It Looks Like a Parsnip…. But it’s Not

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looks like a parsnip

Calling all you garden sleuths out there… Does anyone know what this plant is called? I was weeding my fall vegetable garden last night here on the east coast and noticed a ton of these parsnip looking plants growing between the rows.

fake parsnip plant

The roots look like a parsnip but the leaves remind me of potatoes. I am totally baffled.

fall garden planting

I’m not sure if I somehow dropped a packet of seeds because the plant is sprinkled between the rows of my fall veggies or if this thing is just some sort of weed.

Anyone know for sure?

~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.



The Benefits of Using Row Covers

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row covers tomatoes raised garden bed

Row covers are a great way to keep certain things in your garden {i.e. heat} and later on in the season, certain things OUT of your garden {i.e. pests}.  They are cheap, effective, and even though some people think they are an eyesore, I see them as kind of charming. I always think, “Oh, a gardener.  Awesome. Solidarity, my friend, solidarity.”

How to Build a Row Cover or Mini Greenhouse Poly Tunnel

Row covers, depending on your climate, can extend your season by up to a month on each end, spring and fall.  In the spring, they help keep the soil warmer, essentially letting the little seedlings know it’s safe to do their business.  Floating row covers, like the ones I use, have some sort of support system, like PVC pipe bent in an arch over garden boxes, to keep the cover from sitting directly on the plants.

spinach growing in a greenhouse

It is not always necessary to use supports, if you get a lightweight row cover, you can simply drape it over the plants.  Though, lightweight covers do more for controlling pests than cold.  Essentially, by using a hooped row cover, you create a very cheap, efficient mini greenhouse.  When protecting your plants from cold, you really want to go with a plastic row cover.  The heavier the plastic, the better the protection–though, the less light that penetrates, so you have to make the decision based on your climate.

fabric row cover

Fabric row covers are awesome for keeping pests, like beetles, birds, squirrels, etc. OUT of the garden.  They are specifically designed to let air and light in and keep varmint {I don’t use that word enough} out.  The cool thing about cloth row covers is that they can be draped over the plants without support, like a little blanket of protection.  They really only provide light protection for frost, though, so don’t rely on them heavily there.  They are cheap, can be easily cut to size, and are pretty easy to work with and store to use over and over again.

eliot coleman four season farm greenhouse

Year-round gardeners swear by hoop frames and row covers.  They are like a poor man’s greenhouse.  I think it will take a little trial and error, but so far, I have been really impressed with my row cover hoop house.  If you want to start using row covers for year round gardening, here’s a few tips:

First, spread down some sort of mulch, use leaves, straw {seedless variety} about 12″ thick over the top of your veggies.  Then, cover your frame with a row cover.  The combination creates a perfect environment for year round production of cool weather veggies {i.e. carrots, parsnips, turnips, etc.}.  If you live in a SUPER cold area, you can even consider providing an additional layer of row cover to further insulate.

What do you think, are you ready to give row covers a try?  Or, maybe you have been using them for years and have learned some tricks you’d like to share?

~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 I Feed My Family for $100 a Month – Week 37 of 52

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costco shopping trip

Costco $22.98

I had only one thing on my mind when I went grocery shopping last week…. Buy stuff The HH and Monkey Boy will actually eat while I pop over to the east coast for a few days to get some projects done on our vacation house. It’s true, buying chicken that has to be baked in the oven {rather than tossed in the microwave} might be a bit of a challenge for them, but I’m hoping they can pull it off. We’ll see.

qfc shopping trip

QFC $ 22.05

Canned soup, chips, yogurt, cereal, candy and a little orange juice for good measure. I’m sure they’ll survive just fine until I get back home. ;)

lucy the puggle dog

Amazon order

We were over at Mrs. Hillbillys house about a month ago and Lucy the Puggle Trouble gobbled up their dogs food so we decided to buy a bag. And now she is in love with Natural Choice. :) What a nut!

smith brothers dairy

Smith Brothers Farm - Sponsored

Milk, it does a body good. And butter? Well, just go ahead and staple it to my love handles… because that’s where it’s going to end up anyway. ;)

How did you do this week?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $45.04
Total Spent Year to Date $1255.83
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $38.98

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

Smith Brothers Farms Logo

One Hundred Dollars a Month is proudly sponsored by Smith Brother’s Farms, my family’s favorite milk. Check out their website HERE and learn about the over 100 top quality products Smith Brothers Farms can deliver to your porch box.

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.

Free Kindle Books, $50 of Kindle Fire, Photo Deals, Mojo Bars, Coupons, Recipes and More

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purple flowersAnyone up for a little plant identification today? I spotted these purple perennial flowers in the garden last night and I have no idea what they are. They sure are pretty though and I’m hoping one of you can tell me what they are.

Any ideas? Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a great day everyone,

Mavis

kindle fire tablet

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - $50 Off a Certified Refurbished Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Wi-Fi Tablet

free ebooks
Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can.Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

DIY-Dishwasher-Detergent

Looking for a good recipe for DIY Dishwasher Detergent? I’ve been using this recipe for about a 9 months now and I love it.

amazon kitchen deals

Check out these kitchen deals:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Long Haul

You can pre-order Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul for just $7.86 right now! This will ship on November 4, 2014 and if the price drops before now and then you’ll get the lowest price. Wahooo!

Working-Outside-the-Home-Vs.-Staying-at-HomeLooking for an interesting read this Monday morning? This one had readers pretty divided: Working Outside the Home Vs. Staying at Home – Which is More Stressful?

FL_FAB_SpringSlide_300x250_041014_CR

Now that school is back in session and everyone is getting back into a routine, I’m trying to work out more! New workout gear here I come! Fabletics has an awesome introductory offer where you get a full workout outfit {top and bottoms} for only $25 SHIPPED! Not too shabby. Head on over and get your Fabletics offer HERE.

oh snap tee shirt

Check out these photo deals:

popular photography magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Popular Photography Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 9/22/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

clif mojo peanut butter pretzel bars

Get the 12-Pack of MoJo Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars for only $11.34  shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout. This is my favorite variety!! So yummy.

Freezer-Meals-Breakfast-Burritos2These Freezer Meal Breakfast Burritos are the perfect back to school breakfast idea.  They make the morning rush a breeze.  Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

ryder sandals

Snag a pair of Rider Kids Sandals for just $5.99 shipped from 6pm. Order a size up for next summer and save big!

finger puppets

Amazon has the 10pcs Velvet Animal Style Finger Puppets Set on sale for $3.39 shipped!

Scrubbing-Bubbles-coupon

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

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.

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 37 of 52

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menu plan ideas

Even though I don’t make a weekly menu plan, I still love the idea of having a bunch of recipes right in front of me to choose from.Here are a few recipes from my recipe collection I thought you might like:

Peanut Butter Banana Granola

Breakfast Ideas 

Blueberry Banana Smoothie – Smoothies are just a healthy way to get a milkshake for breakfast.  This recipe is smooth and creamy deliciousness.  {Pin for Later}
Peanut Butter Banana Granola – Store-bought granola is just lame.  Peanut butter and bananas…not lame at all.  {Pin for Later}
Ham and Broccoli Breakfast Casserole - This is a great way to use up left-over ham.  Bonus:  you’ll get a serving of veggies first thing in the morning, so you can totally justify pie for lunch.  {Pin for Later}
Bacon Pancakes – If you haven’t made these yet, you really are only harming yourself.  {Pin for Later}

Freezer Meal Chicken Broccoli AlfredoSlow Cooker  and Freezer Meal Ideas

Slow Cooker Pear and Ginger Applesauce – Pears are finally in season, try this recipe out while the gettin’ is good.  {Pin for Later}
Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup {Copy Cat Recipe} – This soup screams fall.  {Pin for Later}
Crock Pot Baked Potatoes – Baked potato bars are one of my favorite lazy day meals.  Making them in the crock pot means that everyone can have a hot meal whenever they are ready.  {Pin for Later}
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Freezer Meal – This is literally the easiest meal on the planet.  It will save you gobs of time.  {Pin for Later}

Spinach and Feta Orzo SaladSoups , Salads and Main Dish Ideas

Spinach and Feta Orzo Salad - This makes a great side, or in my opinion, an awesome lunch all by itself.  {Pin for Later}
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad –  Quinoa is really one of my favorite power-packed foods.  This salad is no exception.  {Pin for Later}
Pizza From Scratch – Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked pizza wafting through the house?  {Pin for Later}
Spinach and Pork Quiche – The best way ever to use up left-over pork chops.  {Pin for Later}

Easy-Recipes-for-Kids-Popcorn-in-a-BagCookies,  Snacks and Desserts

Popcorn in a Bag - Need an after school snack?  This is the easiest way to make popcorn ever, plus it doesn’t have all the chemicals regular microwave popcorn has.  {Pin for Later}
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas – If you have a football family, these make for great finger friendly snacks.  {Pin for Later}
Cherry Vanilla Chocolate Chip Ice Cream - This ice cream is like a flavor explosion–and you can use frozen cherries instead of fresh for this time of year.  {Pin for Later}
Dehydrated Canned Pineapple - These are sweet and delicious.  There is basically no prep, which makes these the perfect set it and forget it snack.  {Pin for Later}

easy peach freezer jam recipeCanning Recipe of the Week

Easy Peach Freezer Jam – This takes fantastic on toast, and it is crazy easy to make.  {Pin for Later}

What are YOU planning on making this week?

~Mavis

Looking for more recipes? Check out my recipes boards on Pinterest

Also, be sure to check out:

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 Green Tomatoes

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How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

Now that the weather is getting colder, those last tomatoes still hanging on the vine may need an intervention if you want them to ripen.  Then again, you may have all sorts of recipes for green tomatoes, but if not, you can try a couple of these methods to squeeze the most out of your tomato crop:

Mavis Garden Blog - 5 Tips for Ripening Tomatoes on the Vine

If it is just a light first frost, cover your tomatoes and leave them on the vine.  Tomatoes need to reach about 85 degrees to ripen, so giving them another week or two of day time temperatures will probably get them to ripen.  Meanwhile, once nighttime temperatures start to drop, you probably won’t get any new tomatoes, so pinch off all of the flowers from here on out so that the plant can use all of its resources to ripen the existing tomatoes.

what-should-I-do-with-green-tomatoes

If it is a hard freeze you are facing, it’s time to pick ALL of the tomatoes.  Bring them inside, tomatoes that have a slight orange hue will likely ripen on their own {kind of like the grocery store tomatoes have to}.  You can try ripening totally green tomatoes by placing them in a warm place and layer them in between newspaper.  The newspaper helps trap the ethylene gas that causes tomatoes to ripen.

how to ripen green tomatoes

Some tomatoes will rot in the process, this is totally normal.  Just remove those tomatoes and compost/throw them away so that they don’t affect the whole lot.  For smaller amounts, place the tomatoes in a paper bag with an apple or banana.  The fruits will give off ethylene gas, which in turn, will ripen the tomatoes {in theory}.  In both cases, check the tomatoes daily for progress.

It’s always so sad to say goodbye to tomato season. :(

~Mavis

canning-green-tomato-curry-sauce

Don’t forget to use some of those tomatoes to can a batch of Green Tomato Curry Sauce. It’s freakin’ delicious!

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.

Mouthwatering Muffin Recipe Roundup: 10 Gotta Have ‘Em Recipes

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Muffins are such a comfort food for me in the morning. They are totally versatile too because I can throw all sorts of ingredients in them, and they come right out of the oven as delicious as ever. Raspberries, oatmeal, raisins, cranberries, apples. You name it, I’ve made it into a muffin!

In addition to being a little treat for my taste buds, I can throw some fancy muffin liners around them and gift them like crazy.  That way, everyone gets to share in the muffin love!

Here are 10 of my favorite muffin recipes:

1. Rhubarb Walnut Muffins {or Pin it for later}

2. Strawberry Muffins w/ Oatmeal Crumb Topping {or Pin it for later}

3. Apple Strudel Muffins {or Pin it for later}

4. Spiced Pear Muffins w/ Crumb Topping {or Pin it for later}

5. Strawberry Banana Muffins {or Pin it for later}

6. Raspberry Muffins w/ Crumb Topping {or Pin it for later}

7. Poppy Seed Muffins {or Pin it for later}

8. Pumpkin Muffins w/ Oatmeal Streusel Topping {or Pin it for later}

9. Blueberry Muffins w/ Crumb Topping {or Pin it for later}

10. Traditional Cranberry Muffin {or Pin it for later}

Did I miss any of the great ones? Have an awesome muffin recipe I’m missing out on? Share in the comments below!

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.

Canning 101 – Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe

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If you can make applesauce, you can make apple butter.  The process is exactly the same with the exception of one step.  After you turn your apples into applesauce, instead of canning it right away, you place the applesauce in a crock pot to cook down into a thick, rich buttery spread.

Apple butter is great to spread on toast, but my favorite thing to do with apple butter is to place a whole chicken in a crock pot and pour a bottle of apple butter over it and let the chicken cook on low all day long.  The spiced apple butter makes the chicken sooo incredibly juicy and is the perfect way to enjoy chicken in the fall and winter months.

Try it, I’m sure you’ll love it as much as my family does.

Ingredients

8 pounds apples {I used several different varieties}
1 cup water or apple juice {I used water}
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Directions Wash, dry and quarter your apples.  Toss apples, water, sugar, and spices in an 8 quart pot and bring to a boil.  Once you reach a boil, stir the apples, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the apples are tender {about 20 minutes}, stirring often.

Once the apples are soft, carefully spoon them in to a food mill to separate the peels, stems and seeds. Place the apple mixture in a crock pot and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours, stirring occasionally.  Your house will smell awesome!!!

Once the apple butter has thickened and turned a dark brown color it’s time to can your loot.

Bring a boiling-water canner, 3/4 full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

Ladle the apple butter  immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw on bands. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.} Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min.

Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary}. Yields 4 pints. Need a slow cooker?  Amazon currently has the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-Quart Slow Cooker on sale for $29.88 shipped and the reviews are great!

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 9/20/2014

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mavis butterfield instagramMavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share some random goodness

How to Save Seeds for Next Years Garden

Garden Updates

How to Save Seeds for Next Years Garden

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken

Recipes

mornings-with-mavis

Mornings with Mavis 

Kids Classroom Party Treat Alternatives

Tips and Tricks

Should You Tip the Hotel Maid

Weekly Shopping Trips and Other Stories

Videos

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

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

Give the Gift of Seeds: The Gift That Keeps on {Growing}

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savings-seeds-and-giving-them-as-gifts1

So I’m all about gifting things that are unique, homemade or super long-lasting. These fun gifts I’m talking about in my latest eHow article, Give the Gift of Gardening This Winter, cover all three.

What if I told you now is the perfect time to get a jump start on your holiday gifts?

Because seriously, it is.

I was out in the garden collecting herbs last night when I noticed my chive plants were dropping seeds like bombs! So what’s a thrifty gardener to do? Collect seeds and package them up nice and cute for some inexpensive holiday gifts, of course.

Read the full article 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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel