Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Breezy Monday...

It was a lovely weekend at Growbox Hill.. Had family and friends visiting.

Cleaned up the yard of all the larger fallen sticks and branches that could hurt a lawnmower. Cleaned off all the dead grapevines and the wall off the kennel. Cleaned up the boards that were unsuitable for reusing, and rough boxed in the raspberries that the boards had been smothering.
Had one outstanding bonfire in the firepit with all the burnables cleaned out of the yard :)

So, now I need to figure out the immediate lawnmowing situation. The neighbor might have a lawnmower for cheap, or I may have to use a service for a while. Can't afford a new mower, though I would like to have one that I can also do a lil snowblade attachment on.
I also need to do a boatload of spot transplanting before I can do mowing action in the back. There a whole bunch of hyacinths of different types and some daffodils that have one upped here and there that I want to move to a more, er bedded location.
The kennel needs to be cleaned out of all the leaves blown in there- then I get to start up some container plants on the slab. Figure it would be useful since it has three chainlink walls in a row to utilize them till it's time to start working with chickens. Then the chicken house will go there.
The wood around the raspberries- some of it will be broken up for the firepit since there is still a lot of it. But some of it will still be used to box in the berries. Got my eye on a couple of raspberries that have come up on among the ditch lilies by the driveway- might already have a couple of berries, yay!
Also found out we have a mulberry tree in the back, and a couple of the bushes have leafed out enough that they are for sure lilacs. Super hooray- think I might border our side of the easement drive with even more lilacs, and spread the ditch lilies along the line between the easement drive and the neighbor. Got to try to discourage the neighbors from landing their truck in my front yard again, lol.
Another for sure we got it- lily of the valley, yum! It's spreading out under the chinese chestnut, but only on one side, so I'm gonna dig up the outer edge of it and put it on the other side so we have a nice total circling of the trees :) Discovered that what I thought was regular daffodils by the raspberries are really stunning doubled blooms- and needing division :) Some pretty narcissus too. Got some wide flat blades coming up, not sure what they will be, I'm hoping iris. Would be yet another planned planting already planted, lol.
The magnolia is now in full bloom, the peach is past bloom, and the sweet cherries are in full bloom. The sour cherries have some blooms, and the rest of the orchard is pretty much budding out leaf.

All the yard friends were out. Tippy and family were bounding all over, the birds were all fluttery and chirpy- even the Boston Oriole popped by to dazzle us with his brilliant orange plumage. Gave treats to the neighbor chickens for the first time, and they loved it. Now they know where to get the goods, they are even friendlier than before. The chickens all have official names now. Just the rooster was named by the neighbors, Harry. I call him Mr. Tasty, So I guess he is now Mr. Harry B. Tasty :). The ladies are Madge, all white, Ruby, with red plumage, and Buffy, buff with black tips on her feathers.
And you betcha the bumblebees were out zipping around and being happy. Haven't really seen alot of other bees yet, so there might not be too much competition for my golden ladies once I put in hives. Thankfully for all the old nests I have seen, I haven't seen any of the nasty stingers.
Still want to put up a bathouse, but keep forgetting to ask the neighbors about it. Want to know if they have already tried it or not, or would be PO'd if I put one up.

Made zuppa toscana and fresh ricotta for the weekend. I broke the curd too soon on the ricotta when it was curdling and ended up with a cheese suitable for a fresh spread instead of a curd suitable for baking. Still tasted great with watercress and flat leaf parsley mixed in. Made a fine spread for the ciabatta to go along with a fat ole skillet, yum!

Out of the tec front, my love has successfully printed out a very cool automated valve system. It will be quite nice for slow irrigating as well as regular nutrient additions to hydroponics. So smaller reservoir will be able to be used, making the system a bit more water saving. Plus I will also be able to individually tailor food for fruiting tomatoes, seedling peppers, and blooming eggplant all at the same time instead of individually measuring and feeding each one separately. So time saving too. And not have to pay a buttload of money to someone else for some fancy system. How awesome is that?
He's already written a simple control program for it, so it is a fully working model now. It was kind of exciting to see him just hit a button on his computer and voila! the drip turned itself on and off. So now he's experimenting with how long it takes to get x amount of fluid to run, bla bla bla.. The not quite so exciting part of getting it working right.
We are also getting into the notion of must have generator again. We just can't afford to be without power for the sump pump and well. So we are thinking gas and battery- that way we can plug solar or wind into that same battery too as we figure out our needs. Guess after our initial investment it will be time for me to get off my butt and start working on solar and wind. My love gets to do biofuel- I don't envy him that, it is kind of gross to me, but he's fascinated by it, lol.

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