats or drinks for nourishment. So milk counts but drinkable cough medicine wouldn’t. Got it?

mavis gnomes St. Jude #StJudeorBust

Why are your Gnomes in [my] yard???????? A lady in a black van put them in my front yard this evening?????

What’s weird about a black van pulling up under the cover of darkness and randomly dumping gnomes in your yard? Okay, okay. It does require some explaining, but trust me when I say it was for a super good cause. The gnomes were a part of our Send in the Gnomes fundraiser where we raised over $5,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We gnomed people across the country and had a blast doing it!

wood pallet garden pictures

How do we send pictures to you of our garden? We tried potatoes this year, and I wanted to share our experience. Thanks!

Here’s everything you ever wanted to know {and a ton of stuff you didn’t} about how to submit your photos and stories to me. My Mavis mailbox needs a whole new crop of stories and reader submissions for 2014, so send ‘em on in!

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

Whatever happened to Andy the Plant Whisperer?  

Andy was growing something he shouldn’t have in my garden so I gave him the boot. Nuf said.

So there you have it. All your burning questions answered 5+ months after you asked them. While I’m not always super duper punctual, I swear I’ll be faster about responding going forward! Unless technology changes again and then I totally can’t be held responsible!

Peace Out Girl Scouts,

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.

Garden Photos From North Vancouver

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organic garden photos

Check out this email Trixi from North Vancouver sent in:

Hi Mavis, I want to share some of my harvest photos from this year. We had bumper crops of everything and I am almost glad it is winter and we can get a break. Just finishing putting the garden to bed this weekend, I’ll take some pictures of what it looks like now. I can’t believe how much is still growing. Oh, I meant to tell you about the potatoes I grew in the coffee bags. They looked great, but the harvest wasn’t. Too much work for the results too. anyway, here are some pictures of stuff that did work.

organic grapes garden photos

Raisins and Grape juice in the making. the raisins are is vacuum, sealed jars and they last forever. I love them, they are sour and so juicy.

organic garden photos

Last of the greenhouse harvest.

garden harvest

Red Kuri Squash, I just love the color and the texture of this squash. If you haven’t you should try it.

We started a new bed {of broccoli} in late August, don’t ask me why I felt I needed to grow more of anything, but after it was in I needed to fill it. It goes like this usually, I am reading about pink lemonade blueberries and before you know it a delivery van is filling the driveway with shrubs. My HH (handy husband) builds a bed that is three times bigger than needed.

As I believe that no garden space should ever be empty ( there is a problem with that way of  thinking but I believe you might understand) I filled the rest of the space with broccoli seedlings.  I had no idea what to expect at that late date, but what we got was broccoli with heads the size of a fruit bowl! amazing! Better than any crop we’ve grown before, good thing we love broccoli! Yeah for winter gardening!

~Trixi

garden boxes

{Garden Photos from Fairbanks, Alaska}

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!

~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.

Garden Photos from Fairbanks, Alaska

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garden boxes

Hello! My husband, Christopher, and I (Shannon) live in Fairbanks, Alaska. We actually just met October 2012 and married this July, and this is a story of our first garden together.

starting seeds indoors

Most of the pictures here are his handiwork. Here in Alaska, we must start many of our plants inside, sometimes months ahead of time. Temperatures dip to 55 below zero, and winter lasts into May. Also, we have more darkness than light until summer. We don’t have a lot of space in our house (less than 1000 sq. ft.). Thus, we placed our “starts” in our bedroom under grow lights. Christopher already had this set up.

garden beds tires

Before I knew him, I only used window sills. We started everything from seed except for some flowers. We started in smaller, more typical six-pack type containers we both already had. We eat a lot of yogurt, and used these containers and others left for free at the transfer station (along with other improvised containers) for planters later on.

raised garden beds

Eventually, we ran out of space in this indoor greenhouse. So, starts ended up transplanted several times and then took over our living room. We had pumpkins growing up our curtains! We (read: I) ‘may’ have gotten a little carried away with the pumpkins this year and planted them a bit early (February – early April likely would have been fine).

poly tunnel

We were starting to get a little crowded and crazy from all the plants. We do have a small pop up greenhouse, but it is pretty small and unheated. We couldn’t put plants in it until the danger of frost had passed. Once they were outside, our living room felt HUGE!

The house we live in is the house I had before I met Christopher, and it had three planting beds: two on the above-ground septic tank (the house is on permafrost), and one “sunken canoe.” I had built a fourth bed at the end of the last growing season (August) out of scrap lumber, but didn’t plant anything in it.

peppers greenhouse

Thus, we decided to expand. We (read: Christopher) used scrap lumber and tires scavenged from one of Fairbanks’ transfer stations. We planted carrots from seed early, and you can see we covered them with plastic to help keep in moisture. Our water situation here is typical for Fairbanks but might surprise others “Outside” (term used to refer to outside of Alaska).

We have a 1500 gallon insulated above ground tank and a truck comes to deliver water at about 10 cents/gallon. Otherwise, we can haul our own water or collect it in rain barrels. We do/did the latter two options for obvious reasons until the very end of summer when we both got really busy.

For a while our yard looked like a construction site. This drove me crazy. Keep in mind; most of our plants are still inside. We did this construction in May, and it was still freezing at night.

tomatoes

We did not have enough time or energy (did I mention we got married in July?) to make as many beds as we wanted. So, our tomatoes ended up staying in pots, as did our peppers. We built a hoop house for our peppers to help control moisture and keep the heat up. Next year, we plan on building a bed for our pepper plants.

cinderella pumpkins

We will likely also build a new bed for potatoes. We used most of the flowers we grew for wedding decorations (outdoor wedding at a friend’s house). We also grew herbs on our deck and I window sills. The rock walkway leading up to the tires (containing French Cinderella pumpkin plants) were scavenged from the property and from the (dirt) road. Eventually, our garden grew and grew.

chicks

Did I mention we also raised meat chickens? We bought 20 “black boiler” chicks. This property came with this pre-build dog condo/chicken coop thing with its own fenced-in yard. You can see our coop (and our very own pallet compost bin) in one of these pictures. The hanging feeder pictured below was made of an old hub cap I had picked up in the woods a while ago for some unknown hoarding reason and a stove pipe from a friend.

Black broilers are not the most “fast growing” or largest chicken variety (not the type that reaches adulthood in 6 weeks). We’ve heard this is a variety commonly raised in Europe for sale in stores. They were fed good feed, lots of veggie scraps, and weeds. They eventually ate all the fireweed (wildflowers growing in one of the pictures) growing in their pen.

We slaughtered them ourselves at 10 weeks. Some of the chickens were a little smaller than we wanted (slightly larger than a Cornish hen), but we were ready to be done with chickens, as we had traveling to do. You can see the contraption we made for this task in one of our garden pictures (from scrap wood, and I found one of the traffic cones). We rented a chicken plucker machine for $20 from someone on Craigslist to ease the task. They taste great!

If we are in this house next year (we may move so we can expand our family), we will insulate the coop so we can keep layers year-round. Of course, we will use blueboard insulation we already have (came from Christopher’s old property).

carrots

We had a hard frost in late August. Luckily, we had harvested all the sensitive plants before then (except for a bunch of green tomatoes that are now in a freezer).I must say, I am so thankful to have found a man that loves to garden and “homestead” as much as me.

cinderela pumpkins

We have blanched, frozen, and canned all this bounty (that we haven’t shared). We also have moose and 40 Copper River “reds” (sockeye) salmon we harvested in a freezer. I’m slightly obsessed with berry- picking, so we also have 15 gallons of wild blueberries, as well as a few gallons each of wild cranberries and raspberries. Alaska is a bountiful place if you know how to harvest her resources (responsibly, of course!).

~Shannon from Fairbanks, Alaska.

garden boxes

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!

~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.

Garden Photos From The High Desert of Nevada

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Christine Backyard Gardener

Christina, a freelance graphic designer from Nevada sent in a boatload of pictures of her garden recently and I thought they were super cool. So I asked her to give us a virtual tour:

garden beds

The Live Long and Prosper garden is about 15 by 25 feet and is located in a large area behind my five-acre family home in the high desert of Nevada. We are right next to a wilderness area and bird sanctuary, so we have to fence the garden off from rabbits and quail. Before the garden, the area was just a weedy, sagebrush area that took several years to clear.

the barn

It is located next to a barn, a wood shed and a small guesthouse. We did not fill in the entire area with veggies since we have to keep an open area to protect the house from wildfires.

corn garden bed

Before we built this garden, I had a small garden (about four beds) in another part of the garden where I just had salad greens, chard, tomatoes and some herbs. Our neighbors and good friends also had a small garden in their backyard and we all came up with the idea to use our spacious backyard (their backyard is lower and floods in the winter and spring) for a community garden. Nearly everything in the garden was re-used, found on Craigslist or given to us. The windows came from a friend who had been working on Leonard Nimoy’s house and the garden gate came from one of the barn stalls.

garden beds

Since the beds were built with old wood from the barn, they are different sizes. I think we tried to get them around the same size as the Leonard Nimoy windows, so they are either 4×6 or 4×8 in size.

barn manure

All the manure for the garden came from my family barn (we had cows, sheep, goats and poultry when I was a kid) and it took us some very long weekends and many wheelbarrows to drag it all out into the garden.

scarecrow

It also took several tools (shovel, snow shovel, pickaxe, rake and a pulaski) to get the 20-year manure out. It was one of the hardest jobs I’ve EVER done. :)

tomato plants

This year we grew corn, tomatoes, zucchini, pattypan squash, carrots, kale, cauliflower, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, fingerling potatoes, red potatoes, artichokes (they are in their first year), cantaloupe, watermelons, cucumbers and lemon cucumbers, green peppers and jalepeños. We got some stray pumpkins that came up too from some compost, so those are coming along now.

garden harvest

Everything grew like crazy, but we did get some aphid problems on the brassica plants and some strange black beetles on some of the squash. We also picked the corn too late (newbies!), so it was a little chewy. We also got an early fall and some really cold nights, which is rare for this area so we had to cover up the melons with the windows. We also use a straw bale cold frame for the artichokes and they seem to love it. We did have to pick a lot of the tomatoes green.

raised garden beds

For next year, we will rotate the crops and I’m building a pallet composter to amend our soil over the winter. I would love to also put in some raspberry canes, amaranth, garlic, rainbow chard and more lemon cucumbers ( I LOVE them).

protect artichokes from the sun

We have some wild, erratic weather here so we will try to start as many seeds as we can in cold frames or under grow lights. We’ve never done artichokes before, so I have no idea what will happen with those plants. I will continue to use my smaller garden for lettuce, arugula, spinach and herbs like chives, oregano, cilantro and some strawberry plants. For some reason, peas, beets and onions don’t do well here.

garden

I’ve only been gardening for about 3-4 years. The same for our neighbors. We are all still learning and make some silly mistakes, but it’s such a fun hobby. I love looking at seed catalogs and building things out of found wood or free objects. For other gardening tips, I’m a big fan of your site, GardenFork.tv, and the Edible Garden videos by Alys Fowler.

barn project

The barn project was really just a lark. We were just going to use the manure and then I really wanted to light a match to the place. :-) Then a co-worker of mine showed me some photos of a nearby barn she was going to be married in. It (the project) turned out really nice and we had a barn dance to celebrate the end of the project.

sunflower

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!

~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.

Mavis Mail – Cool Chicken Coop Photos

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cool chicken coop photos

Shelly from Washington writes:

I love your blog and as a fellow Washingtonian I wanted to share my coop with you! This is my first year with chickens and I am totally hooked. After about a year of fiddling with the idea of getting chickens I found a coop on craigslist that I loved, for $100! It was such a great deal so with some help I convinced my husband it would be a good idea to get chickens and we picked up the coop that weekend.

chickens and children

We have six hens that are all one year old. Jo and Jack are our Ameraucanas and Meg and Beth are Buff Orpingtons. Jo, Jack, Meg and Beth lived together for a year before we got them and all get along well with each other so when Elinor and Fanny joined the flock they were shown their place at the bottom of the pecking order. It took a few weeks of adjusting, but they are all getting along now. Elinor and Fanny are our Black Stars and lay the most beautiful extra-large brown eggs almost every day.  

blue chicken coop

We have a pen for the girls so they can come and go from their coop as they please without getting into too much trouble, but the coop is safe when it’s closed up and large enough that they aren’t crammed in there when the coop is locked. Our coop can hold up to 30 hens, and I’m sure the day is quickly coming when we max it out. 

roosting rods chickens

The roosting rods are set over an open floor to minimize cleanup needed, and make easier collection for the compost bin. For the first month or so the chickens huddled in the corner every night and refused to use the roosting rods, even when I would place them on the rods the ladies would jump down.

When Elinor and Fanny joined the flock and immediately started sleeping on the rods, everyone else joined in and started sleeping on the roosting rods as well. The nest boxes on the side of the coop are at perfect collection height for the kids, and my oldest son loves to collect and count the eggs. Thanks for letting me share!

~ Shelby

And yes, I laid sod in my chicken coop, because what fun is it to have chickens if you don’t spoil them once in a while? ;) See more of Shelby’s cool ideas HERE.

nesting boxes

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 glean some ideas from each other.

~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.

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