How to Harden Off Seedlings

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How to Harden Off Seedlings

Before I can transplant all of the plants I started indoors, I will have to harden them off.  Hardening off plants is basically acclimating plants that you started indoors to the outside weather.  It allows your plants to get used to the sun, wind, rain, etc. gradually–kind of like slowly allowing your kids to experience some of life’s harsh realities {only plants won’t eat all of your food and make your house smell like dirty socks}.

I usually harden off my plants for about seven days, but some people shoot for closer to two weeks. I have milder weather here, so it is a bit easier to get them used to the outside.  About a week before you plan to harden off your plants, you need to stop fertilizing them {if you use fertilizer} and scale back on the water.

How to Harden Off Seedlings zinnia

Start the process by leaving plants in a shady spot outside for a couple hours–but make sure to bring them in at night {my favorite spot is my front porch}.  Each day, gradually increase the amount of time you leave your plants outdoors, as well as how much direct sunlight they are exposed to.  After about 7 days, your plants should be ready to stay out all day and all  night {make sure to check temperature requirements for each plant to make sure it is staying warm enough at night}.

how-to-transplant-seedlings-swiss-chard

Once you have hardened off your plants, you can transplant them into the garden.  If possible, try to transplant them on a cloudy day {pretty much always possible in my neck of the woods} and water them in well.

That’s it, it’s like the final step before the actual gardening starts.  Weeee!

~Mavis

How to Grow More Vegetables

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Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Pictures 3/30/14

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raised garden beds

This past week has been a soggy one in our garden and there is no sign of letting up either. In fact, I think we actually hit a record for rainfall around here in Western Washington for the month of March.
potting bench spring

Everything is drenched! pallet garden

But the vegetables are still growing. Slowly.
poppies and rhubarb

Our poppies and rhubarb plants are doing great, but the artichokes I transplanted last fall have still not popped up yet. I guess it means I’ll have to plant another round of artichoke seeds and this time not move the plants. I knew I was taking my chances moving them but I was still hopping for the best. Oh well, lesson learned. magnum glass greenhouse

Everything in and around the greenhouse is growing like mad. 
greenhouse lettuce

 Don’t you think it looks like I’ve got a mini lettuce factory growing inside? {And yes, that is kale growing in the pots just outside the greenhouse.} ;)

shasta daisy flowers

If you are looking for a perennial flower that will spread like crazy and has some fantastic blooms, you should plant some Shasta Daisy Seeds. When we moved here 8 years ago we dug up a small section of a shasta daisy plant from our old house and planted it in our backyard. Since then every summer the plant spills seeds like gangbusters and now I’ve got shasta daisy flowers growing all over my backyard. I LOVE it!daffodils and raspberries

And last but not least, a photo of our raspberry patch. It’s coming alive!! Take a look at all those green leaves. I’m hoping for a bumper crop this year. :)

How about you? What’s happening in your garden these days?

Mavis wants to know.

This years garden is being sponsored by the folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company. You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2014 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.

Tips for Shopping at the Farmer’s Market

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Tips for Shopping at the Farmers Market

It’s that time of year again when the Farmer’s Markets start opening up–and fresh, local produce becomes more readily available.  Even better, it’s a chance to get all of those tasty heirloom veggies that you won’t be able to find at your local grocery store.  I love that you get to make your weekly menu on the fly as you stroll through mounds of possibilities– and all you really have to do is show up.  If just showing up isn’t quite enough for you, here are a couple of tips for getting the most out of your farmer’s market:

  1. Get to know the farmers.  Ask them how they grow their produce.  When it was picked.  The benefit of seeing the grower face to face is that you can get a full history of your food.
  2. Bring your own bags–and maybe even a cooler.  As the days get warmer, being prepared with a cooler and bags for those eggs, cheeses, and specialty sausages that you weren’t planning to buy, but couldn’t resist is heaven sent.  You can buy them, store them, and keep shopping.puyallup farmers market hess bakery
  3. Bring your appetite.  Most farmer’s markets offer samples or chances to eat the food they are selling in a way you would have never known to prepare them.  Keep and open mind–you might find your new favorite dish.
  4. Bring cash in the form of small bills.  Some vendors will take cards, but you keep costs low by giving the farmer cash in hand.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for bulk buy discounts.  You can always split the cost with neighbors.
  6. If you want a great selection, be prepared to arrive as early as possible.  {On the flip side, if you don’t care about selection and are looking for bargains, show up around closing time.}Broadway Farmers Market Tacoma Farmers Market pictures
  7. Shop around.  Farmer’s markets sell what is actually in season, so chances are, the vendor down the street a bit will also have the same produce, but maybe better prices.  See everything, then go back through and make your purchases.
  8. Ask about non-organic foods.  A lot of times, food not labeled organic at farmer’s markets just have not been “certified organic.”  When you ask about their growing practices, you may be pleasantly surprised.  You’ll get grocery store conventional grown prices for produce with little to no pesticides, etc.
  9. Dress for comfort.  I know that seems silly, but you may really put some miles under your belt walking through all of the vendors, so wear comfortable shoes, etc.Old Town Farmers' Market
  10. ALWAYS wash your produce when you get home.  Organic or not, most of the produce that comes from your farmer’s market is picked and then hauled straight to the market.  It won’t have been washed at all.

Do you shop at farmer’s markets?  Any tricks you’ve learned?  What’s your favorite part about them?

~Mavis

Washington State Farmers Market Directory

If you live in Washington State, check out our Washington State Farmer’s Market Directory.

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.

Blueberry Banana Oat Bread

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Blueberry Banana Oat BreadYesterday I made a load of blueberry banana oat bread for this mornings breakfast. Kinda sneaking huh? After a busy week of work, spring sports, washing 8 loads of laundry and just the general duties of being a mom, I’ve taking this Sunday off from cooking.

This blueberry banana oat bread is not only wee bit on the hearty side, but it’s FANTASTIC with a bit of fresh butter spread across the top as well. Blueberry Banana Oat Bread

Ingredients
1 cup buttermilk {how to make buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana
2/3 cups packed dark brown sugar {how to make brown sugar}
1/3 cups canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups blueberries {I used frozen}

Blueberry Banana Oat Bread

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with butter and dust with a little flour.

In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, oil and mashed banana until nice and smooth.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and oats. Stir dry mixture into wet mixture. Fold in blueberries and pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan 30 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan and then cool the blueberry banana oat bread on a wire rack before slicing.

 

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 Tools, Graco, Amazon Local, Taos Footwear, Butter Coupons, Daddy and Me Ties, REI

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hyacinth flowers

Happy Sunday everyone, I hope your weekend is going well. Do you have anything exciting planned for today? I’m not sure what we will be going to do for our family activity today, but I’m sure it will involve something indoors since the rain is suppose to continue for another week or so. Good times!

Do you have one of those artificial sun lamps? Do you like it? Because I am seriously thinking about getting one if the sun does not come out soon.  There’s only so much grey skies and rain a person can take. :(

Mavis

graco booster seat

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Up to 35% Off Graco Baby Gear

amazon local deals

Amazon Local is giving away a $5 credit to all new users. Simply create an account, select payment methods and enter in code SPRING05 and your account will be credited $5.00

Here are some of the latest deals:

  • Free Coupon for 40% Off Select Tablet Accessories
  • 2014 Kindle Publisher and Book Promotion Course $49
  • Online Web Design Course $79
  • Resume Writing Services $79

Unboard games for kids

Stock up of Birthday Gifts for Kids:

taos footwear sale

Zulily has Taos Footwear on sale today with savings up to 65% off. 

daddy and me ties

Jane has Daddy and Me Ties available for $9.99. Super cute for pictures!

rei coupon

Through April 13th, 2014 REI Members can take 20% off one full item in store at REI or REI.com or online at REI-Oytlet.com when you use code SAVE20 at checkout. Go HERE for details.

charcoal set

If you teen loves to draw these might make a great little gift:

kashi cereal coupon

Print a coupon good for $0.70 off any ONE Kashi Cereal

deals on garden tools

Here are a few deals on garden tools I spotted:

martha stewart living magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Martha Stewart Living Magazine for only 14.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 3/31/14 at midnight EST.

bras

Groupon is offering a 6-Pack of Laser-Cut Microfiber Bras in Assorted Colors for $37.99 shipped.

zaycon ground beef ham event

Zaycon Foods is coming to town! :)

This time around they are offering Fresh Lean Ground Beef, {93/7} – 40 lbs for $3.99 a pound and Carve Master Boneless Applewood Smoked Ham – 22 pounds for $3.49 a pound.

I have ordered both of these products before from Zaycon Foods and have been very pleased with them. Locations are beginning to sell out though so you’ll want to place your order soon!

land o lakes butter coupon

There are 2 Land O Lakes Coupons available to print:

$0.50 off LAND O LAKES Half Stick Butter
$0.50 off LAND O LAKES Butter Spread Product

Find More Printable Coupons

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.

Easter Crafts For Kids – Marshmallow Peeps

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easy easter crafts for kids peeps

~Happy Easter to one of my favorite PEEPS~

I posted this easy peasy Easter Craft last year and thought I would share it again for those of you who might have missed it.

All you need are a few “snack size” ziplock baggies, a few boxes of brightly colored marshmallow peeps, and this free printable peeps topper.

Simply place 1 row of peeps in a snack size ziplock bag and close it tight.  Then staple {or glue} the printable peeps topper and you are good to go.

Mavis

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

Homemade Butter in a Jar – Easy Kids Projects

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Homemade Butter in a Jar - Easy Kids Projects

Need a fun activity for kids on a rainy day?  Try making butter in a jar.  They will have a blast shaking the jar, learn a little bit about their food, and hey, you might even get to sit back, relax and slather their creation on a piece of toast.

Homemade Butter in a Jar - Easy Kids Projects

You’ll Need:

1 Pint mason jar with lid and band {or just a lid of you are using the plastic ones}
8 oz Heavy cream

Homemade Butter in a Jar - Easy Kids ProjectsDirections:

Pour heavy whipping cream into the jar until the jar is about 1/2 full {or 1/2 empty, if that is how you roll}.  Place the lid on the jar, screw it down pretty tight to avoid a mess.

Homemade Butter in a Jar - Easy Kids Projects

Have them shake the jar vigorously {like they might want to go put on workout wear kind of vigorous}.   The cream will thicken and begin to clump together.  Continue to shake until the cream is mostly solid.

Homemade Butter in a Jar - Easy Kids Projects

Then, open up the jar and strain off any liquid {you can save the liquid, that’s pure buttermilk baby!} and the remaining mass of goodness is butter.

Homemade Butter in a Jar - Easy Kids Projects

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.

One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights

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mavis butterfield instagramMavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share a picture a day in 2014.

the best gardening books

Books, Books, and More Books from Amazon.com

growing lettuce in guttersGarden Updates and Projects

english muffin bread

Recipes

lucy the puggle dog

Mornings with Mavis 

glow sticks glow in the dark easter eggsTips and Tricks

aroma rice cooker giveaway

Be sure and enter our giveaway for 3 Aroma Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamers.

Tipping for Service

Weekly Shopping Trips and Stories

Videos

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest news by following One Hundred Dollars a Month on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ as well.

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.

3 Quick Tips to Get Your Garden Growing with Vegetable Starts

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vegetable-starts1

Looking to get a jump start on planting your spring garden crops but don’t know where to start? Check out my latest eHow article  Vegetable Starts: 3 Quick Tips to Get Your Garden Growing for a quick and easy solution.

Have you been to the garden center lately and notice anything new? How about all those rows and rows of promising vegetable starts waiting to be plucked off the shelves? Buying vegetable starts (rather than planting seeds) is a great way to get a jumpstart on your garden and cut down on your growing time.

Typically you can expect to save between 1-2 months of growing time (on average) when using vegetable starts instead of planting cold weather crops like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts under grow lights in your home.

Go HERE to read the full article …

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 – Betting the Farm

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Tonight The Girl and I are going to watch Betting the Farm.  It’s about a group of dairy farmers, who after being dropped by their national milk company, decide to band together to start their own milk company.  I really hope it’s one of those stories that shows just how successful local food can be–though, given the trailer, it looks like it might really be about the sheer struggle of being successful and both farming and business.

 betting the farm

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

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

 

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

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