How to Grow Your Own Food – 2013 Garden Tally

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heirloom winter squash picture{Winter Squash 2012}

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

terra cotta pots planting

This past week I harvested a whopping 5 ounces of Swiss chard.

Whop.t.do.

My kitchen, laundry room, and garage all look like a giant garden bomb went off and it’s getting a little tough to keep up. There is potting soil, seeds and containers everywhere, and I am waiting for the HH to make a crack about how he’s living in a garden center.

If I could just have one full day all to myself {no cooking, cleaning, talking, typing, walking} I think I could get caught up. I think.

I can dream right?

It might be time to plug in some headphones, make a giant list, and just power through a day planting, potting, tagging, and marking things off my list with a big fat sharpie as I go. I think that’s part of the problem. I need to get organized.

But first, do you have any suggestions to songs? I need some tunes first. Then I’ll make my list.

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

how to can beets{Heirloom beets pictured from last summer}

Beets - 14 ounces

I’ll be planting some more beets this week. I think I am going to try and grow enough to can a years worth of pickled beets. No one else in our house really cares for pickled beets, but I do!

Parisian Carrots{Tonda di Parigi HEIRLOOM carrots pictured from last summer}

Carrots – 3 ounces

I can’t wait to start planing carrots!

egg count 2013

Egg Count – 329 {4.6 per day average}

This week we collected 59 eggs. I have a lot of baking to do so I they’ll all be used and I won’t have any left over to trade with Girly Girl or Mrs. HB this time around.

microgreens
Lettuce
– 6 ounces
Microgreens 5 ounces

Microgreens are easy to grow anytime of year but they are especially fun to grow in winter as it is typically to cold to grow lettuce and greens outside. See those cute heart shaped leaves? Those are radish greens and they are super tasty too.

cool kitchen scale

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

I was able to get 15 pounds of  potatoes planted last weekend, but I still have 75 more pounds to get in the ground. I need to schedule an entire work day in the garden here pretty so I don’t get behind on all my planting tasks.

bean sprouts

Sprouts - 8 ounces

I need to grow some more, I miss having them on my egg salad sandwiches.

swiss chard

Swiss Chard 11 ounces

Think of all the money brides would save if they used bouquets of Swiss chard instead of roses. Hmmm.

cut wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 5 pounds 15 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 329

Have you planned out your garden yet for this year? Are you feeling overwhelmed like I am? If not, what is your secret?

~Mavis

free shipping botanical interests

Need some seeds? Botanical Interests is offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50 right now.

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 Goes to the Dollar Store

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beach buckets

When was the last time you went to the Dollar Store?

Holy cow do they have a boatload of crap available for a buck! Some of it is better than others of course, and practically everything comes from China, but some of the stuff isn’t half bad if you were already planning on buying the same thing at Walmart or Target in the first place.

plastic easter eggs

Plastic Easter Eggs… 1 dollar!

paas easter egg color kit

Egg Coloring Kits… 1 dollar – Did you do these as a kid? I did, and I looked forward to it every year.

egg chalk

Egg Shaped Chalk … 1 dollar!

crappy garden tools

Crappy Garden Tools that will break after 3 days… 1 dollar!

bamboo pots

Now hold the phone. Biodegradable bamboo pots that will break down after 3-4 years, these are cool. And guess what? They are only 1 dollar!

grow bugs

And in case your garden does not have enough bugs, you can grow your own for, you guessed it, 1 dollar!

owl notebook

Okay, so these are a good deal. Notebooks, drawing pads and construction paper… all 1 dollar!

what does the dollar store sell

Look at all the crap I bought for 14 dollars. Where else can you find raffle tickets, toothbrushes, boot laces, Krazy Glue {now that was a freakin’ deal} 10 million combs, ring pops and glass candlestick holders all for 1 dollar each?

Cool beans if you ask me.

Have YOU ever been to the Dollar Store before? If so, what is the coolest thing you have ever found for 1 dollar?

~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.

Mornings with Mavis – Win a Trip to Ireland, Kindle Books, Garden Tools, Kelty, Keen, Coupons + More

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mavis butterfield

Rise and Shine people. It’s Wednesday, and there are a lot of things on the to do list today. But first, I need some tea. Lot’s and lot’s of tea. I just grabbed the Kindle book I Just Want to Pee Alone. It. Sounds.Hilarious! Have you read it?

~Mavis

If you are a Woody Allen fan, today you can save 57% on some of Woody Allen’s most popular films. This is the Amazon Deal of the Day so be sure a take a peek if you are interested.

kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook $3.99
Indoor Salad Gardening FREE
Vertical Gardening and Container Gardening $2.99 AWESOME REVIEWS
The Anne Stories: 12 Books $0.99 
The Story Shell: A Tale of Friendship Bog FREE
I Just Want to Pee Alone $4.99 – Oh my This looks good!
The Herb Handbook: A Practical Guide To Using And Growing Herbs FREE

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can.

tide detergent

Get 2 bottles of  Tide Original Scent Liquid Laundry Detergent , 50 Fl Oz for only $4.98 each shipped when you clip the coupon below and use the SubScribe and save option at checkout!

tide coupon

the best garden gloves

Amazon has my favorite Atlas Gloves in stock and ready to ship. I use these everyday in the garden. They are very durable and I really like the palm grip. Amazon also has the Fiskars 3-Piece Softouch Garden Tool Set on sale for $12.92. The reviews on these tools are awesome!

car seat canopy

I’ve heard great things about these Carseat Canopys, and right now you can get one for FREE or save $50 off  a “Whole Caboodle set” when you use code ENBABY at checkout!

There is a shipping charge of $12.90 so keep that in mind. However these Carseat Canopys are so incredibly cute, and you can have them shipped directly to the recipient, so I think they are totally worth the shipping fee.

Head on over HERE for Carseat Canopys and make sure and use code ENBABY at checkout!

Orthaheel & Dr. Weil

Totsy has Orthaheel & Dr. Weil Podiatrist designed shoes on sale for as low as $25! This is a huge savings and there are a ton of cute styles available.

Kelty shadehouse

The REI Outlet Deal of the Day is the Kelty Shadehouse for $109.93 shipped.

keen messenger bags

6pm has some really cute Keen bags on sale with savings up to 60%  Plus they ship for FREE.


Got a little extra time on your hands to make a few bucks? Inbox Dollars pays members to read emails, take surveys online, play games, and shop. Sign up now and score a $5 bonus.

Kerrygold Grass-Fed Bundle of Joy Name Contest

Name the newest member of the KerryGold family and you could be on your way to the Emerald Isle. My vote is for Bessy.

$2.00 off any (1) BENGAY Product $1.00 off 1 MAYBELLINE BABY LIPS Lip Balm
$2.00 off 2 Right Guard TD5 or Xtreme Deodorants
$1.00 off Stridex Conditioning Acne Scrub
$1.00 off any $5 purchase of any Crayola product

 WoW! Lot’s of great high value coupons this morning for Bengay, Maybelline, Right Guard, Stridex, and Crayola.

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.

Easy St. Patrick’s Day Recipe – Rainbow Waffles

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rainbow waffles

Ever wonder what Leprechauns eat for breakfast when they’re not eating Lucky Charms? Why rainbow waffles of course! If you have never made rainbow waffles before, they are super easy.

Here is how to make a batch of rainbow waffles:

rainbow waffles how to makeStep #1

Fill 6 squeeze bottles with about 1/2 cup {or more} waffle batter. Add food coloring and shake.

how to make rainbow wafflesStep #2

Fill your waffle maker with colored batter. Remember to start from the inside and work your way out.  You’ll need to work quickly. Close the waffle maker and cook according to the manufactures directions.

rainbow wafflesStep #3

Cut the rainbowlicious waffle in half. Add clouds {whipped cream}.  Call the little leprechauns to the table and… PASS THE SYRUP!

After a hearty breakfast of rainbow waffles, your little leprechauns will be ready to hunt for pots of gold!

Do YOU do anything special for St. Patrick’s Day? We tend to go a little crazy around here.

~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.

Cool Video – Forest’s Life Shown in 3-Minute Time-Lapse

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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE time-lapse videos, and this one by photographer Samuel Orr is pretty freakin’ awesome.

Samuel snapped a whopping 40,000 photographs over a 15 month period and created the time-lapse video seen above.

The pictures were taken from his front window  just outside Bloomington, Indiana. The short film is titled, “Forest Year”, and I think it’s pretty awesome.

I hope you like it.

~Mavis

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

Mavis Garden Blog – Transplanting Spring Bulbs and Strawberries in Gutters

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tulip bulbs

This morning Lucy and I headed out early and did a little work in the garden.

transplanting tulip bulbs

I transplanted some tulip bulbs I had planted in containers last fall, while she went exploring in the greenhouse.

miracle Gro potting mix

After getting the bulbs in the ground, we planted a few gutters with strawberry plants. If you are looking for a fun or alternative way to grow berries this year, growing your strawberries in gutters might be what you are looking for.

I’m sure you all know by now my favorite potting soil is made by Miracle Gro. I have no idea why I’m addicted to the stuff. There are a million different brands out there, but this is the kind I like.

grow food in gutters

Basically if you are going to try and grow berries {or anything else for that matter} in gutters, you’ll need to line the bottom of the gutters with about 1/2 an inch of pea gravel before adding dirt. This will help to aerate the soil.

strawberry crown

Then, all you do is plant your strawberry crowns and wait for them to grow. With any luck, you should be swimming in berries by late June or early July.

strawberries in gutters

Here is a picture of what my strawberry gutters looked like last summer. Pretty niffty huh?

What’s happening at YOUR place? Have you planted anything yet? Indoors, outdoors, in your greenhouse, in your mama’s basement?

Mavis wants to know.

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 Zinnias {Start to Finish}

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zinnia seeds

Last night I planted a few flats of zinnias and placed them under grow lights. I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve heard they are really easy to grow and since I’d like to expand my flower garden, I thought zinnias would add a pop of color.

These are the varieties I’ll be growing this year:

  • Envy - I LOVE how they are all green!
  • Fantasy – Purple and pink flowers are my favorite.
  • Fireball Blend – Normally I don’t plant red and orange flowers in my garden, but they looked cool so I’m going for it.

Brief description:  Zinnias are an easy to grow annual flower.  They have big blooms and provide large bursts of color to your garden, and can be cut and brought indoors for an easy bouquet.

Where to Plant Zinnias:  Zinnias must have a sunny location.  They will adapt to any kind of soil, but prefer well-drained soil.  Depending on the variety, they make great borders in flower beds, container and window box flowers.  Some varieties will even thrive in hanging baskets.

zinnia seed photo

I always like to try and include photos of the seed because they are just so stinkin’ interesting!

Planting Seeds:   Plant 1/4″ deep.  Thin to 1 seedling per grow pot when plants are about 2″ tall.  Transplant 1-2 weeks after average last frost.

Growing Tips:  Zinnias are susceptible to fungal spots, powdery mildew, and bacterial wilt.  You can minimize the possibility of these diseases by avoiding watering the leaves.  Deadhead to promote new flowers.

zinnias

How to Harvest:  To harvest, just cut the stem at desired length.

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!

Have YOU ever grown zinnias before? Do you have a favorite variety?

~Mavis

Why Plant Zinnias?  Zinnias attract butterflies to your garden, and who doesn’t love that?

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.

Reclaimed Food Show and Tell

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free produce

It was another awesome possum week in the reclaimed produce department. Every week people ask how I am able to get all this produce for free.

And the answer is really, really simple.

I just asked.

“While I was out running errands, I stopped by my favorite produce market to inquire about possibly picking up “scraps” for my chickens once a week.  Although the shopkeeper was a little hesitant at first, he finally agreed to let me come by once a week and pick up whatever scraps were available on that particular day. 

The reason he was a little hesitant was because people had come in before asking for free scraps, and then they don’t show up, leaving him with boxes and boxes of rotting produce. So I thanked him {profusely} and promised I would be back on the set date to pick up the scraps.   April 23, 2012 – Mavis

feed your family for free mavis

In the end, what is really boils down to is making a connection, and following through. There have been a couple of weeks over the past year when I was not able to pick up the produce because I was out of town. But I always called or stopped by and let Mr. Produce Guy know I would not be picking up the produce on our set pick up day.

food waste in america

There are grocery stores, produce stands, farms and shops all over the world that would be willing to give away their scraps, if someone would just come pick them up. You just have to find one.

I’ll totally admit, I got lucky. The first store I asked said yes. And no, I won’t  name the store, because big or small, chain store or Mom and Pop, East Coast, West Coast, each individual store will be different.

If you are turned down by the first store, keep asking around. The worst thing they can do is tell you no. Hopefully, if this type of thing appeals to you, at some point, you will find your Mr. Produce Guy.

It never hurts to ask.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, now go forth and find some free food {if you want}.

~Mavis

American Wasteland How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food
American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past 11 months?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

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.

Mornings with Mavis – Kindle Books, Tools, Coupons, Apple Peeler, Easter Dresses + More

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mornings with mavis

Hello Tuesday.

Here are a few deals I spotted for you. As always, I’ll update this list as I find more deals throughout the morning so be sure and check back.

wrench set

Today’s Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day is this Stanley 201-Piece Drive Mechanics Tool Set for $67.99 shipped {was $109}.

kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

Plenty $2.99 Super Awesome!!! Recipes are amazing!
Gardening Basics For Dummies $0.99
Preschool Play and Learn: 15 Fun Activities for EasterFree
Seed Starting-The First Step to Gardening $2.99
33 Ingredient Substitutions To Help You Cook $3.33
The Beginners Guide to Knitting Free
Southern Biscuits $1.99
Even More Make and Freeze Recipes FREE

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can.

apple peeler
Amazon has the Apple And Potato Peeler, Corer, and Slicer on sale for $12.99. I love using mine to make dehydrated apple slices.

lettuce keeper

Amazon currently has the Progressive International Lettuce Keeper on sale for $7.08. This is an awesome price and these will sell out quick, so grab on if you want one {or two}. I use these and love them!

amazon local deals

Amazon Local has some great deals this morning, here are my favorites:

A Free Voucher Worth 30% Off Select Kindle Accessories {National}

$100 to Spend on Customized Framing for $38 from Baas Framing Studio {Seattle}

Up to $120 to Spend on Personalized Photo Books from Picaboo {National}

Be sure and Sign up HERE so you’ll know what the daily deal is each day.

easter dresses

Looking for a special dress for you daughter? Totsy has some adorable Easter dresses in stock.

zulily

Zulily has a bunch of goodies too. El Naturalista shoes {super cool} Magformers, Nautica Clothes for kiddos, Hello Kitty and more.

New to Zulily? Go HERE to Sign Up

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

living social deals

Living Social has everything from suchi making classes to Cirque du Soleil tickets at a big discount.

The REI Outlet Deal of the Day is the Men’s North Face Apex Lite Jacket.

Rosetta Stone

Thinking about trying a new language? You can get a FREE demo from Rosetta Stone right now. Personally, I’d love to learn french!

$0.50 off any one Angel Soft Facial Tissue$1.00 off 1 GARNIER FRUCTIS Shampoo or Conditioner$0.55 off Bridgford Frozen Rolls or Bread$1.00 off any TWO (2) Lance Sandwich Crackers
New Coupons this morning for Angel Soft tissue, Monkey bread, Garnier and Lance crackers.

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.

Raising Backyard Chickens – Egg Bound Hen

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chicken legs

UPDATE : Matilda died late last night. :( The Girl said… At least she got to die at home all nice and warm. She was a great pet chicken, and I couldn’t agree more. At least she got to die at home with us near her side.

************************

This morning I called the vet  and made an appointment to have our dear sweet Matilda euthanize. The Girl and I talked about it and decided it was the best thing for her. Matilda legs have basically been paralyzed for 4 days now, she won’t open her eyes, hold her head up or really even make any noises. We wanted to put her out of her misery. I thought she might have Marek’s Disease.

On days 2, 3, and 4 we used a syringe to give her food and water. As much as I would have liked to have taken her to a vet, the HH pointed out that Matilda was a chicken, and spending hundreds of dollars on one chicken that was likely going to die anyways, was not something he wanted to do.

It’s a chicken. I know it’s your pet chicken, but it’s a chicken. 

So here I am, a suburban housewife, with this dying chicken. As much as I want to think I could tough it out on a real farm, I don’t think I could ever cull a chicken. Nor would I want the HH to do it either.

He offered, but I said no. I would rather pay to have a vet put her to sleep for $50 then have my daughter know her dad {basically} killed her pet chicken.

So this afternoon, I grabbed a box from the garage. I placed a towel on the ground and started to clean Matilda up {she had a little dried oatmeal around her beak and in her feathers and I didn’t want to show up at the vet with her that way}.  I wiped her sweet little face down, and then poured warm water over her vent to remove anything that may have been there.

And then it happened.

soft shelled eggs egg bound chicken

2 soft shelled eggs dropped from her weak little body.

Poor Matilda was egg bound this whole time.

I checked her over the first night I brought her into the garage and there were no signs that she was egg bound. 2 eggs had been stuck inside her. The poor, poor thing.

As soon as those eggs dropped to the ground, she wiggled her legs and I started crying.

Matilda!

sick chicken

I immediately cancelled the appointment for the vet.

The way I see it is this. There is nothing a vet can do for her {I asked}.

Yes, she will probably die.

But as long as I can keep her clean, warm, hydrated and fed, who am I to give up hope.

~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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel