Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hooray May!!

Had an AWESOME Beltaine weekend!!
We got the firepit set up.. Oops, the stones we grabbed from the front yard second were bigger than the ones we grabbed from the backyard first.. So a little bit of shuffle will have to happen for the actual buttering of bricks :) But we had a really nice bonfire for Beltaine. Might not have burned the nine sacred woods, but we did burn a bunch of different woods :) Burned up five of the fallen branch piles, and almost wished for more. I also got to feed the male swan some beltaine bread by the night glow.. It was spectral and sweet, he made little lapping gobbling noises as he snacked on the bread bits :)
Some exciting bird incomers to the yard this weekend. A rose breasted grosbeak, and a pair of Baltimore Orioles. The male Oriole has such gorgeous orange plumage. Stunningly this morning, both of them decided to flutter right on my office window- they must have thought my orange dragons on the windowsill were food. Spectacular to see them both so close up! Think I'm going to have to whack up an orange and see if I can spike it onto the tree with the finch feeders.
It was good to see with the clearing rain the neighbor chickens wandering around the yard again. Found out from one of the neighbors that our next upcoming critter season is turtles, and that we have a few large snapping turtles in the pond- leeches too, so I guess swimming is pretty much out, lol.
Had the first bumblebees floating around my feet too- hooray for our little buzzing friends coming out with the warmer and drier weather :)
On the not so cool but pretty funny front... Another neighbor was trying to turn their truck around and managed to get it stuck in our front yard past the axles- by the time they got a tow truck out to pull the stupid thing out of my yard.. Well, I now have a large and deep truck shaped puddle in my yard. They said they would take care of it next time they come out, hopefully the water will be down a bit by then. Guess I'm going to have to seriously consider some plantings along that side of the yard. Maybe lilacs on our yard side of the easement drive, and esperilles or grapes between the easement drive and theirs.
Gack, we will for sure have to have a surveyor come out and tell us exactly where our property lines are so no one can bitch. But I have heard rumor that all summer is supposed be sort of stupid like that, so I will have to be on the alert, and take friendly neighborly measures in planting to protect the property.

Tried an experimental easy bread recipe over the weekend.. Decent bread, but pretty much just for sandwich fixing.. it wasn't luxurious bread, lol. Made pork stock in the crockpot, thinking I'm gonna use it to make zuppa toscana for next weekend, we are anticipating visitors. Normally I would use it to make potato leek chowder, but one of my guests favorites is the zuppa, and the stock will work very nicely for that too. Might make a nice italian bread and a baked fresh ricotta as well :)
Made a lovely beef roast- with pomegranate wine and portabella mushrooms, yum! I seasoned the roast well and seared it on all sides, then laid it on a bed of white onion, celery, and halved portabellas. Deglazed the searing pan with a healthy amount of wine, and poured that into the baking pan along with a couple cups of beef broth, and sprinkled the whole thing well with thyme. Covered with foil and into the oven for a couple hours at 350. Then I took the whole braising mess, tossed the solids in the blender with a bit of liquid, and pureed it. Back into a pan with the rest of the liquid and another whole container of sliced portabellas and simmered it till it was reduced by half. Delicious over the mashed yukon gold potatoes!

On the tec front, my love has designed a cool little valve thing for printing on the repstrap. Once it is finished it should work as a multifeed type valve for adding different chemicals into the same hydroponic tank. I'm starting to get antsy to use the system, I want to start my off season tomatoes, lol. Already know the tom thumb peas don't do so hot in the water rich system, so I'm going to see how well they do in containers in the solarium- it would be nice to have the extended season that way.

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