Mavis Mail – Reader Denise Sends in Her Front Yard Garden Photos

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Check out these photos One Hundred Dollars a Month reader Densie from Spanaway sent in, aren’t they awesome? I especially like the bean teepee her son is sitting under.

Here is what Denise had to say:

I have a few pictures of my garden to share. Well, garden pictures from the summer. Now I’m getting even more itchy to plant again after looking through my photos. This cold spell here is getting crazy.

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In April I dug up a 17 x 30 patch of my front yard for an edible garden. Yay suburbia!  It turned out great and I’m looking forward to doing it again. Here in the gray northwest, it’s hard sometimes to get all the sun we need for veggies. It’s all in the front. I was initially inspired by the book The Ediable Front Yard then guided a whole lot more by Steve Solomon, a PNW guru who knows his stuff.

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Denise your garden is AWESOME and so are all those fresh vegetables. Are you planning on expanding your garden or doing anything different this year? Let us know, we’d love to know more.

~Mavis

For an interesting article on Front Yard Gardens head on over 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.



How to Grow Kale {Start to Finish}

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 kale seed packet

I planted my first batch of kale seeds under grow lights the other day and let me tell you Bob, the chickens were pretty excited. I may not love kale, but my hens sure do and I plan on growing a boatload of kale this year for our hens in front of the chicken run and some planters so they can enjoy some yummy treats this summer.

If you have never grown anything before, kale might be a good place to start. It’s frost hardy, and most importantly, you can’t kill it. Trust me, I’ve tried.

kale seeds

Brief description: Kale is a hardy dark leafy green that is part of the cabbage family.

Where to Plant Kale:  Kale thrives in garden beds, raised beds, and even containers.  It is a cool season crop that can be grown outdoors all year long in milder climates, or started and maintained indoors throughout the winter.

dinosaur kale

Planting Seeds:  Plant seeds about 1/4″ deep, with 4 seeds every 10″.  Thin to 1 every 10″ when plants are about 1″ tall.  Space rows 18-24″.

Growing Tips:  Plant in early spring abut 1-2 weeks before average last frost {or start indoors like I am}, or in late summer for a fall harvest.    

picture of kale

How to Harvest:  Harvest when leaves are about as big as your hand.   Tear off the outer leaves and try to leave the center of the plant intact to encourage continuous growth.

My Favorite Kale recipes:

recipe how to make kale chipsHow to Make Kale Chips

kale pesto recipeKale Pesto Recipe

recipe breakfast quiche bacon kale mushroom Quiche with Kale, Bacon, Mushroom and Cheese Recipe

So tell me, are you a fan of kale, or are you growing it for your chickens as well?

~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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Mini Farming Self-Sufficiency

Books, Books, and More Books from Amazon.com

mavis one hundred dollars a month

Garden Updates and Chickens Too!

mornings with mavis

Mornings with Mavis 

roasted Red Beet & White Bean Hummus

Recipes

How To Create a Terrarium

Tips and Tricks

free produce

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 – Sleeping In

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mornings with mavis

Happy Saturday, from Denver, Colorado.

Instead of posting deals this morning I’m taking the morning off to SLEEP IN, and then I’m off to explore the mile high city with my two bff’s.  I hope you don’t mind.

Have a great Saturday.

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.

How to Make Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

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I originally shared this recipe last summer, and thought I’d share it again for those of you who are interested in learning how to make your own mozzarella cheese. It’s really a fun family activity and tastes good too!

A long, long time ago I bought a cheese making kit off of Amazon.  And as The Girl and I were cleaning out the kitchen cupboards the other day we came across the box and peaked inside.

Holy Canolies… everything was still in it.

So we she made cheese! Yay!

If you have never made homemade cheese before, not freak out.  It’s really not that hard.  If a teenager can make it all by herself, than so can YOU!

First of all, I would totally recommend buying a kit. That way all you have to do is worry about buying a gallon of milk and following the printed directions.  But if you are a rebel, here’s how to make it.

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon milk{I used 2% – Make sure your milk is NOT Ultra- Pasteurized}
  • 1 1/4 cups cool water {chlorine-free is recommended}
  • 1 1/2 tsp. citric acid
  • 1/4 rennet tablet
  • 1tsp. salt

Supplies

  • 1 gallon stainless steel pot
  • dairy thermometer
  • slotted spoon
  • colander
  • knife
  • glass bowl

Step 1 – Dissolve 1/4 rennet tablet into 1/4 cup of cool chlorine free water and set aside {FYI – we just used tap water}.

Step #2 – Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid into 1 cup cool water and pour into your pot and stir like a crazy person.

Step #3 Pour milk into a large stainless steel pot and heat to 90 degrees while stirring.

Step #4 – Remove the pot for the stove top, add the rennet mixture  and stir for about 30 seconds.  Then cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes undisturbed.

Step #5 – After 5 minutes your mixture should look like floating cottage cheese that has separated a little bit. You will then cut the curd with a knife {like into strips}.

Step #6 – Place your pot back onto the stove top and heat to 105 degrees while slowly moving the curds around with a spoon.

Step #7 – Take the pot off the burned and continue to stir the curds for 3 -4 minutes.  Pour off the floating whey and using a slotted spoon to transfer your curds into a large glass bowl {you don’t want a bunch of excess liquid}.

Step #8 – Microwave the curds {in the glass bowl} for 1 minute.

Step #9 – Remove the bowl from the microwave, drain any excess liquid, shape into a ball and add 1 teaspoon of salt.

Step #10 – Place the cheese ball back in the bowl and microwave for another 30 seconds.  Drain, stretch cheese {it must be 135 degrees to stretch properly} a few times and form into a log or ball.

Step #11 – Place your cheese ball in cool water and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Then place the cheese ball in ice water and let it sit for an additional 15 minutes to cool down.

Step #12 – Eat fresh or wrap in an airtight container {or saran wrap} and place it in the refrigerator for later.

Yum! Yum! Yum!

To get your own Cheese Making Kit, head on over HERE to Amazon and snatch one up before they are all gone.

  • This kit includes 8-ounce citric acid 8-ounce cheese salt 10 tablets of vegetable rennet 1 yard butter muslin 1 thermometer 1 recipe booklet
  • With this kit you can make mozzarella cheese in just 30 minutes
  • Everything included except for the milk
  • Great fun for the entire Family and your friends will love it too
  • With this kit you can make +/- 30 pounds of cheese

Go HERE to get cheesy!

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 – Ingredients

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This week, the Girl and I will be taking the suggestion of one of my readers and watching Ingredients. {Thanks Kate!}  Ingredients is a documentary that exposes the shortcomings of our industrialized food system and follows the growing movement toward the grow-local ideal.  The film is supposed to highlight the ever-changing demands on farmers {I always love getting the farmer’s perspective} and highlight cities that have learned to integrate locally grown cuisine into their businesses and restaurants.

Ingredients is available for free for Amazon Prime members.

Should be an interesting watch.

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.  Did you love it? Hate it? Can’t wait to watch it over and over?

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!

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself 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.

Bee Keeping: Yes or No?

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honeybee{photo credit}

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting bees, but I’m allergic to them {by allergic I mean swelling and hives, I do not need to carry an EpiPen}.  So you’d think that’d stop me from considering bees any further, but nooo, it’s almost like a challenge–a sick one, but a challenge just the same.  I started researching the whole bee-keeping game and found out there are two different types of bees: Honey bees and Mason bees.

On the up side, Honey bees, I’m sure you know, produce, um, well, honey.  Delicious golden liquid sugar.  They also provide a long season of pollinating, which directly translates into 4000 lbs. of Mavis grown goodness.  On the flip side, they are slightly more aggressive and territorial.  Honey bees are a bigger investment in both time and money up front.  And, of course, they sting, which would leave me choking down a couple of Benadryl and a load of regrets.  But, did I mention that they provide honey?

{photo credit}

Mason Bees, on the other hand, do not sting.  They require almost zero upfront cost, because from what I can tell, building your own mason bee house {or sweet talking the HH to do it for me} takes very little effort and supplies–and after that, it’s a build it and they will come principal.  They are also immune to the common viruses that kill off honey bee hives.   They don’t produce honey or have a queen {all females can reproduce}, so they aren’t aggressive or territorial in anyway–keeping my breathing passages free and clear.  The cons, as I just mentioned, are that they don’t produce honey and their pollination season is relatively short.

I was surprised to learn that while Mason bees don’t sting at all, Honey bees also rarely sting {probably due to the fact that a sting costs them their life {sheesh, those are some high stakes, I kinda feel bad for the bee born with anger-management issues}.

What do YOU think? Am I playing with fire to even consider Honey bees?  Or do you think having plenty of flowers would be enough…instead of honey? Should I just let nature take care of things?  Do you think I will need to attract extra bees to my garden this year?

Conflicted,

Mavis

the bee keepers handbookThe Beekeeper’s Handbook

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 – Free Kindle Books, Coupons, House Beautiful, Rudi’s Bread Coupon, Tin Banks, Boots + More

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mavis nbc  king 5 news Evening magazine

Happy Friday!

Yesterday the guys from King 5 News Evening Magazine stopped by to tape a segment for an upcoming show {I’ll let you know when it airs}. It wasn’t until we were about 3/4 through the shoot that I realized I forgot to put on deodorant that morning. Oh.My.Word.

Note to Self: Plant something fragrant and keep it in the office just in case I forget again.

Alright, here are today’s deals. Have a great day, and please, don’t forget your deodorant!

rca tv
RCA LED 42-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV $319 shipped!

Amazon has savings up to 25% Off Select RCA HDTVs today. Just in time for the big game. Head on over HERE to see the deals.

free kindle books

Free Kindle Books

Bring Home The Butterflies Vol. I
How to Grow Orchids: A Guide to Growing Orchids for Beginners 
How To Compost Manure
Decode Food Labels-What Are You Eating?

The prices on Free Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while they are free!

funny tin bank

Are you saving up to be a rock star, a trip to Vegas, a new pair of jeans or maybe a little therapy? These tin banks a hilarious and would make great gag gifts for friends and family. The banks start at $8.84 and there are 23 styles to choose from.

boots

Amazon has these cute Journee Collection Slouchy Mid-calf Boots on sale for $28.99 shipped. Go HERE to get this deal.

food storage

Have you ever tried these? Amazon currently has 50 – 300cc Oxygen Absorbers for Dried Dehydrated Food and Emergency Long Term Food Storage $6.75. I wonder if they would be good for bulk foods?

Sunday coupon insert preview_opt

This week there will be 4 coupon inserts in the Sunday Paper. Head on over HERE to find out what coupons you can expect to find.

purex sweepstakes

How would you like to win $1,000? Purex wants to know How do you keep your baby’s clothes fresh without concerns about their sensitive skin or damage to their clothes? Head on over HERE to answer the question for your chance to win.

house beautiful magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to House Beautiful for only $4.99 a year when you use code 4154 at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 1/25/13 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

Rudis bread coupons

Head on over to the Rudi’s Facebook page to print a $2.00 off coupon for their new Gluten Free Soft and Yummy Bread.

$1.00 off Hefty Waste Bags$0.55 off Reynolds Slow Cooker LinersThere are new coupons available for Hefty Trash Bags and Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners.

Alright, I’m off to go make some tea and to go have some fun.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, see you back in a bit.

♥ Mavis

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.

Restaurant and Retail Printable Coupons

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Giraffe tote purseGiraffe Animal Print Purse

Headed to the mall this weekend?
Here are a few coupons to bring along.

Thanks Your Retail Helper

Going out for a bite to eat?
Here are few coupons to help you save a buck!

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.

Gearing Up For the Gardening Season – Advice for New Gardeners

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mavis garden blog

I had to laugh as I made room in the fridge for my lavender last week, chilling lavender seeds is just some of the craziness I’ve taken on in trying to grow 4000 lbs. of food this year.  I wouldn’t have even attempted it a few years ago, which made me realize:  gardening is a learning process.

If you are new to gardening, try to remember, it’s about the experience, just as much as the result.  A packet of seeds typically costs less than your average heirloom tomato at the grocery store, so the stakes are pretty low.  Killing off an entire packet {which I have totally done} happens.  Start small and give yourself time to learn.  Choose the veggies or herbs you know you use often–or choose a variety of plant you would never allow yourself to pay for in the grocery store–and then work on growing just that.

botanical-interests seed packets

If you are going to start your own seeds, which I totally recommend, both for the cost and the experience, choose quality over quantity.  I love Botanical Interest seeds because I have learned {the hard way} that quality seeds go a long way in making your growing season more successful.  I can’t tell you how many failed attempts I have had from low quality seeds.

grow lights growlights

Next, get a light.  You don’t necessarily need to get a fancy schmancy set-up, but relying only on the light from a window is a total crap shoot, and the successful plants sometimes get a little leggy.  I found that when I finally moved to a grow light {fluorescent would work too} my success rate grew–literally!  It’s the one ‘must-have’ in my unprofessional opinion.

start seeds under grow lights

You can start your seeds in seed trays or in all sorts of salvaged pots {think:  empty yogurt containers, egg cartons, etc.}. Get creative with your supplies.  You are investing time into a hobby, and sometimes money, but it doesn’t have to be that way, the level of investment you want to make is a personal choice.  Get creative.

Gardening really is about the joy.  I don’t want to get all one-with-nature on you here, but I get a lot of satisfaction from fresh grown produce.  I get even more when I get to share it.  Real food is an experience, enjoy it.

Happy Gardening.

~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