Ask Mavis – Strawberry Freezer Jam, Chickens, Bakerella and More!

mavis butterfield ask mavis

It’s that time again. You ask, and I pretend to know things and answer your burning questions. It really is so much fun to open my inbox and see the wide variety of questions you guys have. Reminds me that my readers are so diverse and pretty dang awesome. So keep those questions coming and I’ll keep racking my brain for answers.

Fast and Easy Strawberry Freezer JamHi Mavis, I saw a recipe for strawberry freezer jam on your blog last summer but I can’t find it now. Can you please share your recipe again?

~Suzie from Corvallis, Oregon

Here is the recipe for my Fast and Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam. It’s the bomb diggity {and so simple to make, too!}. Hope you like it as much as we do.

How to grow cucumbers seedsI have followed your blog for several years and am envious of your success with everything you plant. My question is about cucumber growing. I plant 3-5 plants in spring/summer and I can never successfully get them grow more than a couple inches and all die. This is my 8th or 9th year and I want to grow them to harvest. Thanks in advance.

~ Cindy

Cucumbers can be a bit finicky at times. They LOVE warm, rich soil. That mean plenty of sun {they prefer soil temps around 70 degrees to thrive!} and adding fertilizer to your soil. Do you live in a cooler climate? I’m wondering if your soil is too cold for them to survive? You can check out their complete growing guide for all the tips and tricks that might help: How to Grow Cucumbers Start to Finish.

brown slugMavis, love your blog. This year I planted peppers and beans. I had thought that the slugs were attacking them. I put out beer traps and got a bunch of them at first then lately only one or two. I don’t think it is the slugs that are still attacking the seedling but something is eating them. I check them each morning and some of the plants are just gone. Poof! Any ideas?

~Dale

That’s a hard one because it could be any number of critters! I know sow bugs seem to love to eat the sprouted bean seedlings and the leaves. Sluggo Plus might be a great option for you. It contains both spinosad {which kills the sow bugs} and iron phosphate {which kills the slugs}. Is it possible for you to plant them in pots and then transplant them when they are bigger? That might keep some pests away. Hopefully that helps!

blue cochin chick 4 weeks feathered legsHi there Mavis! I am a long time follower of your blog. It is full of great resources and tips that I live by! I know you have hens in your backyard…..well, right now we’re trying to get our city council to allow chickens here! Do you have any resources, tips, or advice for raising and caring for chickens, or anything you think that could benefit us in our endeavor? Anything would help! Please and thank you!!!!!!

~Kate

Chickens are the best! I was so sad to have to rehome ours when we moved, but they went to a fantastic home where they are very loved! As far as advice, you can check out every last post I’ve ever done on my chickens by heading HERE. A few highlighted posts I’d check out are How to Raise Baby Chicks, How to Care for Chickens in the Winter, How to Maintain a Chicken Coop, and How to Collect, Clean and Store Eggs. Good luck. I think you’re gonna love being chicken parents!

Lucy the Puggle deogHey, Mavis – Have you seen Bakerella today?

~Jennifer from Facebook

Ohmygoodness. Those pug pops are freakin awesome!! I might have to throw Lucy a birthday party and make them for all of her fur friends. Ha! Thanks for sharing!

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One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 5/23/2015

lucy the puggle dog

lucy the puggle dogMavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share some random goodness

 

mavis butterfield

Garden Updates

Memorial Day BBQ Recipes

Recipes

ubiquitous

Mornings with Mavis 

DIY Chrome Cleaner Recipe

Tips and Tricks

10 foot tall tin flamingo

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.

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Ask Mavis- We’re Talking Dishwashers, DIY Raised Garden Beds and More

bosch

ask mavis

It’s that time again. You ask, and I pretend to know things and answer your burning questions. It really is so much fun to open my inbox and see the wide variety of questions you guys have. Reminds me that my readers are so diverse and pretty dang awesome. So keep those questions coming and I’ll keep racking my brain for answers.

boschMavis – respect your opinion…need a recommendation on a new dishwasher? I hope you have time to answer this. Thank you.

~Mary

This one is a no brainer for me. Bosch ALL THE WAY!!! We had one in the last house and it rocked my world. For an appliance that is used and abused, Bosch is worth the extra money!

holding-lady-bugsHi Mavis! I’ve recently discovered your site and I’ll admit I’ve become a bit of a stalker! I am setting up my own veggie garden for the first time and just love all of your posts! My question is, here in Las Vegas, most of us spray bi-monthly for pests (I use a professional company). How close/far away should I have them spray? I’m using all smart pots, so I assume not TOO close, but how close is too close? Thank you!!

~ Tina

We accept stalkers here! But as far as your question goes, it really depends on the type of pests being sprayed for and what chemicals they are using. Typically, you just want to avoid direct contact. Some airborne misting should be okay. Any chemicals that would drain into your garden’s water source should be avoided. But you’re pretty much good to go otherwise.

Please tell Angela, the person with the question about peaches that she must not “boil” beans if she means to process in canning. Beans must be pressure canned. Don’t let that slip by.

~ Carol

Thanks for the reminder, Carol! Here is my post on How to Can Green Beans {in a pressure cooker!}. That’s why I love these Ask Mavis posts! I get such great feedback and reminders from my readers. Thanks!

raised garden boes
Will you show us how HH builds the planter boxes? I have one that needs help so would like to see the right way to do it! Thanks!

~Linda

I have big plans to tell you all about them as soon as they are both in place and planted. I’m going to whip up a little step by step guide, so stay tuned so you to can build some of the coolest planter boxes!!

lucy the puggle dog
An Ask Mavis question. Have you ever considered looking into fostering a dog friend for Lucy? So many rescue groups need foster homes and it is SUCH a rewarding experience. After a day or two of settling in, they are almost no extra trouble. And most rescue groups will provide crates, food, vet care, flea/heartworm meds, and only require your time. Have a great day!

~Heather

I have thought about this a lot, but my problem is I wouldn’t be able to give the dog back because I know we’d become too attached. Then I’d end up with more dogs than we had chickens and the HH would probably leave me if the HOA board didn’t send us a nastygram about how you can only have 2.5 dogs or some nonsense like that first. However, we’ve thought about adopting a playmate for Lucy in the near future. So stay tuned!

~Mavis

Got a question for me? Submit it HERE.

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One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 5/16/2015

mavis butterfield instagram

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

transplanting lettuce

Garden Updates and Tips

Recipes

impinge

Mornings with Mavis 

How to Care for Wood Cutting Boards

Tips and Tricks

Do You Get Manicures

Weekly Shopping Trips and Other Stories

Videos

Friday Night at the Movies – Take Me Home

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.

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Ask Mavis – We’re Talking Canning Peaches, Pea Trellis’ and Listening to the Universe

mavis butterfield ask mavis

mavis butterfield ask mavis
It’s that time again. You ask, and I pretend to know things and answer your burning questions. It really is so much fun to open my inbox and see the wide variety of questions you guys have. Reminds me that my readers are so diverse and pretty dang awesome. So keep those questions coming and I’ll keep racking my brain for answers.

As always, please pipe up if you have any input or are knowledgeable when it comes to any of the following questions:

brother serger lock 1034DI see you are a little over a year into owning your Brother serger. How is it doing for you? My late grandmother’s broke down on me and I am looking for a replacement and this one seems very popular.

~Breanna

I wouldn’t say I’m 100% comfortable with it {maybe 85% comfortable}, but I love the heck out of my Brother Serger and would totally recommend it! As far as sergers are concerned, it’s super easy to use and learn. Plus, the price was right. I absolutely have no regrets and would buy the same model in a heartbeat!

Hi Mavis, I am new to canning, but have done peaches in the past. Do you let your jars touch when canning? And your water covers your lids? I never quite know how long to boil them for {say beans for instance}. I want to learn how to can more things but with 2 young children time is of the essence.

~Angela

Canning can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but after awhile it becomes second nature. Maybe getting a group together or at least having a friend come over and assist might help until you feel really comfortable with it. Another set of eyes is always helpful! As far as your questions are concerned: I never let my jars touch. I cover them so there is about an inch of water on the top. And the processing time is so different depending on the size of your jars, what you are canning and what altitude you can at. Check out this handy dandy list of processing times.

Cherry-Pistachio Nougat RecipeMavis, am I doing something wrong? Your web page will only show up to Dec 4th at your URL. How can I get it to display the most current/up to date page??

~Amy

Looks like you need to clear your cache. Or just listen to what the universe is trying to tell you and make that Cherry-Pistachio Nougat recipe that was posted on the 4th already. Ha! Occasionally, your cache can prevent you from seeing updated content, or cause functional problems when stored content conflicts with live content. To clear your cache, you’d just need to Google it quickly for your particular computer or browser {or head HERE and WikiHow will walk you through it for every browser}. It’s super simple and should just take you a few seconds. Hope that helps!

I just have a question regarding this rustic pea trellis {which I love by the way} I see you have several plants located underneath the trellis. Is one trellis adequate for all those plants to attach to? I am curious if just one trellis would be adequate for my double rows of beans and peas. Thank you for your time and your site…Love it!

~Kathyjo

First, thanks for the praise! Second, one could possibly be sufficient. I normally do more than one, but you can see if one is sufficient this year and if it gets too crowded, you’ll know to add another next year. Although, I probably would err on the side of more is better though! If you have the material for two, give 2 a try. Those little peas grow like mad!!

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One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 5/9/2015

home

homeMavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share some random goodness

garden plot

Garden Updates

Cooking From Your Pantry  Menu Plan Ideas, Freezer Meals and Simple Recipes Week 18 of 52

Recipes

ordinance

Mornings with Mavis 

How to Get Through the TSA Line Fast

Tips and Tricks

Do You Avoid Non-Stick Cookware

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.

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Ask Mavis – Okra, Canning Jars, Tick Repellant and More

pantry

ask mavisIt’s that time again. You ask, and I pretend to know things and answer your burning questions. It really is so much fun to open my inbox and see the wide variety of questions you guys have. Reminds me that my readers are so diverse and pretty dang awesome. So keep those questions coming and I’ll keep racking my brain for answers. As always, please pipe up if you have any input or are knowledgeable when it comes to any of the following questions:kitchen garden ideasYou completely transformed the backyard of your previous house into a gardening paradise. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea, though. Did you have trouble selling the house or did it actually become one of the selling points?

~ Erin

Great question! Because our last property was on a little over an acre in a development of like homes and like-sized wooded lots, I don’t think the vegetable garden factored into the sale of the house either way. However, if I had a smaller lot {like I do now} I wouldn’t go super crazy with the vegetable plots like I did at the last house. We had 16 garden boxes/plots with about 2,000 square feet of {food} growing areas. This time around since we are on a little over a 1/3 acre and have less people to feed, I think my garden plan is for 2 large {6×12} raised garden beds on the side yard and a boatload of containers on the patio {along with several “secret gardens” tucked in as well}.

That way I can scale down the vegetable garden when we eventually put the house on the market. I will replace the side vegetable garden {where I have cabbage and radishes growing now}, with annual flowers for a bit of color.

okra plantWere you able to grow okra in your greenhouse? You mentioned getting the seeds, but I didn’t see anything else about how the okra were doing. Curious because I live in Sammamish, WA, and want to grow okra this year. Last year I did really well with other plants like eggplants and peppers, {and tomatoes and cucumbers, of course}, so now that I’ve learned some tricks, I wanted to try my hand at okra. I got two varieties that have low Days to Maturity, and only want to proceed if it is worthwhile.

Much thanks for your input!

~Anita

I had high hopes for my okra but they did not do well. I think it’s because I planted them too early and because it just isn’t warm enough here. Okra grows best in hot climates, but I thought I could get away with growing it if it was in full sun. I researched it a bit and I think I might have needed to add a fertilizer to my soil to get it to grow. I’m not giving up though. I just might try again this year!

mavis and lucy

Hi last year on your site I read a dog tick repellent recipe and can no longer find it…please help!

~Lynda

I haven’t done a dog tick repellent recipe post yet, but it sounds like I should! I’ve always just used one similar to this recipe. Any of you lovely readers out there have a go-to repellent recipe you use? Please share in the comments section!

pantryA question for you, my family and I are preparing for a move {about 30 miles from our current home} this summer and I am wondering about the food that I have accumulated in my pantry and freezer. I am curious if, in preparation for your move, you found yourself consuming much of what you had on hand in order to have less to move or if you just went about your family shopping/eating habits as usual?

~ Mona

Glad you asked because this was something I actually planned out. Once I knew we were moving, I took an inventory of everything I had that I didn’t want to have to move. Some of my bulk items I knew would travel well and I also knew we could never eat them down, so I ignored those. I really tried hard to plan meals around pantry items I wanted to use up. It changed our menus a bit, but nothing crazy. I duplicated more meals than normal and didn’t eat through as much as I had hoped, but it sure helped when we were packing everything up!

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One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 5/2/2015

log cabin

log cabinMavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share some random goodness

garden plans

Garden Updates

ham pot pie recipe

Recipes

oracular

Mornings with Mavis 

shampoo penny pinching tip

Tips and Tricks

McDonalds Struggles as People Choose Healthier Options

Weekly Shopping Trips and Other Stories

Videos

Friday Night at the Movies – Fed Up

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.

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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.