How to Make Vegetable Stock

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When life hands you more free vegetables than you can eat, make vegetable stock I say. If you’ve never made your own vegetable stock before,  trust me, it’s super easy. You can totally do it!

Ingredients

  • 14 quarts water
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 carrots, large, broken in half
  • 5 celery stocks
  • 10 mushrooms, halved
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Directions

Place everything in a large stock pot, cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Strain.

Once the vegetable stock has cooled, use a funnel and place the stock in mason jars until ready to use.  The vegetable stock should keep for 5 days in the refrigerator or up to one year in the freezer.

Have you ever made vegetable stock from scratch before?

Do you add anything special, or just use what you have on hand?

~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.



Succession Planting – Grow More Vegetables in Your Garden

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Succession PlantingDo you do succession planting in your garden?  If not, it is totally worth the bit of extra planning.  Succession planting is basically staggering your plantings so that you get a continuous harvest of a particular fruit/veggie, rather than all at once and then you’re done.  It’s also a great way to fill those spots that previously harvested food left behind {i.e. in the transition from early spring crops to summer crops}.

burpless-cucumbers

When it comes to getting a continuous harvest from a particular type of veggie/fruit, certain plants work better than others.   Here’s a basic guide on succession planting for a continual harvest:

Green Beans – Plant every 10 days
Beets – Plant every 14 days
Cucumbers – Plants every 3 weeks
Kale/Colloards – Plant every 3 weeks
Lettuce – Plant every 10-14 days  {this is my favorite thing for succession planting.  It’s impossible to eat it all at once, so having different types of lettuce that will produce every couple of weeks is perfect}.
Melons – Plant every 3 weeks
Radish – Plant every 7 days
Spinach – Plant every 7 days
Summer Squash – plant every 6 weeks
Sweet Corn – Plant every 10 days
Carrots – Plant every 2-3 weeks {as weather allows, stop when it gets too hot and resume in late summer/early fall}
Cauliflower – Plant every 2 weeks {as weather allows, stop when it gets too hot and resume again in late summer/early fall}
Turnips – Plant every 7 Days

dinosaur-kale

If you decide to try square foot gardening, succession planting is an awesome way to make sure you get the most out of your space.

What are your favorite crops to stagger planting?  How do you space them?

~Mavis

vegetable gardening
Vegetable Gardening: From Planting to Picking

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.

10 Cool Uses for Coffee Filters

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10 Cool Uses for Coffee Filters

The HH is the only one who drinks coffee at my house, and since we now have a fancy new coffee maker with a reusable filter, I have left over coffee filters lying around.  I couldn’t stand just letting them go to waste, so I decided to figure out some ways to put those babies to use.

Here’s my top 10 ways to use coffee filters for something other than brewing coffee:

  1. Clean windows/mirrors.  They are lint free and don’t break apart when wet.
  2. Lay a couple on a plate and use them to soak up excess grease when cooking bacon, homemade fries, etc.
  3. Cover plates/bowls with coffee filters when microwaving to prevent splattering.
  4. Use to apply shoe polish.
  5. Prevent soil from sneaking out of the bottom of planting containers.  Place a coffee filter over the holes in the bottoms of your pot, plant as you would regularly.  The plant will still have proper water drainage, but you won’t lose any soil.
  6. Use to protect nice dishes.  Place a coffee filter in between stacked dishes you don’t use very often to protect them from chips, scratches, etc.
  7. Use them to filter used frying oil.  Wait for the oil to cool and pour it through a coffee filter.  You will be able to reuse the oil next time you are frying.  How amazingly frugal is that?
  8. Put some baking soda into a coffee filter and set it in the heel of shoes to get the odor out.  ”Oh, Monkey Boy!  Where are you?!”
  9. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments to protect them during storage.
  10. Use as an alternative to paper bowls for snacks.  They are way cheaper and hold snacks like crackers and popcorn perfecto.

If you had a bunch of extra coffee filters laying around, what would YOU do with them?

~Mavia

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.

Food Waste In America – Reclaimed Food Show and Tell

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food waste in amercia

This week there were 2 boxes of chicken scraps to pick up from Mr. Produce Guy.  At first glance I wasn’t sure there would be much to reclaim. But after I lifted up the bags of grapes and knew I had hit the jackpot.

box of tomaotes

Mama Mia! Holy tomatoes batman!

We did have to toss a few tomatoes but we made several batches of homemade tomato sauce with the rest.

lettuce blend

There were also lot of of salad greens but strawberries and other veggies were tossed into the leafy greens. Instead of digging through them we decided to give the entire box of salad to the chickens.

organic girl super greens

2 tubs  of Organic Girl super greens were free because of the sale date stamped on the container.

red and green grapes

Fresh grapes! We LOVE grapes around here and the kids especially love to pack them in their lunches.food waste in america

A huge box of tomatoes, organic salad greens and grapes. Not to shabby for free if you ask me.

Have YOU been successful trying to get your local grocery to give you their scraps? Does your store donate their extra produce or is it tossed in to a dumpster?

Mavis wants to know.

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

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 – Great Wold Lodge, Kindle Books, Maxi Dresses, Black and Decker

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garden gnome

My heart goes out to the city of Boston this morning. What a tragedy. Please remember to hug your loved ones extra tight today.  Take care everyone and stay safe.

~Mavis

Great Wolf Lodge

The Great Wolf Lodge is having a HUGE 38% off sale at locations all around the country. Head on over HERE to find your location.

kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The Seasons on Henry’s Farm FREE
Make It Fast, Cook It Slow $1.99
Beginners Guide To Organic Gardening And Composting FREE
Weekend Homesteader: April $0.99
Happy This Year! $4.99

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


Baker’s Secret 10-by-16-Inch Nonstick Cooling Rack, {Set of 2} $8.84

maxi dress

Zulily has Maxi Fresses on sale for $16.99 in their Color Collective sale. These woul d be great for the summer months.

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

pot lifter garden tool

Got  a lot of heavy pots in your garden that need to be moved? Amazon currently has the PotLifter 200-Pound Gardening Heavy Lifting Tool on sale for $24.23. My neighbor Mrs. Hillbilly has one of these and loves it!


Black & Decker Double Ended Screwdriving Bit Set, 10-Piece $3.33! Grab this for your tool kit!

Black & Decker Edge Hog 2-1/4 HP Electric Landscape Edger $88.97 Shipped. This is the edger my husband uses and we’ve had ours for about 7 years now and really like it.

kelty backpacks

The REI Outlet Deal of the Day is the Kelty Redwing 40 Pack.

6pm tax day sale

6pm is having a 3-day tax day sale with FREE SHIPPING!


Jabra WAVE Bluetooth Headset

Today’s Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day is the Jabra WAVE Bluetooth Headset for $34.99 shipped.

elle-decor-magazineDiscount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Elle Decor Magazine for only $4.49 a year when you use code 2618 at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 4/16/2013 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

$15.00 off a FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System$1.50 off ONE CARNATION Breakfast Essentials$1.00 off 1 Marie Callender's Breakfast Sandwich$1.00 off any TWO (2) Keebler 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.

Testing the pH Level of Soil

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Testing the pH Level of Soil

Have you ever had your soil tested?  I recently tested mine with this super simple Luster Leaf pH Soil Testing Kit.  Basically, you just need soil samples and distilled water.  To do the test, dig a couple of holes {the test comes with 10 capsules for testing} in your garden about 6″-8″ deep, collect some dirt, and put it into the provided test kit, as per the instructions.  Top it off with distilled water, and voila:  the pH of your garden.

luster leaf Testing the pH Level of Soil

pH testing your garden soil can save you tons of money.  It basically tells you exactly how to amend you soil so that you don’t have to guess.  You can waste a lot of money on fertilizers, etc. with zero benefits, because all you needed to do is change to pH of your soil.  Raising or lowering your pH is a fairly simple and cheap task, to make soil more acidic, add finely ground limestone.  To make soil more alkaline, add gympsum or ground sulfur.

Testing the pH Level of Soil

pH levels in soil affect how well your plant can absorb nutrients.  Most garden plants {but not all} prefer somewhere between 5.5-7.0 pH level.

You can order the Luster Leaf pH Soil Testing Kit from Amazon or pick on up the next time you’re at your local home improvement store.

Here’s a nifty little guide for the most common garden fruits and veggies, in case you decide to test your soil:

Ideal pH Levels

Asparagus 6.0-8.0
Beans 6.0-7.0
Beets 6.5-8.0
Blueberry 4.0-6.0
Broccoli 6.0-7.0
Cabbage 6.0-7.5
Cantaloupe 6.0-7.5
Carrots 5.5-7.0
Corn 5.5-7.5
Cucubers 5.5-7.0
Eggplant 5.5-6.5
Grapes 5.5-7.0
Lettuce 6.0-7.0
Onions 6.0-7.0
Peas 6.0-7.5
Peppers 5.5-7.0
Potatoes 4.8-6.5
Sweet Potatoes 5.2-6.0
Strawberry 5.5-6.5
Radishes 6.0-7.0
Raspberry, black 5.5-7.0
Raspberry, red 6.0-7.5
Rhubarb 5.5-7.0
Spinach 6.0-7.5
Squash 6.0-7.0
Tomatoes 5.5-7.5

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 Slow Cooker Recipes – Savory Chicken with Tomatoes

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crock pot chicken recipe

I don’t know about you, but I love it when I only have to spend a whopping 5 minutes throwing dinner together. This chicken turned out unbelievably moist.

I hope you like it. We sure did.

Ingredients

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

moist crock pot chicken recipe

Directions

Place the stewed tomatoes in the bottom of the crock pot, add chicken, then spices. Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3 hours. Serve over a bed of rice.  That’s it! Wahooooo!

Are you in love with your crock pot too? Then be sure and check out more of my favorite crock pot recipes.

slow cooker crock pot cookbook

My favorite Crock Pot – Crock-Pot Cook’ N Carry 6-Quart Portable Slow Cooker
My favorite Slow Cooker Cookbook – Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook

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.

Who’s More Tired: Women or Men?

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who's more tired  women or men

I can’t remember a time, in my adult life, when I wasn’t just a little bit tired.  Can you?  I try to get enough sleep, but still, by the afternoon, I’m beat.  So when I stumbled onto an NPR Article that highlighted a study done by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on tiredness, men vs. women, I just had to share.  It basically found that women are more tired than men.  Hmmm, interesting, right?!

The article says that the women in the 18-44 age group were about twice as likely to report feeling tired {16% of women vs. 9% of men}.  NPR suggested that this is because women 18-44 are in their child-bearing years and that as they aged, the gap between men and women reporting that they were exhausted lessened.  Now, I’m not trying to take anything away from you here boys, BUT, this does not surprise me one bit {read:  Duh?}.  All the women I know work their keisters off from sun up to sun down, and when you add a couple of children into the mix, woo-eee, it’s a recipe for sleep deprivation for sure.

So, ladies, it’s time to cut yourselves a little slack:  Let the laundry pile up a bit, order a pizza for dinner tonight, and take a nap.  Feel free to tell everyone Mavis told you to do it.

Happy Napping,

Mavis

What do YOU think, is the article right?  Do you think women are more tired than men?

 

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.

10 Ways to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden

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10 Ways to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden

I know many of you deal with deer using your garden as an all-you-can-eat buffet and trampling everything in their path as they do.  While a little bit of nature right outside your back door is awesome, having them in your garden is not.  So, here are 10 things to try to keep deer out of your yard:

  1. Get a dog.  Their bark and chase should keep the deer at bay.  {Though, I admit, I am not sure how frightening Lucy would be to a deer 8 times her size}
  2. Clean out your brush.  Yep, you read it right.  Deer are repelled by human hair, so clean out your brush and string your hair around your yard like tinsel.
  3. Use row covers.  They can’t eat what they can’t get to.
  4. Sprinkle hot sauce on the plants the deer are munching on.
  5. If possible, plant the items deer are most attracted to closest to the house.  That way, you can keep an eye out and hope they won’t be brave enough to make their way up close.
  6. Plant a barrier of garlic, chives, mint, lavender, etc.  Pungent herbs will mask the odor of more pleasant smelling {to deer, at least} munchables.
  7. Plant thorny plants where deer tend to enter your yard.  A little prickly inconvenience goes a long way in deterring them.
  8. Plant thick hedges as a border around your garden.  Unfortunately, this blocks your view, as well as deer, but in desperation…
  9. Not to state to obvious, but when all else fails, fence them out.
  10. String fishing line around prized plants.  It keeps them out and confuses them.  I can neither confirm or deny that it would confuse me too.  Ha.

Do you have a problem with deer in your yard?  How do you keep them at bay?

~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.

Can You Grow Potatoes in a Square Foot Garden?

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square foot garden

Yesterday was an amazing day with lot’s of sunshine. I was able to work on a few garden projects and one of them was planting a few more vegetables in our square foot garden.

square foot garden peas

As of today we have 14 of the 32 squares planted. The sugar snap peas and celery we planted 2 weeks ago are doing great.

square foot gardening strawberries

Mr. Gnome Guy has been able to keep the baby slugs at bay in the mini strawberry patch.

red seed potato eyes

While we were cleaning out the garage over the weekend I found a few more seed potatoes. Against my better judgement I went ahead and planted 2 squares with 1 seed potato each. Carrots may love tomatoes but potatoes sure don’t.

I should probably pull them up and plant them somewhere else. We’ll see.

cheddar cauliflower

When I attended the Seattle Tilth Edible plant sale last month I picked up a cheddar cauliflower plant. I’ve never grown  orange cauliflower before so I’m pretty excited.

snow peas 1 month

I also transplanted a few snow peas {which are great in stir fry} I had growing in tiny pots in the greenhouse.

square foot gardening

So far we have peas, celery, radishes, carrots, onions, beets, Swiss chard, strawberries, cauliflower, broccoli and potatoes growing.  Maybe some kale too. I can’t remember. Ha! Luckily I am pretty good at identifying leaves, so I guess I’ll just have to wait a few weeks until and see what I’ve I planted.

This exactly why using plant markers is such a good idea.

Okay, so what do you think? Should I remove the potatoes? Or just go for it. I mean really, how much damage could 2 little potatoes do anyway?

~Mavis

All New Square Foot Gardening

For more information, check out All New Square Foot Gardening.  It is an amazon bestseller and the author is basically the king of square foot gardening.

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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