Mavis’ Top Garden Books – Real People, Real Stories

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How-to-build-an-arbor{Spring 2009}

In spring of 2008 we built the house we live in now. Over the summer, I created our first garden bed {12′x20′} and filled it will tons of tomato, cucumber and zucchini plants. Even though we had moved to a wooded neighborhood,  it still never occurred to me the deer who roamed freely up and down the street would bother my t garden.

Until the day came I looked out the window and spotted a lone deer in my garden. She had just finished off my last tomato plant and was smiling at me. I was beyond peeved. Gardening season was over for the year as far I was concerned.

Animal_Vegetable_Miracle

Over winter, I read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Lifeby Barbara Kingsolver. It changed everything. All the sudden I didn’t just want to dabble in gardening, I wanted to grow it all. And I was going to need a very tall fence. {This was also around the same time the Handsome Husband starting talking about wanting to move to a condo.}

I spent almost the entire winter of 2008/2009 reading up on gardening, food miles and simple living. Which in hindsight was pretty funny because we had just built this big house in the suburbs and now all I wanted was to move to a small farmhouse to grow vegetables and raise a couple of chickens. I was ready to downsize even before the paint was dry.

Tomato-plants raised garden beds{Spring 2009}

Books are funny that way. They change you. And sometimes if you are really lucky, hidden beneath the pages you’ll find what you were meant to do. What makes your soul happy.

For me that was gardening. Growing more than just a few tomato plants here and there has given me some sort of purpose over these past few years, and I can’t help to think it’s because I found the right books to read, at the right time.

Here is a short list of my favorite books about gardening, home life and everything in between.

I hope you like them as much as I do.

~Mavis

See You in a Hundred Years- I learned I never want to plow a field with horses.

Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet - I learned I need to live within 100 miles of a sugar cane field.

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer - I learned I never want to live near gang members or have a goat.

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love - I learned having a CSA would be a tremendous amount of work and I am happy just growing enough food for my family, friends and neighbors.

The Amish Cook: Recollections and Recipes from an Old Order Amish Family-  If could could have internet, and a washer and dryer, I think I could totally live like the Amish do. The Handsome Husband however, is another story. Ha!

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 Poppy Flowers {Start to Finish}

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poppy seed packets

I don’t know about you, but I love poppy flowers and I just can’t get enough of them. This year I planted 3 varieties:

Brief description: Poppy flowers are absolutely gorgeous.  They are very heat and drought tolerant, so they require almost no care {yay!}.  They are technically an annual, but have been known to overwinter, even in colder climates.

Where to Plant Poppy Seeds:  Plant in raised beds, garden beds, and borders in full sun to part shade.

poppy seeds

Planting Seeds:   Start seeds outdoors 4 weeks before average last frost.  To sow, scatter seeds and then gently rake them in.

Growing Tips:   Deadhead fading flowers to encourage new growth throughout the summer {unless you plan on harvesting your poppy seeds for later use}.


red poppy picture poppies{photo credit}

How to Harvest:  To make poppy flowers last longer in a vase, cut them and burn the poppy stems.  Since their stems bleed a milky substance the second you pluck them, poppies quickly wilt if the ends aren’t sealed. Burn the cut stem ends immediately with a lighter, match or candle, then plunge them into cool water for a lasting display well worth the work.

Facts about Poppies:  Poppies are a narcotic. They are used to make Codeine, Morphine, and Opium.  Poppy seeds are also a treat to many birds, so if you choose to let your flowers dry out and harvest the seeds, try mixing them in with your bird seed.

regional planting guides

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

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

~Mavis

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 16 of 52

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RAISED GARDEN BEDS

Week 16 of 52 – Mavis’ Backyard Gard

potting bench with flowers

Wow! What a great day for gardening. The temperature outside right now is only about 45 degrees, but the sun is out and with no rain in the forecast for today I plan on spending all day outside.

RAISED GARDEN BEDS

For mid spring, I think the garden is looking pretty good. 9 of the 16 raised garden boxes have been planted and the sugar snap peas we have growing along the fence and up the teepee poles are doing great.

RAISED GARDEN BEDS

The potatoes I planted about a month ago still have not broke through the soil yet. I’m hoping it will be any day now. I may have to go out and take a peek if I don’t see green popping up soon.

glass greenhouse  wooded backyard

The poppies and rhubarb we planted in the perennial garden are starting to leaf out and before too long the artichokes should be catching up to them.

glass greenhouse

Yesterday I planted some extra seed potatoes along the sides of the greenhouse. Over the winter I transplanted our perennial chives along the edges along with some extra seeds. Hopefully the potatoes and chives like each other. I checked my companion planting chart first, so I should be okay.

potato towers garden gnomes

The potato towers are holding up and so far Lucy the puggle dog has not tried to pull the straw out of the wire cages. Fingers crossed she continues to stay away from them. I think having the gnomes nearby helps distract her a bit. Although she does love to run in and out of the wood pallet compost bin quite a bit these days looking for treasures.

wooded backyard

Here is the view from the back deck.

omlet chicken eglu coop

Nothing is growing in the future pumpkin patch yet but weeds. Pumpkin seeds won’t be planted until June 1st.

raspberry patch

The raspberry patch is growing like crazy!

raspberry plants western washington

Here is a view from the kitchen window. I can’t wait to see what it looks like about mid-June.

container herb garden

And last but not least, my herb container garden. All the pots have been planted and we are ready to grow, baby, grow!

Peace Out Girl Scouts, get out there and enjoy the day!

~Mavis

mavis and her boyfriend ryan botanical interests seeds

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 {online} 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.

Mavis Asks Readers to Send in Gnomes – Awesome Update!

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garden gnomes mavis St. Jude

First I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in a garden gnome for our Send in the Gnomes fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

We started this crazy adventure just under 3 weeks ago and so far 139 gnomes have come in from all over the world. You can see all of the gnomes that were sent in HERE.

Our goal is to collect 1,000 garden gnomes and set out on an epic adventure this summer placing garden gnomes in public, community and children’s gardens all the way from Seattle to the St. Jude Children’s Garden in Memphis, Tennessee.

St. Jude Mavis Gnomes Letter

Yesterday we opened a box full of gnomes from Beth.

Beth has a rare brain tumor that St. Jude has been helping her fight for the past few years. Beth and her mom Leah wanted to be a part of this gnome a licious project and sent in a whopping 5 gnomes!

Beth, you are AWESOME and I’m glad you are getting the help you need. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue to heal and I am so grateful we can help your hospital.

garden gnomes mavis St. Jude

We placed your gnomes  in our pea patch for now, but will make sure they all make it to St. Jude when we load up the Motor Gnome this summer. Stay strong kiddo. You and your friends are the reason we are doing this!

Hugs and Kisses,

~Mavis

Mavis butterfield gnome St. Jude's wish list

If you would like to read more about this fundraiser, and how we are trying to raised for  $10,000 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital hop on over HERE to get all the details.

Giving back is cool. St. Jude’s, here we come!

Please send gnomes by August 1st, 2013 to:

Mavis Butterfield
P.O. Box 2083
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

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

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.

Recipe – Vegetable Scrambled Eggs

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easy breakfast recipes eggs vegetables potatoes

In the summertime when the zucchinis and tomatoes are plentiful, we will saute whatever we can gather from the backyard garden, add a few eggs and serve it up for breakfast.

In the winter, it’s a lot harder to make a fresh vegetable scramble for next to nothing. Unless of course you have a Mr. Produce Guy who saves you scraps for the produce department each week. Then, it’s pretty easy.

But even if you don’t have a Mr. Produce Guy, this hearty and nutritious breakfast is worth every penny.

eggs broccoli red peppers potatoes sausage

Ingredients

4-6 Fresh Eggs
2 cups of assorted vegetables, chopped {broccoli, peppers, zucchini, onions, tomatoes}
3 potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 avocado
1-2 precooked chicken – apple sausages
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a small bowl, scramble the eggs and milk together and set aside.

Over medium heat, saute potatoes until fork tender with olive oil. Add pre-cooked sausage and cook until heated through. Set potatoes and sausage on a plate.

Saute the rest of the vegetables {except the avocado} until tender, add egg mixture and scramble until completely cooked. Top with avocado chunks. Serve with toast and honey.

Real food. The best stuff on earth!

 

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 – Peacocks, Cookbooks, Seed Sprouter, BobbleHeads, Natural Health + More

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peacoks on the porch

Well, today is off to an interesting start. I woke up to the sounds of peacocks parading down the street at about 5 am. At first I thought it was my neighbor Mr. Hillbilly using one of his weird duck calls, but then I realized it was too early even for him.

Last week the peacocks were on Francisco’s porch and he snapped this picture from inside his home. Apparently the peacocks are making their way through the neighborhood.

Suburbia. Gotta Love it.

 ~Mavis

Here are a few deals I spotted this morning for you. Have a great Sunday!

kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

Serving Up the Harvest$2.51
How To Eat $1.99
Chicken Raising 101 FREE
35 Healthy Coconut Oil Recipes FREE
Hanna’s Quick & Easy Vegan Cookbook FREE

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

seed sprouter

Amazon currently has the Victorio 4-Tray Kitchen Seed Sprouter on sale for $14.53. This is the lowest price I’ve seen! If you have never grown your own sprouts before, I show you how to grow sprouts HERE.

custom bobbleheads

Today on Totsy, you can get a $130 credit for a Personalized Bobblehead Doll from AllBobbleHeads.com, plus free shipping within the continental US.

Fiskars 7870 Uproot Lawn and Garden Weeder

Amazon currently has the Fiskars Uproot Lawn and Garden Weeder on sale for $25.39. My neighbors Chino the Handyman and Girly Girl have one of these and LOVE it!

battat toys

Zulily is having a Battat Toy Sale with oodles of goodies. Prices start at $9.99

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

27a9f8e2-7b8d-49db-8ae2-4b48c39f5682

The REI Outlet Deal of the Day is the Patagonia Snowbelle Insulated Jacket.

natural health magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Natural Health Magazine for only $5 a year in their $5 Bestsellers sale this weekend. This deal will expire tonight 3/23/13 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

seattle can can

Learn to can this summer at Seattle Can Can: There are three class options teach fundamentals of canning and preserving food at home.

  • $12 for one canning class for one person (a $25 value)
  • $24 for one canning class for two people (a $50 value)

garden gnome

Looking for a garden gnome?  This sitting garden gnome would be great to bring along on a summer road trip to St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tennessee.
$1.50 off any TWO Pledge Furniture Care productsBuy Spooners cereal, get 1 Spooners cereal free$1.50 off any TWO Glade 4 oz. Jar Candles$1.00 off (1) Starbucks VIA Ready Brew$6.00 off two (2) Prevacid24HR 28ct or 42ct

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.

Ask Mavis – Beneficial Flowers for a Vegetable Garden to Deter Pests and Attract Good Bugs

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Beneficial-Flowers-for-a-Vegetable-Garden-to-Deter-Pests-and-Attract-Good-Bugs

I have the most amazing readers, and most of the time, it is me learning from you, but every once in awhile, someone sends in a question that I think, “Hey, I bet lots of people would love to know the answer to that.”  So, I am going to try to feature some of your questions and answer them, the best I can.

Michelle writes:

Hey Mavis, do you have problems with rabbits? Anything to deter them without an ugly fence? I just remembered the cute furry things love my yard but this year I want them to stay out. I see marigolds are good for bugs, but what other flowers/plants do you suggest to grow with veggies to help deter pests (worms) and attract the good insects (bees/ladybugs)??

First, let’s start with the bunny issues.  How is it something so cute and furry can be so stinkin’ destructive to a garden?  Though, I’ve had toddlers {they weren’t furry, thank goodness}, so I don’t know why it comes as a surprise.  Really hungry rabbits can be a bit difficult to deter, you can try surrounding your garden with plants that  give off a fragrance that animals find offensive.  Lavender and Geraniums are probably the best choice–plus they are both pretty, so they will not be an eyesore like the fence you mentioned in your question.

fresh-Italian-basil

Attracting the good bugs with plants is much, much easier than deterring rascally rabbits.  As you mentioned, Marigolds are good.  Herbs are also great for attracting bees and ladybugs.  Specifically, high nectar herbs, like borage, dill, yarro, lovage, mint and fennel {plant fennel on the exterior of your garden though, because it can diminish the growth of other plants}.   The good guys also love certain flowers:  Anise Hyssop, Calendula {which have edible petals}, Cosmos, Sunflowers, and Zinnias.

companion planting

Companion planting is a great way to deter unwanted bugs/pests.  Certain plants play nicer with others, so be sure to check out my companion planting chart to make sure that you compliment the veggie or plant you are trying to protect.  Examples of companion planting to deter unwanted pests/bugs would be planting basil near tomatoes.  This union not only deters bugs, but brings out the flavor of tomatoes.  Planting garlic, thyme, and chives around squash gives off a smell that is repugnant to whiteflies, aphids, etc.

I hope that helps, and thanks for your question Michelle!

~Mavis

Update: Reader Romy had this to add – The easiest and totally effective way to keep rabbits out of the yard is to use blood meal. They will not go anywhere near the smell of blood meal. All you have to do it put it around your yard or the area you plant in. They will stay far-far away…

You do have to re-apply as needed but highly effective. Thanks Romy!

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.

Backyard Gardening – Raised Garden Bed Pictures

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raised garden beds

Today is going to be another wet and soggy day here in the Pacific Northwest but here is the view from the back of the main garden. A few years ago we installed 16 raised garden beds and ever since then I just can’t stay out of the dirt.

gnome sugar snap peas

Mr. Gnome Guy #9  is from Miami, Florida and he has been doing a fantastic job guarding our sugar snap peas. The pea vines should begin climbing up the teepee poles any day now.

garlic bed in spring

The garlic is coming along nicely and should be ready to harvest in late June or early July.

artichokes raised garden beds

Artichokes. Lucy has a horrible habit of running though the artichoke bed and tearing off a leaf as she passes through. What a total stinker!

square foot garden

The square foot garden so far has 9 of 32 squares planted. I think I’ll try and get outside this weekend and plant a few more. Every time I walk by I stop and stare and wonder where on earth I am going to place the tomato plants. I still have not figured out how many should be planted or which ones I’ll stick in there.

raised garden beds onions radish

Onions and radishes, companion planting is cool!

radish leaves

Radish leaves. I wish I could remember which variety this is. I planted 5 different types this year.

raised garden bed cabbage

Cabbage and radishes.

raised garden beds home gardener

On days like today, I wish there was some sort of fast forward button I could push and it would be June. The plants need sunshine and warmer temperatures to thrive, not this wet and windy weather we’ve been having lately.

Growing food is cool, there is no doubt about it. But waiting to plant all your seeds is tough!

How is YOUR garden growing? Have you planted any seeds lately? Do I dare ask if you have harvested anything yet?

~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.

One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights

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Urban Homesteading Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

Books, Books, and More Books from Amazon.com

Thy Hand Hath Provided ebook

Giveaways

daffodils and gnomes

Garden Updates and Chickens Too!

mornings with mavis

Mornings with Mavis 

recipe blueberry buckle

Recipes

How to Get the Most Juice from a Lemon

Tips and Tricks

mavis butterfield komo news gnome St. Jude

Weekly Shopping Trips and Stories

Videos

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

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

Mornings with Mavis – Kindle Books, Amazon Local, New Balance Shoes, $10 WinCo Coupon

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mavis butterfield one hundred dollars a month

Kayla from Bremerton, Washington sent in a handmade “Mavis” gnome. Hilarious! The Handsome Husband is still shaking his head. I think your gnome is awesome Kayla, very creative.

We just updated the Who Sent in the Gnomes list last night and we now have 134 Gnomes. Holy Cow!!!

~Mavis

kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet $2.51
Fruit Trees in Small Spaces  $3.39 {Awesome Reviews!}
Scrumptious Treats For Vintage Housekeepers FREE
Learn How to Compost – A Guide to Composting FREE
Mom’s Very Best Recipes Cookbook $1.99

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

amazon local deals

Amazon Local has some great local deals, here are a few of my favorites:

$16 voucher to Soap.com for $8 {National}
Personalized Stamper for $29 {National}
$30 voucher to Rosedale Gardens for $15 {Gig Harbor}

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

sparkle paper towels

Amazon currently has the 20 count of Sparkle Double Paper Towels for low as $17.93/ $.89 per single double roll SHIPPED when you use the subscribe and save option at check out along with the $1 off ecoupon you see below.

amazon-toilet-paper-coupon

new balance

Zulily is having a huge New Balance Sale with deals for Men, Women and Children. 

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

rice cooker

Amazon has the Aroma 4-Cup (Uncooked) 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer on sale for $29.92 shipped.

$10 winco coupon

If you are a Washington or Oregon Winco Shopper, head on over HERE, enter your zip code and search under the “Local Coupons” section to print a $10 off $50 Winco coupon. *Thanks Rebecca

albertsons $5 off $50 coupon

Red Alert! There will be no Alberstons Twice the Value coupons in this Sundays paper but there will be a $5 off $50 coupon instead.crocs coupon

6pm has Crocs in stock and on sale. Plus you receive FREE SHIPPING too!

Amazon has Colorful Magnetic Letters A-Z Wooden Fridge Magnets on sale for $2.92 shipped.

Jamba Juice

Print a coupon and get a 16 oz smoothie at Jamba Juice for only $2.

Buy 1 Schick Hydro Razor, get Shave Gel Free $1.00 off any 2 Vanity Fair Napkins or Hand Towel $1.00 off Any One (1) Caress 6ct Bar or Larger$0.75 off TWO Blue Diamond Almonds

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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel