Welcome to Growbox Hill

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Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Birthday Bee and gardening

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a great day. My two birthday wishes were good weather and good food, and I got both :)
Unfortunately, the neighbors decided to open burn garbage unattended, filling my home with toxic fumes and making us immediately ill- I saw the fire marshal show up and shortly after they were out with the garden hose, putting out the fire and swearing up a storm.
For dinner I did up a small beef roast with baby red potatoes in the crock pot- sis did the gravy with the liquid. Sides were steamed carrots by mom, and spinach and beans I made up a few days ago. Man, I gotta say, that vacuum sealer lid attachments were well worth the pennies! The spinach stayed nice and fresh for far longer than they would in a regular container.
Picked up some greenie bags on clearance a couple weeks back, and those are paying off too- been able to keep peppers, beans, nasturtium leaves, and garlic scapes fresh for way longer than they would otherwise.

Started my third batch of nasturtium leaves in the dehydrator today. By the time the season peters out on those, I should have a rather nice stock of peppery green goodness for the cold weather months. I make a homemade jambalaya mix that I like to use peppery greens in, last time I used radish greens, but next time I'll likely use the nasturtium leaves. The things have been putting out enough seeds that I'm fairly optimistic that I will have a goodly amount of seed stock and some seeds to try grinding up to see how they substitute for peppercorns. If I have this kind of luck next year, I will for sure be trying out false capers with the things.

Right now the freezer is chock full of excellent deals that we have been getting lately. Plenty of fish that was 9 bucks for a 5 pound bag, country ribs that were 1.70 a pound, and a 10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters that were 70 cents a pound- 7 bucks for the whole bag! Got a bunch of other porky goodness like loins and ham that have been on sale lately too- I really need to get the smoker fired up to do up that ham, yum. Frugal shopping now will see us into good eats for a few months :)

The garden is looking good all around- been picking squash and peppers.
From left to right is spaghetti squash, one ball squash, cue ball squash, and Long Island pumpkin. That crazy vining up is the goats eye beans. Only been picking one ball and cue balls, the spaghetti squashes were labeled as "two man", but the things are huge enough to feed 4 of us with leftovers. I'm watching them ripening with baited breath. The Long Island pumpkin has lots of blooms, and starting to grow fruits- those I'm extra hoping for goodness out of.

The pepper bed. The pepperonchini isn't doing as well as I had hoped, but ah well. The top crop beans I seeded in in a last ditch effort to get any beans growing after the critters chomped up so many of them are starting to take off- I will hopefully get a couple pounds off of them before the year is out. The star producer so far is the banana peppers. And of course the jewel nasturtiums, those are absolutely wonderful.

The monster tomato bed- I'm not sure how I'm even going to be picking the ones in the middle. But next year will see some serious spacing adjustments. To the left you can just see the zucchini which is finally producing some fruits, and I'm not too sure if those late season buttercups I put in are really going to do anything or not.

Picked the last of the garlic today- the bed looks a little funny empty. I want to shovel in a bit of horse poo and work it in before doing anything else with the bed.

This is the last of the garlic, Russian Giant, Skips 3, Skips 2, and Up North.

Here's what todays pickings look like compared to what I picked on the 10th. Skips 1, Leningrad, and 2 bundles of Pearl Porcelain. Right now it's looking like I will not be replanting the Skips 1, and unless it tastes really good, the Skips 3. I'm debating on the Up North too- that will totally depend on how it tastes too. For sure will be replanting the Giant Russian and Pearl Porcelain.
The partially cured garlic was good enough done in my estimation for me to take the next stage of curing.

Here's the Pearl Porcelain, Leningrad, and Skips 1 trimmed up and tied up to finish curing. To the far right is the Kankakee softneck. The Skips 1 is noteably smaller than all the rest of them. These will cure up for a couple more weeks before I give them their final trim. All the rest of the garlic is now on the top shelf in the laundry room curing away. The huge pile of Kankakee hardneck is looking great, but I didn't think the leaves had died back enough to warrant trimming like the above heads.

Now it's time for me to scoot because I need to get the brush wood picked up around the yard and down to the firepit... Thank goodness for pickup trucks, lol.

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