Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend already?

Happy Friday!

Geez, feels like I just got back from the weekend, and it's already the weekend! It was another noodling around the yard kind of day...

Cleaned up the orchard floor again. This time I used a rake. Kind of a PITA since it wasn't an orchard rake, but still way easier than picking up each fallen fruit individually. I seriously need to get moss growing under the trees, lol. Pruned out some of the broken branches from the apple trees, but I think I'm going to have to wait till late fall or early winter to really get in and cut out some of the stuff- there's just too many apples and leaves in the way for me to get much done. I'm thinking I'm going to have to prune back some of the maple branches that are seriously overhanging the orchard too. That will not be fun. But I was able to pick about 10 pounds of green apples- now I need to get back out tomorrow and pick another 10 pounds or maybe more of red and greens so I can can up a batch of apple pie filling.
Got some seeds into containers today, hopefully I will get some produce out of them before the end of the season. I planted more mixed spinach, green arrow peas, and alaska peas. Nice part is if it gets too late in the season and frosts are looming, I can drag the containers into the solarium to hopefully extend the harvest. Made sure I gave all the containers a good watering, but I know I will have to seriously keep up on it if I'm going to get anything out of them.
Got caught up on some much needed kitchen cleaning today too :)

And very sad... The relator came by this afternoon and took down the for sale sign off the neighbors property. Now I could hold the hope that it sold in one day, but I think we have to face it that we are still stuck with the shitty neighbors yet.

In very yay news... I put all the new additions into the seed file today, and Growbox Hill has hit over 250 kinds of seeds!!! That's halfway to my initial goal of 500 kinds of seeds in the cabinet.  For the 2014 season I will be using up quite a few kinds of seeds. I've gotten in a LOT of flower seeds that will be planted out, and I'm coming to the tail end of several kinds of seeds that hopefully next season will provide replacement seed.

Happy Saturday!

The yard kind of kicked my butt today, heheeh. Started out this morning doing some raking- had some grass clippings I wanted to get into mulching spots. So a big barrow load went up to the herb garden divot,  and another barrow load went to the veggie row compost heap. It's already got a lot of dead weeds and heaps of fallen fruit, so I figured a goodly pile of grass clippings and some of the early fallen leaves would be a good thing. Soon enough I will need to haul a load or two of horse poo down there.
Then it was on to a few hours of long overdue weeding in the bedroom garden and FOH garden. I went and pulled up weeds in the bedroom garden, and decided hey, I have multiple small pots of lemon balm, I should plant some in in the raised bed. Little did I realize the whole spot was matted in with a large mass of roots, I'm presuming from the maple tree. Took me forever just to basically clear out a third of the area, and by then I was ready to call it a day. Fighting with a maple tree is hard work! But I got the lemon balms set into their new spot, now I just have to remember to keep tending them so they don't die on me, lol.
After that I decided not to be a wussy and get at least a couple small barrows of weeds pulled out of the FOH garden. A total PITA task since half the area is totally overgrown with grass. But I put a reasonable dent into the area before I gave up and decided it needed a good watering in before I tried to pull up more- fighting with grass roots among maple roots in dry soil is a painful process. I dumped my load and tackled the other half of the FOH garden instead. A much easier task since I have been weeding it out since we moved in. And the weeds that grow there are just easier to pull out than grass is lol.
In general the area is still a sorry mess, but it does look considerably improved over what it looked like this morning. And now when our security lights come on at night I will be able to actually see what critter is using the path :)

Rather pleasing to they eye is goldenrod- we have masses of it in bloom in the sanctuary. It's a spectacular yellow display.  Goldenrod is great in the natural garden- it attracts a lot of insects, which in turn attract a lot of insect eating birds. So the air has been pretty noisy with all the birdcalls since the blooms started.

Monday Monday.. Where did Sunday go? Visiting and errands...

Finally got the large box of ditch lilies dropped off at my mum-in-laws place. I'm gonna take a day next week to get them all planted in in spots she pointed out to me. It was a real nice way to spend the early part of the day, just sitting around chewing the fat with her. We don't really do that much, so it was pretty cool. And she gave me some tomato cages, a set of very nice steel tiki torches, and a programmable water splitter she wasn't using. How rock on is that?
Then it was stopping at a ton of places on the way home to get things. A new pump for Glugg since the original unit died, brackets and screws so my love can get my first raised bed built, groceries, and a new hot shot since ours is pretty much cruded out. By the time I got home, the day was pretty much done.
Then I got the hell scared out of me late in the night. My love had gone to bed already, and I discovered a bat behind the couch. Yes, a frigging bat! I think it had already been badly abused by the cats but it was still twitching. So I had to wake my love up and get him to take care of it. Read up after and realized we should have boxed it up for testing, shit. So now we get to have a few weeks of paranoid rabies watching on all the cats since I have no idea how or when the thing got in the house. I will be crushed if any of the cats were harmed since rabies is 100% put down kind of thing. We couldn't find the damn thing this morning, so it's just wait and see :( . With the discovery of the bat came the discovery that why yes, there is apparently something that can turn me into a stand on the table shrieking little girl, lol- a bat behind my couch.

So today is a do stuff in the house kind of day.
Made up an antipasta bucket for my sister. It's a refrigerator pickle really. Mix and match 3 cups of veggies, 1 cup of add ins, some herbs and a super simple brine and let sit in the fridge for a month before digging in. Todays batch..
Blanch and shocked cauliflower, broccoli, baby carrots, mini sweet peppers, green beans, and cipollini onions.
Add ins were a sliced lemon, a head of garlic peeled, some pickled peperonchini peppers, and a can of drained artichoke hearts of the smallest size.
Herbs were several springs of tarragon and a couple of winter savory, and about a tablespoon of peppercorns.
Did a triple batch of brine since I had about triple batch of other stuff- 3 cups water, 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Bring to heat to dissolve salt, and let cool enough to go into your container.
Then it's just layer in your veggies, add ons, and herbs, and fill up with the brine. Once it's cooled to room temp, toss into the fridge and let sit for a month. The stuff stays good for several months too.
Took a couple of litter boxes outside the solarium and scattered used litter all the way around the edges and a goodly amount around where some wires come into the house- this is to help deter small critters that might think it's a good idea to try accessing the house this way. It's that time of year to worry about that sort of thing. And of course a serious baking soda treatment to the laundry room carpet while the boxes are out to suck up any lingering kitty odors.
And doing a full on cleanout of Gluggs tank. Ever since I put the live plants into the tank we developed a major algae problem. So it's bie-bie plants in the fish tank. A goodly scrubdown of the tank and plastic plants, and baking the gravel at 450 for an hour to kill off anything that might be living in the gravel. I did pick up a moss ball to replace the plants- those are supposed to be good for the tank too and more likely to discourage algae growth. If that don't work, I can always set up the globe tank in the library as a plant tank. I kind of want to set up the globe in there anyway. 

Anywho, it's Monday, and the weekend is past.. Up for the rest of the week is more errand chasing and some camping prep, and watching the cats closely. 

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