Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy spring! Garlic.. and what? mmmm.

Under a winter weather advisory, been starting to snow like a mo for about an hour now.. and welcome to spring!

Sure, seems early and cold.. but March, April, and May are traditional spring months around here. Wasn't going to be shoveling today outside... so today was the freezer cleanout day. The kitchen freezer was empty enough finally that I could really scrub it down and start refilling it out of the chest freezer. Then it was empty out the chest freezer to let that defrost properly before refilling it again. Currently we have a laundry hamper of frozen food and a couple whole turkeys out on the front porch getting buried with snow. And this folks, is why you clean out your freezer in the winter :) You got a whole chest freezer outside, use it.

We have also pulled almost all of the fruit out of the bottom of the freezer- bags of whole strawberries and necterane slices, and cherries in simple syrup. We also have wild blackberries, gooseberries, and a wee bit of sugared strawberry slices too. A lone bag of sweet potato pulp and a bag of mixed winter squashes pulp to make into squash ravioli with a couple bags of won ton skins that need to be eaten up.
Tonights dinner is a treat usually reserved for summer- Southern style squash casserole. It's full of butter, cream soup, and sour cream, layered in with thick slabs of summer squash and top and bottom is crusted in with buttery crispy bread goodness :)
Pulled out a bunch of random meat bits and a lot of random cheese to the upfront freezer. We have and use a lot of cheese, heh.
Used up the last of the melon pulps in fruit-waters, yum! The watermelon was really good, will do it again for sure. But the cantaloupe, while good, was not awesome. I would rather stock twice as much of the watermelon.

Also made a batch of blueberry simple syrup today, yum. Maybe more of a shrub than a simple syrup, I'm also using dehydrated lemon slices and homemade vanilla sugar as a finishing sugar.
And today I roasted off a large quantity of homegrown garlic. yum. Who loves roasted garlic? This girl does :) And this is the second batch recently, teehee. I did up a lil brown crock of it the other day, and used it up to bake off a large loaf of roasted garlic Italian bread, yum. This batch uses up the last of the "roasting stage" garlic. I went through all my sacks of garlic we still have so far. We eat a lot of garlic! I set up another pot of garlic shoots with all the seriously crappy heads that didn't make it through winter storage so far. The first one I've already trimmed a couple inches off the top of, and it already needs another goodly pruning! Very gratifying and frigging fast growing instant awesomeness for this time of year.

Anywho, gratifying greenery... I have a dining room window full of plant goodness, and more sprawled across the house. 

Snort, thought I published this already, apparently not... First of spring was yesterday, time has slipped on me.

Well anywho, in the last three weeks since that bit above.. lots of seeding and reseeding. Peppers and another set of peppers, tomatoes and another set of tomatoes. Bunch of herbs and some flowers. Broccoli and cauliflower. Already got the first greenhouse set up outside and it currently has lettuce, brussels sprouts and hellebores in it. Thyme and rosemary plants are now out on the porch too, though if we get freeze warnings in I will still pull them inside or put them in the greenhouse. I can tell it got too nippy one night already since the tyme plants have some purplish blush on some leaves, showing frost damage.

Crocuses, siberian irises, and some of the early daffodils are blooming, yay!!

Been shaking up the menu around here. Using up the larder. Creating some new recipes. I think I might have enough of a stack or recipes by now that I need to start considering my cookbook again, and filling in segments of it.

Spring peepers have been out for a it over a week now, and the swans are on the pond and nesting. I need to pick up birdseed to start refilling the feeders again.

I trimmed out that crappy area on the fenceline where the weed trees grow- I hope I did it early enough and used enough spraypaint on the cuts to make a difference. This is a battle I'm tired of. I also trimmed the apple trees, one rather heavily. We will see if I did it too late in the winter or not, but I think I'm good.

The solarium has stayed above freezing for most of the winter, which is good. It has had some time in that fridge zone of 35-45, which is not good. Not bad necessarily, but I would like to improve on that if I can.  It has stabilized warm enough that I can use it for some of the heartier seedlings, yay! Which is good, because all of them are needing potting up, and I don't have room in the kitchen, heh. The grand shuffle of plants is on.

But I gotta bail off, need to get ready for work. And yeah, publish this right now before time slips again, lol.