Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's been rather nice..

The weather has been rather nice for the last several days. We might be getting in a bit of snow over the next couple days, but I'm fine with that.

Been busy organizing seed, and doing up WS containers. Mixed columbine, showy milkweed, redring milkweed, cesars brother Iris, red with purple center poppy, black peony poppy, rose campion, New York ironweed, butterfly weed, bleeding hearts, thimbleberry. A container or two of each, cept the columbine which I did up a half dozen mushroom tubs.

So what does that look like?

Kitty litter jugs that have been cut to have a hinge, holes drilled in the bottom, and a few inches of dirt to grow in.

Closeup of what the dirt looks like in the container.

Container after seeds are finely sown and tag put in to mark it- I used a cut up sour cream container for this set of markers.

Jugs after they have been filled, sowed and marked, and taped shut. Caps get taken off so water can get into the jugs.

This is what the outdoor setup looks like- the litter jugs are too tall for the lower shelves, but once I'm getting sprouting and it's time to open up the jugs, they will start filling the next shelf down. Hopefully I will be timing myself right to be able to start clearing off the racks for when I start bringing out seedlings from the solarium.

This is from the porch view- nice and accessible viewing :)

I've gotten enough sown in now that I had to start up my 2015 grow spreadsheet. Which is kind of nice. I seriously need to be better about keeping up my spreadsheets instead of just relying on my paper copies.

While I was fussing about with seeds, I decided to start up some indoor growing too.
From left to right is one mixed lettuce, one garden cress, then three lavewa spinach. Time to get some greens going on darn it, lol. Time to get anything growing going on- sheesh, I'm dead ass tired of slushy cold dead grey crap. And on a bright note, my patio tomatoes have started their true leaves- I lost one, but got three of them going good right now, knock on wood.

Today was just one of those days where I really felt the need to do something positive- like outdoors positive. It's still gloomy out, but it's nice out. So early this morning I ran into town to get some birdseed for the birdies that are starting to show up at the feeder. Good deal, a 20 pound bag of wild seed mix was 5 bucks, and I picked up a pound of lard from Hardings for two bucks.
Then when I got home, I set about making up some wild bird treats.

First I made up a couple big suet cakes- each one of these will be split in half to fill the big suet feeder.
On the left is..
3 c birdseed
1 c instant oats
1/2 c buggy wheat flour
1/2 c masa flour
1/2 c or so of diced up prunes
1 c chunky peanut butter
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1/2 c lard
goodly dollop of darkberry jam, maybe a bit over quarter cup or so.
Melt the peanut butter, shortening, lard, and jam together, stir into the rest, and mold- I lined the pan with plastic wrap first, then was able to turn the wrapped thing out onto the sheet pan, neat as can be.

On the right is...
3 c birdseed
1 c instant oats
1/2 c buggy wheat flour
1/2 c masa flour
1/2 c or so of torn up dehydrated melon and cantaloupe fruit leather
1 c chunky peanut butter
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1/2 c lard
goodly dollop of caviar jam, a bit less than a quarter cup.
Same procedure as above.

I realized the smaller mushroom tubs were the perfect size for a small suet cake, so hey!
4 c birdseed
1 c instant oats
1/2 c corn meal
1/2 c buggy wheat flour
1 c peanut butter
the rest of the lard, a bit over a cup I think
1/4 cup of honey.
melt the fat and sugar, stir into the rest, and mold up.

Did two batches of these- one between the big sheet and mushroom tub suets, and the second right at the end- wanted to give the first batch time to really set up before I decided to do a second one. I have a puck hanger, and these will get strung onto it.
3/4 c buggy wheat flour
4 c bird seed
1/2 c hot water
3 T or so white corn syrup
2 packets unflavored gelatin.
Stir the corn syrup and gelatin into the hot water till fully dissolved, then stir it into the rest. I used sandwich bags with the flap split open to line a pair of 16 oz tubs, then packed the mix equally into them. Then I stuck the sticks down through the center to create the threading hole I will need to put these onto the puck hanger. This is the first time I'm trying this, so we shall see how the birds like it or not.

Mmmm, birdie bread- not sure, but I think I will cut this into small suet cage size once it's fully cool. All those little white flecks are eggshell, ick. But hey, if the birds like it, great. The original recipe called for 3-6 oz jars of baby food fruits and veggies, and since I didn't have that, I used some rehydrated veggies instead.

1/4 c dehydrated shredded sweet potato
1/4 c dehydrated shredded carrot
1/4 c squash flour
1 cup hot water, to rehydrate the above, let sit for 10-15 minutes
4 eggs, with shell
2 c bisquick
2 c cornmeal
1 c buggy wheat flour
1/2 c or so diced up prunes- the last of the bag
1/2 c birdseed
Set the oven to 400. In the processor, whip up those whole eggs, then add the rehydrated veggies and whip it up some more. Add to the rest and stir in. Add in a bit of water, maybe 1/2 cup or so to moisten the dough to a really stiff almost putty like dough. Oil up a 9x13 pan, and smooth the dough out into it. Bake about 40 minutes, till the dough pulls off the sides a bit. Cool completely before cutting up.

In good work news... I got the job at Cracker Barrel, I go in next Wed for orientation :) The pay starts out pretty low, but if I do well, I'll get my first raise in 30 days- and right now any pennies are good ones.

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