Thursday, September 30, 2010

More on our food supply.

MetroFarm Online  

Food has always been of a large concern to me. From the time our children were born and before. Yes I have popped a high anti foaming agent laden Chicken McNugget on past occasions and no I am not the paragon of  virtue in food choices.

Each year we grow more of our own food. Each year we buy more from people whose face is across the table from us at farmers markets. And each year we try to live more simply, more honestly and use less, waste less and share more.

This journey has lead us from being vegetarians to meat eaters and back again. We try to make our diet one that our body dictates.  And as we age we find our bodies need less in portion size and even less in number of meals a day.

I like feeling good and I live feeling good about the choices my family makes to build a cleaner, safer world for ours and others children and grandchildren.  So this link is my one little addition to our food awareness for the day. Set your goals to not be overwhelming, do your homework and we can make change occur. You need to make the change, you need to make the difference. If not you who?

Sunday, September 26, 2010


In the days past from our busy bee activities there have been episodes of swarming. Katrina's hive split not once but twice and swarmed. So did Marie's. Then today a call from a friend who had a neighbor who had a swarm in their Crepe Myrtle tree. So who did I call ? My bee mentors of course. Katrina was otherwise occupied but Marie came to the rescue.
 The swarm above in the tree. It had been there about one week according to the Olsen's.                                                                                                                                                                      
The Olsen's and Marie while she explains her plan of action. When bee's swarm they gorge themselves on the honey stores, which often leaves the swarm lazy and full. Therefore an easy target to take command of.
Our swarm was eager to jump into the box after Marie gave them a gentle brushing. But not for long. They entered and swarmed again at least twice while we were there.
Finally Marie decided that the best plan of action was to let the swarm and box sit tight until sunset. The light and the mild breeze was not helping our cause.

This all took place at about 4 PM today. At 7 ish I got a call from Marie advising me that she had gone back to the Olsen residence and the bees had swarmed again onto a branch on a nearby Redwood tree. Mr. Olsen gave Marie the go ahead to clip away the branch therefore securing the swarm and she proceeded to take them back with her to the Frey ranch where Marie resides.
The bees will need feeding through the winter since they don't have the needed amount of honey at the ready to survive a winter. The Olsen's gracefully offered to help with the cost of keeping them in feed and Geoffrey and I will help where needed.

Considering the plight of honey bees around the globe I am going to bed feeling very good about this !

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bee Move In Progress

I have been checking on the bee's daily. By Thursday at night fall they had calmed down and appeared to be accessing the hive and settling in. On Friday morning at day break there was no activity yet and this didn't cause me worry as the temperature was only 42 degrees. On checking back mid morning the hive was a buzz and the bees were making "pollen gathering missions" on a regular basis.

This morning before heading to work I checked the hive again a bit after sunrise. We have had warmer temperatures the last two days and the activity was increased. I began to quietly gather up some of the older frames and took them up the hill to the barn.

At work I spoke with Marie, both she and Katrina were busy Friday and through this weekend with the local   Sol Fest   
So they won't be able to return until next week with the self feeder and some input as to if the space we have chosen is the best for the bees. Geoffrey has already planned a bee lean to so to speak and is wanting to get it started. There is much to do at the farm in the Fall and we also need to get a brooder going for the chicks that will arrive sometime next month.

Thanks to Ramil and Treasure Evermore for their visits and comments. Now it is time for bed as it has been a long day. More bee business to come!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Full Day of Fall and Things Are Buzzing!

When we moved here in 2006 we discovered that there was a beehive on our property. In the last four years with dreams of honey dancing in our heads I have uncovered a "bee trail" as it were. Evidently the original owners nephew began to keep bees in the mid to late 1960's. Time marches on and the hive that is left ( the only one of the original 10) is somewhere between 50 and / or less years old. I have no documentation on if anyone intervened after the initial undertaking.

So today was moving day for my hive. My friends Katrina and Marie, experienced bee keepers, came to the rescue at Walnetto Farm. The goal will be to finally move the hive to an area better situated for "happy bees". It will need to be slow going as bees need be moved no more than 3 feet (if that) in a day. I will keep you all posted on how it goes. I am just so very happy that the bees have new digs. As the older ones were , ah, made me feel like a Bee Slum Lord!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

Second day of September. Yesterday was Geoffrey's 62 birthday. Opps, how is this possible? Wasn't just yesterday that young, dashing fellow of 21 that stole my heart with the help of this horse?
Time does fly most surely. But on yesterday with his birthday dinner, homemade cheese cake and lovely graphite drawing of Walnetto (who our farm is named after) he was again 21. I promise photos of the lovely drawing good friends in Madera did as his gift at my request. They have three very talented daughters and I am always in awe when I request a gift in the form of artwork by them. Some women marry for $$ some for power and some for looks. Not this girl I married because of a 3/4 Quarter/1/4 Morgan trained for cutting/roping and pleasure. O.k. the guy who owned him wasn't half bad either!
So the new cable should show up soon and I can download allot of photos. And many of you may ask if Ari will be held financially responsible for it? Not this time but next time I may sell all her kibble for cost of what she chews.      

Today was hodgepodge day. Errands, trip up the hill to visit a goat friend Karen Smith of Wingwood Farm   for a bit and check out how the pig I am purchasing from her is coming along. I also found a suitor for Razamataz my 6 month old Nubian doe. Will breed her after our trip in October to Fresno Fair. The granddaughters have been begging for a goat show so this is the best option. 
After visiting with Karen, who is always fun to be with, I headed to the Dr. for an adjustment. Hip was out and causing a good deal of discomfort. Now all is well again and should remain that way until I unload the next load of alfalfa. Someday I may realize I am getting too old to do that. But until then I have my great Dr. to put stuff back where it belongs!  

Have a wonderful evening and may Fall come soon to your part of the woods!