First Chicken, Now Pork – Chinese Firm to Buy Smithfield Farms

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piglets pigs

I’ve really been thinking a lot about that article I shared with you the other day about the USDA allowing U.S. raised chickens to be shipped over and processed by China.  I have to say, the whole thought really bugs me.  So, naturally, when I stumbled on another article about the Chinese acquisition of America’s largest pork producer, I just had to get your take on it.

Here’s the basics:  The U.S. government has signed off on a deal that would allow a Chinese firm to buy the biggest U.S. producer of pork {Smithfield}.  Now, I realize we are in a global economy, but control over our food supply and actual production seems like a no-brainer to me.  How are we supposed to maintain food quality standards?  Though, admittedly, the article states that Smithfield already employs some pretty questionable practices regarding the raising of their pork.  {If you’ve seen Vegucated,  then you know exactly how horrible the animals in can be treated in large factory farms.}  No word in the article as to whether that means we will get pigs raised in China, or whether they will stay state-side and just be owned by the Chinese company.  

So what’s the answer here?  Maybe we should all just become vegetarians…or grow our own meat {or really get to know our local farmers who do!}?

Chime in, I’d love to know YOUR opinions on this,

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.



Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse – Lettuce, Peas, Lemons and Tomatoes

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magnum glass greenhouse

Things are growing like crazy in the greenhouse, and with the weather heating up the past few days I’m having to water the fruits and vegetables twice a day now to keep them from dying.

raised bed herb garden

The herbs I moved out of containers and into the ground are doing really well despite the warm weather. I was a little worried I dug them up too early but the oregano, rosemary and chives are thriving in their new location.

unusual garden containers lettuce

Check out the 3-tired lettuce pot. Doesn’t it look cool? I think it’s only going to look better as time goes on. Harvesting lettuce this fall is going to be fun. {Or maybe I’m just a nerd}. ;)

growing peas in containers

The first round of peas we planted in the greenhouse are doing great and are just now beginning to climb up the upside down tomato cages. I’m predicting an early October sugar snap pea harvest.

green zebra tomatoes

We have green zebra tomatoes coming out of our ears!lemon tree fruit

Lemon the Meyer Lemon Tree is now down to just 7 lemons.
lemon tree shriveled up

I’m not sure what happened but one of the tiny lemons is turning yellow and has begun to shrivel up. :( Have you ever grown lemons before? Is it normal for a few to die off like this?

lemon buds

Luckily we have a few clusters of lemon flowers that are producing some new buds. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to get a few more.

I need to find some sort of organic lemon tree fertilizer to feed the tree with. Our Meyer lemon is still sitting in the same potting soil I planted it in way back in January. Any suggestions?

~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, Skull Scarves, Columbia Sportswear, Ball Canning Jars + More

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exotic rare fruit

Is it really Thursday already? 

What’s the weather like at your place? It suppose to reach 85 degrees in Western Washington today and then rain all next week. Everything in moderation, right? ;)

Here are a few deals I spotted this morning, and if you haven’t entered my big Garden Giveaway, head on over HERE to enter. You never know, you might just win.

Have a great day,

Mavis

Jump-N-Carry' 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12-Volt Jump Starter with Light

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Save Up to 70% on Clore Jump Starters and Power Packs

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The Noticer $2.99 {873 Reviews!}
Freezer Meals: Delicious and Easy Make-Ahead Meals Free
How to Meal Plan: A Step by Step Guide for Busy Moms $4.99
Gluten-Free Slow Cooker: Easy Recipes for a Gluten Free Diet Free
Smart Soapmaking $0.99 {Tons of Great Reviews}
How to Be Debt Free Book Free

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

skull scarf

White Skull Print Shawl Scarf $3.87 shipped
Big Skull Pendant with Chain $2.95 shipped
Forever Pashmina Silk Scarf with Skull Pattern $10.99

nail trimmer

Amazon has a Pocket Nail Cuticle Kit for only $2.81 shipped.

columbia sportswareZulily is having a huge Columbia Sportswear Sale today with lot’s of coats, performance wear and shoes. They’ve also got some cute long sweaters in their Michael K & Paris Paris sale as well.

long sweaters

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

Ball Regular-Mouth Mason Jars with Lids and Bands

Need canning jars? Amazon has the 12-pack of Ball Regular-Mouth Mason Jars with Lids and Bands  for $9.99.

rachel ray magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Everyday with Rachel Ray Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 9/12/13 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

baking mats

Nordic Ware Bakers Half Sheet, 13 by 18 by 1 Inch $10.97 {I use these ones!}
Artisan Silicone Baking Mat Set {2pk.} $16.78

how-to-make-mozzarella-cheese

Making your own cheese is super easy! I show you how in this How to Make Mozzarella Cheese tutorial.

Sunday coupon insert preview_opt

This week you can expect to find 2 coupon inserts  in your Sunday paper. 1 Smart Source and 1 Red Plum. See all the coupons that should be in the inserts HEREDon’t get the Sunday paper? Check this site for great deals for newspapers in your area. In many areas you will be able to subscribe to only the Sunday paper if you’d prefer.

MyJobChart.com - FREE Online Chore Chart!

FREE online chore chart that motivates your kids and earns them rewards that they can save, donate to charity, or spend on toys!

V8 V Fusion Coupon

Print a coupon for $1.00 off 2 bottle varieties of V8 V-Fusion juice

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.

BLT {Bacon, Barley, Lettuce & Tomato} Salad

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Bacon, Barley, Lettuce & Tomato Salad

I was cleaning out my pantry & stumbled upon a LOT of barley. It just so happened to coincide with lunchtime and I was craving bacon. And so the BLT salad was born. Barley, bacon, lettuce & tomato? It’s like a BLT on crack! The barley gives the salad some added texture & I really liked it. I’ll be adding this to my list of recipes to repeat!

Ingredients

1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup cooked cooked pearled barley
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon honey Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped chives
8 ounces cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, chives and olive oil. Shred lettuce and add to the bowl. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the bowl along with the bacon and barley. Toss salad to coat evenly with dressing and serve.

This recipe was lightly adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe. If you liked this recipe, you’ll love this cookbook:

rachel ray cookbook

Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats–A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners

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.

Giveaway – Womanswork Gloves, Gardening Books, Seeds and More

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garden giveaway

I was working in the garden the other day planting more seeds for my fall and winter crops when I had the idea for this giveaway.  Maybe it will motivate some of you to get out there and try planting a fall garden this year.

This garden giveaway not only includes some of my favorite things, but it has a retail value of over $150!

the best gardening books

This giveaway includes:

womanswork gloves

If you have never tried on a pair of Womanswear garden gloves before, they are awesome. I especially like how the elbow length cuff has a stretchy pull cord at the end for cinching the cuff around your arm or shirt sleeves. It comes in handy when your pulling weeds or moving plants with creepy crawly bugs all over. Plus the palm is made of a durable synthetic leather and are making them easy to work with.

national heirloom exposition ryan

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite thing about gardening is.

Just answer that one question and you’re entered to win. Life’s pretty complicated sometimes, so I like to keep things simple around here.

Rules

1 entry per person/ip address. If you cheat, you will totally be disqualified.
This giveaway ends Sunday, September 15th, 2013 @9 pm PST and the winners will be announced in the Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 edition of Mornings with Mavis. You will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim your prize. If you do not claim your prize within 48 hours, the prize will be forfeited.

Good Luck! I hope you win!

Mavis

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

How to Ripen Avocados

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How to Ripen Avocados

Did you know avocados are one of those fruits that ripen fully after picking?  I didn’t.  I thought that when I grabbed a rock hard avocado it was because they hadn’t allowed it to ripen before picking it.  Nope, nope, nope.  It turns out, it just means I have to take it home and help it along.

How to Ripen Avocados

To ripen an avocado, place it in a brown paper back and store it in a cool {not the fridge–that’s too cold, it will never ripen} dark place.  Using this method, the avocado will ripen in 3-6 days {sooner if your house is really warm}.  If you need to speed up the process, add a tomato, apple or banana to the paper bag.  It will cut the ripening time down to 1-3 days.  You will be able to tell when the avocado is ripe because it will change in color from green to a dark green/brown.  It will also give a little when you squeeze it.

If on the flip side, your store only has super ripe avocados, you can refrigerate them and extend their life up to 5 days by stopping the ripening process.

~Mavis

Also see, How to Freeze Avocados

absolutely avocados
Absolutely Avocados

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.

National Heirloom Exposition – Heirloom Squash

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national heirloom exposition squash tower

Yesterday I went to the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California with my buddy El Presidente. We headed out super early and made a few side trips but the highlight of the day was the exposition, that’s for sure.

national heirloom exposition squash

I have seem pictures of the event in the past so there was one thing in particular I wanted to see in person. The heirloom squash. There were so many there, it was mind boggling.

national heirloom exposition black tutsu

Since this was an heirloom exposition, there were many more varieties available than your typical grocery store would carry. Which was totally awesome if you ask me. Look at this Black Futsu squash, ain’t she a beauty?

national heirloom exposition bumby

This black warty squash didn’t have a tag on it. Do you know what variety it is? I think I might want to try and grow a few next year.

national heirloom exposition grey russian

I like the muted color on this grey Russian squash. I need to find seeds for that one too. ;)
national heirloom exposition lady godiva

The Lady Godiva and Buen Gusto squash were pretty cool.
national heirloom exposition marrow geant

Clearly the Marrow Giant Squash could feed a family for a week. Holy cow this one was huge.
national heirloom exposition pitz turban

Pitz Turban Squash. Don’t they look like little acorns?

national heirloom exposition sacred indian rattle

This Sacred Indian Rattle gets bonus points for looking like a mini watermelon.

I may need to grow some of those next year too.

national heirloom exposition triamble

The Triamble or Shamrock squash is on my list for next year as well. I’m pretty sure the HH would even like this one. I’m not exactly sure how I would chop it up for soup though. Maybe I’d just grow a few to set out on the front porch.

national heirloom exposition tonda padana

Don’t you think the Tonda Pandana squash would sell well in a grocery store? I mean really, who would want an ordinary pumpkin sitting on their porch for Halloween when you would carve one of these beauties up for display.national heirloom exposition wrinkly

And last but not least, another identified warty squash. I’m not sure why I like the warty squash varieties so much but I do. They just seem to have so much personality compared to typical pumpkins.

So what do you think?

After seeing these heirloom squash, what would you rather grow? Heirlooms or regular field pumpkins?

Me? I stinking to the heirlooms.

~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, New Balance Shoes, Seven7 Jeans, Campbell’s Soup, Stride Rite

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bouchon bakery napa

Yesterday my buddy El Presidente and I attended the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California. It.Was.Awesome. But before we headed over there we had to stop by Bouchon Bakery in Yountville to fuel up first.

After sampling some of Thomas Keller’s pastries, I think I might need to get his Bouchon Bakery Cookbook and try and recreate a few of his delicious recipes.

I’ll be sharing some pictures we took in a little bit but first, here are a few deals I spotted this morning.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Mavis

free kindle booksAvailable Kindle Books I think are cool…

Fish & Game Cookbook Free {Great Reviews!}
We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook $2.99
110 Great Recipes From Your Backyard Garden and the Farmer’s Market Free
1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects $2.51
Living Rich by Spending Smart Free

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

colgate toothbrushes

Get the 3- Pack of Crest 3d White Vivid Anticavity Teeth Whitening Radiant Mint Toothpaste for only $7.71/$2.51 each shipped when you clip the $2.00 off coupon {must be logged into your account} and use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

12 Colgate Extra Clean Full Head, Medium Toothbrushes {3} 4-Count Packs for $10.68.

Need some Q-Tips? Amazon has the 1875 count of Cotton Swabs on sale for $9.09 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

quilted Northern tissue

Scotch-Brite 3M Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges are only $14.62 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

Quilted Northern Ultra Plush 48 Double Rolls are only $21.74 shipped when you clip the $1.00 off coupon {must be logged into your account} and use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

Swiffer Sweeper Wet Mopping Cloths 36 count {Lavender Scent} is $9.47 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

kids new balance shoes deals

Joe’s New Balance Outlet has kids New Balance running shoes on sale today for only $19.99. These shoes retail for $64.99.

cute grey sweaters

Zulily has some really cite sweaters available today in their Gorgeous in Grey sale as well as children’s Stride Rite Shoes with savings up to 50% off.

stride rite shoes

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

ladies home journal magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Ladies Home Journal Magazine for only $4.50 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 9/11/12 at midnight EST.

family halloween costumes

Every costume under the moon is available in the Amazon Halloween Shop. Will you be dressing up this year? I’m still trying to decide what I’ll be.


Get a Free Trial of all-natural, safe, and effective diaper products for baby and home from the Honest company.

A Discovery Kit contains samples of The Honest Company’s products and allows you to try them before purchasing a full Bundle. Depending on your selection, your kit will contain a travel size Honest Shampoo & Body Wash, Honest Lotion, Honest Healing Balm, Honest Laundry Detergent, and Honest Hand Soap or a handful of Honest Diapers & Wipes Discovery Kits are free, but there is a shipping and handling fee of $5.95.

diy shampoo and conditionerTired of wasting your money on Shampoo? Check out my DIY Make Your Own Shampoo Tutorial.

Seven7 Jeans

Groupon has Seven7 Women’s Jeans and Denim Leggings for S39.99 Shipped!

New to Groupon? Join Groupon Here!

Campbell's Healthy Request soups coupon

Print a coupon good for $1.00 off (3) Campbell’s Healthy Request soups

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.

Rustic Apple Galette

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Rustic Apple Galette

I love galettes {or pie frisbees as my kids call them} because they taste just as delicious as a pie, but look so much more fun.  I mean who doesn’t want to eat a pie frisbee?

Rustic Apple Galette

Ingredients

3 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices {I leave the skins on, but you can peel if preferred}
1/2 cup sugar {plus extra for dusting on crust}
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pie crust {I used My Favorite Pie Crust Recipe}
1 egg

Rustic Apple Galette

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pie crust dough or use refrigerated pie crust. Roll out dough on flour dusted parchment paper until about 14 inches wide. Carefully lift parchment paper and transfer the dough to a baking tray (some excess dough might hang off the edge. That’s totally normal}.

In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Place apples in a large bowl and cover with the sugar mixture, tossing to coat. Pour coated apples onto middle of rolled out dough on pan. Spread apples out in a circular shape about 10 inches wide. Pull dough up and over apples on all sides, leaving middle exposed.

Rustic Apple Galette

Mix up an egg wash using the egg and water. Beat until well combined and then brush on top of crust. Dust with sugar.

Bake for about an hour or until golden and bubbly. If you want to prevent a soggy crust, you can first bake at 400 for about 10 minutes on the lowest rack, and then move to the middle rack and reduce heat to 350 for the remainder of the baking time. That will help firm up the bottom of the crust. Serve hot and preferably with ice cream!

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 Harvest and Store Dry Beans

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How to Harvest and Store Dry Beans

This year, I stored a few of my own dry beans, and while harvesting them was not my favorite chore, I love the idea of having them on hand for winter soups.

Beans are an awesome source of vegetable protein, and once you get them out of the pod, they are so super easy to put up.  They make for a really cost-effective crop you can enjoy through the winter.

How to Harvest and Store Dry Beans

Dry Beans are ready to harvest when the skin is paper thin, and you can shake the pod and hear a rattling sound.  You will have to remove the beans from the pod–which you can do by splitting them open and removing them by hand, or you can turn the whole plant upside down in a bucket and bang it against the side, causing the beans to spill out into the bottom of the bucket.  {You can throw the skin right back into your compost pile.}

How to Harvest and Store Dry Beans

After you get all of the beans out of the pod, the beans need to be cleaned and sorted.  If the beans are split open, they need to be weeded out of the “store for winter” pile.  To clean them, you can just use a blow dryer and blow off the debris.  {If the beans are still soft, spread them on a cookie tray and allow them to dry a little longer.}  Before you store them, freeze the beans overnight to kill any tiny bugs that might be still lurking.

To store dried beans, just place them in an airtight container {I think canning jars with a latch lid work awesome} and keep them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

more fabulous beans

Do you store DRY beans for the winter?  What do you use them for?

~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