Saturday, April 21, 2012

Busy Work Day

  • Pulled up sod for new flower/herb bed
  • Worked in some beautiful black compost
  • Covered the bed with mulch
3 hours (really sucks to break up hardpan clay)
  • Dug holes and moved clay and grass to compost pile
  • Planted bushes that have been in planters for 3 years
  • mixed straw, clay and sod in compost pile
2 hours
  • added compost to raised beds
  • mixed compost, soil, and last year's mulch for a very tilthy soil
  • planted lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and onions in beds that had tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers last year
  • covered plant beds with wood chips
  • (found unharvested potatoes starting to sprout!)
2 hours

  • watered all the mulched beds
30 mins

Work left:
  • At least a dozen potted bushes
  • 40 strawberry roots ($8 at Walmart!)
  • most of the straw, clay, grass to compost
10 hours? 20 hours?

I'm too tired and too sore for doing this again tomorrow!

...crap, wanted to get a half flat of marigolds to put in the raised beds to confuse pests and to provide nectar and pollen for the new bees. Ugh at least another hour of digging and watering.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Langstroth to Warré conversion

The recommended solution is to acclimate the bees to the new hive by putting a 'converter' between the Langstroth nuc and the top of the Warré hive. In 10 days, create a bee 'funnel' and shake the bees out of the Langstroth nuc into the Warré hive and then take the Langstroth frames, cut them in half and attach them to the Warré top bars. Easy peasy... except I'm wondering if I shake the bees, will they get pissed off?

Got Bees - Starter Frames Bigger Than Hive!

So... the 3 pounds of bees on starter frames/comb are bigger than the frames of my hive! This is not good. I've posted a question on how I should proceed on a message board. Waiting for feedback from the experts... will post their recommendations later.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Home for New Critters at Asberry Acres

Warré Hive
This is going to be the home of the newest animals we're adding to our farm: bees! Warré beekeeping is a minimally invasive (only get into hive a couple times a year: Spring to add two supers to the bottom, pulling the top super after the first flow, and Fall to harvest the top two supers), top bar (no frames, the bees build all of the honeycomb) style of beekeeping focused on the healthiness of the bees rather than the harvesting of bee products. This type of hive is typically put directly on the ground, however, I'm concerned about flooding so I'll put it up a few inches on blocks.  Now that I have the home, I'm looking forward to receiving the family that's going to be moving in!

To learn more about Warré beekeeping, go to and download Beekeeping For All!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Rooster Crows

Been a while since I've posted anything. Haven't been in a writing mood.

But, I did want to pass on a chuckle: our rooster started crowing this morning. And it was pitiful... "oh oh ohhohhhhhh". Poor boy sounded like he was in pain! He'll probably have it down good in a few weeks, but it woke me up laughing this morning :-D

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tomato hornworms

Over the last few weeks, I've been finding tomato plants stripped bare of leaves and half eaten green tomatoes. The other day I discovered the culprit!

(Insert picture here, oh wait camera only taking blank pictures.)

The culprits were pretty easy to identify... and pick off of the plants. Of course, they are a delicacy to the chickens who fight greedily over these juicy treats. The destruction they've been doing to the tomatoes will now pay off nicely as a protein source in our chicken eggs!

(Insert another picture, this one a glass mixing bowl full of tomato hornworms)

Other good news is that almost half of the hornworms were carrying predatory wasp eggs!

That picture is as gross as it seems, but, those wasps will take care of all manner of pesky pests!

What else is going on? Picked two quarts of tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and tomatilloes. Most of the bounty were tomatoes that I blanched and put in a freezer bag for making future goodies. And finally, I've started my next batch of black garlic. It should be ready October 17th.

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Egg!

Smallish, but, here it is!
Think it's Snowball's since she's older and was broodier with it.