Welcome to Growbox Hill

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Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Preserving tally...

I couldn't really remember how much of a record I've been keeping or not on what I've been preserving so far this season, so... As of official winter, here's what I got done through the summer into fall..

6 pints and 8 quarts of pepper rings
14 half pints of citrus ginger zucchini jam
4 quarts of spicy beans
4 quarts of dilly beans
1 quart of dehydrated nasturtium leaves
1 quart of dehydrated celery- from 8 bunches
1 quart of dehydrated Juane Flamme tomato quarters
1 quart of dehydrated Roughwood Golden Plum tomato slices
1 pint and a half of dehydrated mixed tomatoes, sliced
2 quarts of dehydrated pepper rings
1 quart, 1 pint of dehydrated green pepper
28 half pints of spicy olive salsa
1 pint of hot pepper powder, made from guajillo, arbol, piquin, and Japanese chilis
10 pint and a half, 23 pint, 5 half pints of crushed tomatoes
23 quarter pints of pepper relish
6 pints of sweet jardiniere
6 pints of Italian jardiniere
4 quarts of lemony cauliflower
4 quarts of whole banana peppers
6 pints of hot mixed pepper rings
6 pint and a half of cherry bombs
18 half pints and 12 pints of pickled mushrooms
2 quarts of fridge pickled pepperonchini
2 3 cup bags of spaghetti sauce for the freezer
1 quart of dehydrated from frozen corn
2 1/2 pounds of green beans in the freezer
1 quart dehydrated habanero peppers, halved
1 pint and a half of dehydrated mixed peppers, chopped
1 quart of white bread crumbs
1 quart of rye bread crumbs
1 pint of dehydrated cauliflower
1 pint of dried sage
9 two oz cubes of nasturtium flower pesto in the freezer
9 two oz cubes of nasturtium leaf pesto in the freezer
12 pounds of carrots for the freezer, in matchsticks, diced, and crinklecut
1 quart of lacto-fermented carrtos
1 quart of mexican spicy carrots
1 pint and 1 quart of pickled nasturtium seeds, AKA poor mans capers
4 quarts, 3 pint and a half of fridge pickled mushrooms

Now, keep in mind that these are finished weights. So for instance, it takes 5 pounds of corn or 6 pounds of minced onion to dehydrate to 1 quart jar- but it takes only a dozen habaneros to dry up to a quart jar if they are left halved instead of powdered. When it comes to pickling, the jars are full, but there is a lot of brine in there too. 

Screw you winter

Yeah, I know, winter has barely arrived, and I'm already thinking screw you winter.

We have gotten in some snow over the last week- and it's snowing more today- I can already hardly wait till April. Hitting into the 20's, yuckola. For sure getting into daytime highs in the teens, night down to zero in the next day or two, fuckola :(

But on the bright side... I got all 20 windows and the outside door of the solarium covered with 4mm clear plastic- and it seems to be helping a lot! Instead of a 5-10 degree difference from the outdoor temps, I'm holding at around 40 degrees out there. Yeah, still cold, I know, but my main goal is to keep it above freezing. I have been running a wee space heater out there, the one I usually use to keep the chill off my fingers or heat harden paints and window goo. But I just checked the thermometer and it read 39.9, so I put one of the boys space heaters out there, set to 75. Considering it's currently 17 degrees outside, I'll consider 39.9 an accomplishment to my putting up plastic. And fixing the solarium roof of course. I'll kill the heater before bed though. I just want to prevent freezing out there, not heat the whole place to comfort. And not chance burning the house down, lol. It does make it a chilly 45 degree workroom when I'm at the beading bench though.

Pulled out the horseradish from it's bins. I actually have enough root to see us in grated horseradish for the next few months, and maybe even till next harvest! Which would be a big ole boo-yah. I also brought in the buckets and bins of glads just in the nick of time and dug them out of their containers for overwinter storage. Even though I'm going to try to not let the solarium freeze, it's still early in the winter and it could very well happen. And freezing temps kill the hell out of glads, turns the croms to mush. One bucket was pretty pathetic, but the rest of them had some nice robust croms- I'm hopeful that when I plant them in next spring I'll get a nice amount of blooms.

I signed up for a "What's left on my wish list" swap on the GW. I got about 40-45 kinds of seeds I still want, and sent of 84 kinds of seeds, so we shall see what I get back on my send off. I kind of had to add onto the wish list to help accommodate what others might be able to send me, so hopefully I will get some nice flowers and a bit of greenery in addition to the few veggies and herbs I want and still don't have.  The send off deadline is Dec 15, I'm thinking so the gal can hopefully get packages back off before new years, so I'm all anticipatory about it- maybe it will be a belated Christmas gift :)

I finally had to break down and turn on the office heater today- it's still set to a moderate 60 though.

Been trying out some new bread machine recipes lately, and they have all turned out good. Particularly a garlic herb bread, it's extra yummy for making sandwiches with. The Italian bread still needs some tinkering I think, it was good but not great. I think I'm thinking more to baking and cooking right now because it's so darn cold out- I keep wanting to have the kitchen all nice and cozy filled with yummy smells. Hey, it's one of those little things to help keep the winter blues away.

It's also the time for hot beverages. I've discovered, once again, that I'm totally addicted to hot cider, particularly with a splash of spiced rum in it- or honey whiskey, I've discovered honey whiskey and boy is it tasty as hell in hot cider.

I still need to get my cold hating butt out into the cold and jack the solar lights up so they can still illuminate over the snow drifts that I know are coming up. Zip tie the ones on the fenceline up onto the fence, and maybe hang the tree base lights off the trees. Darn things don't do no good if they are buried under snow.
I still need to get into the chicken coop and see what's going on there. Now that the interior should be freezing, it's less likely that any living leftover ick will be stirring up when I clean the place out. It will be hard as hell to work it in the cold and dim interior of the coop, but we can't get chicks in the spring if the darn thing isn't cleaned up and ready to receive them once it's warm again.

Had my best friend out for a wee visit recently, and she really helped relieve a lot of the funk I've been feeling lately- she's a total gem and a ray of sunshine. Life can't be all that bad when I got a gal like her on my side. I think sometimes I forget what great friends I have because I never get any of them out here to visit, and for sure winter discourages visiting even more. I think I really need to plan in a camping weekend in the back 40 late next May so I can see all my friends again. I should get off my hibernating hermit butt once in a while and visit them too.

Of course with all the hibernating hermitage comes planning next years garden- another reason to keep my hopes up for spring. I've discovered that the nice big kitty litter jugs are also too big to fit on any shelf but the top of the mini greenhouses. That sucks, but at least 8 of them fit on the shelf, and milk jugs do fit on the lower shelves. So sometime this winter I will prep them all up, sow them with hardy seeds, and strap them up outside to do their thing. Last years wintersowing went super well, so I have great hopes that this years will go well too.