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Showing posts from January, 2012

First Hive Checks

Don't click this link if bees aren't your thing.

Okay . . . I warned you. I hope this works! I couldn't embed the video, so I put it up on Youtube

My buddy Erika and her kids came over this weekend to do a quick hive check with me. With her help, I went quickly through all three hives. One had, in fact, died over the winter, as I suspected, while two were okay. But, bees being bees, one hive was booming, ready for a honey super, and the other one was okay.

This video that was shot by Erika is me going through the booming hive (which was the last one) while Nasir moves from being a little wary to an enthusiastic would-be beekeeper. Erika is going to have to hurry to get a hive for him!

Also, apologies. My neighbors were doing something inside the falling-down shed right behind where we were working, so there are construction noises during much of it. This is in no way a complete hive inspection. It's just a first peek for the spring, just making certain there was a viable …

Scenes of Winter

The month was so dry, and so cold. . . some plants persevered. . . some withered under the conditions.

It's difficult to believe that this pepper might pull through. I haven't pruned it back yet, just in case.

But spring can only be waiting to pop out, now that we've had a few good days of rain.

It's a gardener's discipline to let these tender spears alone; but this isn't the year for an asparagus harvest.

Today was a good day to transplant "Viroflay," "Gigante d'Inverno" and "Bloomsdale" spinach. Then, learning my lesson, I went back inside and promptly seeded another flat full.

What are you anticipating?

Apparently it's Annual

Sarafina says we do this every year, usually before Christmas, but sometimes at different times.

I'll just say that one of the only times I wish we had through-the-door ice on our refrigerator is when four of six of us come down with violent stomach bugs.


New year, new tasks

I used to wonder why so many farming stories included work on irrigation systems. Apparently, they were all true to life, because they require upkeep -- even our tiny backyard system does. Fortunately, I have competent farm help. Eric fixed the two broken places AND extended the one that no longer reached the reduced bed. Taz helped. A lot.

(Apparently a plumber's job list is never done. I hear him plunging the bathroom sink right now. What a great guy.)

Some of the volunteers I don't even remember planting, like this mustardy thing. I don't like these; they're too spicy for me. Maybe the chickens will.

Nasturtiums are easily the most giving and re-giving plant. Although I asked Ellie not to plant them, because they're invasive, she did. . . and I'm pulling them from the pathway already. And yes, I know they're edible. . . just not high on my list of "yummies."

Red Russian kale volunteers big enough to make up a dinner this week. Terrific. They are s…