Cuckoo Buds 3 Column

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Last Day Of The Month

I can hardly believe July is over!  Oh my gosh, summer barely arrived and it's already almost gone!  The grandchildren go back to school in less than 3 weeks! 

We've accomplished a great deal in the past couple of weeks.  The vegetable planter has been rebuilt, the lawns have been cut in half and removed to cut down on water usage and increase edible garden areas for vegetables and fruits, our kitchen has had Rev-A-Shelves installed in the cabinets for easier access, half of our master closets have been converted to shelving units and updated, the office closet has been rebuilt, my craft room has had shelves installed, and our garage has been cleaned with new shelf closets installed and the rest cleaned! 

Whew - a ton of stuff done in such a short period of time!  I wish I could take credit for all of the work - but I really was only allowed to point where every thing was to go and the rest was done by our son who drove out from Colorado, our youngest grandson, and our gardener.

This week I will be staying with my three youngest grandchildren while mommy and daddy are vacationing in Hawaii for a week!

I will be updating more later this week - thank you for stopping by!  I will also be updating on my post regarding the Grow Camp and the resolution of the fiasco we had with the terrible melt down.  (See prior post.)  And, I'll catch up on all of the goings on!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Peach, Mango and Strawberry Jams!!

Wow, it's been a great year for tasty fruit!  With the crazy weather we've had this spring and summer (so far) our fruit has had lots of blemishes, which means lots of tasty fruit at great prices.  Strawberries were again 88 cents a pound today!  If I hadn't already put up about 80 pounds of fruit - 40 or so in jam and 40 or so in fresh frozen - we'd be picking up more than just a few pounds to munch on this week!

Mangos came in at 2 and 3 for $1, so - yep - I put up a lot of mango jam.  Oh my goodness, it is really tasty!  I love jams with big chunks of fruit!  spreads so nice on fresh warm bread!  Yummy!!

Last week, my daughter in law brought me over a large crate of fresh peaches she was able to pick up for $6.  SIX DOLLARS!!!  Oh my heavens - Elise, my oldest granddaughter (8 years old) helped me and we put up 12 small, 15 medium, and 12 large jars of peach jam.  5 batches,  20 pounds of peaches just in jam and we had a big bowl left for ice cream topping or just eating!!  There's nothing like fresh fruit picked that day or a day or two before. 

Of all of the jams this year, Elise and I agreed, the peach takes the prize, hands down!  It tastes so good - oh my gosh!  I wish I could give everyone a spoonful through the screen!

I'm sorry for the farmers not being able selling their fruit for top prices because of the late frosts and freezes, but blessings for us getting such tasty fruits for so little in price!  Now blueberries - I'd really like to pick up another 20 or more pounds of blueberries for the freezer.  It's a bit late in the year for them, but one can dream!

I pray everyone is having a safe and wonderful summer vacation.  I've been enjoying my grandchildren and the great weather we've been having!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

GrowCamp Greenhouse Meltdown

Oh, how we wanted a small greenhouse, mostly to try to grow some vegetables all year.  We also wanted to be able to get a head start on the growing season by growing our seedlings out doors in the greenhouse, then to the ground after the freezing weather and frosts had finally warmed up.  It was built last summer (early summer) and we were delighted with the results.  We had fresh tomatoes and bell peppers through December and the freezing weather really hit hard this year (for our California area)!  The Grow Camp Greenhouse system seemed too good to be true!

Last year, towards the end of the growing season, I did notice a slight bulging on one of the ends of the base unit.  When I called the company, they hadn't heard any similar problems and said they didn't think it would hurt the integrity of the greenhouse.

This spring, we asked our gardener to refresh the soil with Amend and we made sure the water system was ready to go.  We purchased some of our plants, and lots of seeds.  Because we, like most of the US, missed spring and had a roller coaster of weather, and many nights hitting lows not conducive with growing or sprouting seeds, we kept waiting for the right time.  All of a sudden, our temperatures hit 100 for a couple of days, then back down to very cold, warm, then cold.  (Like everyone else!)

A few weeks ago, we decided we'd waited long enough, the weather finally settled down and the plants we had been taking in and out of the garage for sun and water were begging to be planted - so in the ground they went.  We were getting our seeds ready to sow in the Grow Camp - and couldn't believe our eyes!

Yes, this is a gigantic melt down!  We had a few days at 100+ degrees, but that is normal for our area!  We cool way down at night, with our coastal influence, and we'd read many reviews of owners who lived in the deserts and other weather extremes and read nothing like this!

As anyone who has purchased or is looking at purchasing this greenhouse system will attest, this is neither a flimsy nor cheap greenhouse.  Grow Camp Greenhouses are pricey, but would have been worth it except . . .

I will say, after only one phone call to Costco, explaining the problem (and keeping all of our receipts having the order number, invoice number, original paperwork to go along for proof of purchase) our problem was turned over to the Resolution Department.  We were told to expect a phone call to see how this would be taken care of.  Instead, I received an email from them, asking us to have the Grow Camp boxed up and it will be picked up in the next week.  I had requested a full refund, and have been promised by Costco it would be taken care of.

We've always heard Costco has an excellent return policy and will stand behind what they sell.  And, if they do what they've said, I will be one who will sing high praises here - I can't say the same thing about Grow Camp Greenhouse Systems, who has not answered any of our messages or emails.  I've noticed there are other online garden supply companies who are now carrying this product.  I do hope they stand behind this product if it happens to any one who purchases from them.

In the meantime, we're back to square one - and seriously looking at the old fashioned brick, raised garden bed.  For now, a smaller crop to be harvested before any cold weather begins in the fall>

Many blessings with any gardening you are doing!  I love growing little bits of this and that!  A few herbs, salad mix, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and lots of zucchini (for zucchini bread!)   Oh yum!  I hope everything grows quickly!