Tuesday, February 21, 2012

january & febuary

bees: so sad...we lost 2 of our hives. but, i kinda expected it...they were smaller and weaker than the other 2. so, we will be buying 2 bee packages and starting again in the spring!

chickens: i have baby chicks! last week my order of 26 baby chicks came in from mcmurray hatchery...4 died within a day and i sold 6 to a neighbor...so we are down to 16. i tried some new breeds...partridge rock, buff orpington, speckled sussex, silver spangled hamburg, and silver laced & gold laced wyandottes.

garden 2012: if you are looking to buy non-gmo, heirloom seeds...you must check out "baker heirloom seed company" ...they have a beautiful free catalog, and so many varieties of seeds! i am so excited for spring...i cant wait to start growing!

kids: i am excited to say that my little boo is about 75% potty trained! it will be so nice, not to have any diapers to change!

Monday, January 9, 2012

thinking of spring...

this winter has been pretty mild compared to last year...we have had days in the 50's & 60's, and (i hate to say it, because i may be jinxing us) no snow! the boys are feeling very cheated this year...no snow days, no sledding, no snow! i, on the other hand, am grateful!...this year we have saved alot on our home-heating costs, compared to last year. the warmer days really make you look ahead to spring! my spring 2012 plans...

the garden: we made 2 more raised beds over the winter, and plan on making more! i have been making lists of all the veggies i want to grow this year... cutting out the ones that didnt do well last year, and picking some new ones to try...like blue corn :)

chickens: i have baby chicks coming!!! we had some new breeds that we wanted to try, so i placed an order with McMurray Hatchery...my little chickies are schedualed to arrive feb. 15th! we have gold and silver laced wyandottes, partridge rocks, buff orpingtons, speckled sussex and silver spangled hamburgs all ordered! i have a large rabbit hutch, that we are moving into the basement and going to use as their brooder. we are also lookng into expanding the chicken coop/ run area to give our girls more space...i am also on the lookout for and old kids outdoor playhouse...i saw a photo online where someone converted one to a little hen house!

bees: with the warmer temps our honeybees actually came out insearch of forage...i was happy to see that all 4 hives are still alive! i am really looking forward to a good honey harvest this year...hopefully the girls get an early start!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

october, november & december...

it has been months since i have been able to sit down and write...so i have lots of updates!

kids: my boys have started cub scouts, and my little girl has officially entered the terrible 2 stage!

bees: all 4 hives are still alive (yayyyy)!...i started feeding the bees back in september, to help them build up their stores. i fed them sugar syrup in the beginning, but now i am feeding dry granulated sugar...on warm days some of the girls will still leave the hive in search of pollen...i also did a powdered sugar treatment back in the fall...hopefully, this helps lower the mite population in the hives. there is nothing to do now besides pray they make it till spring...i realy hope next year we get a decent honey harvest! the little we got this year was incredible!

hens: our girls have been doing an excellent job laying! we were getting 8-10 eggs per day...but now with the shorter days, we are down to 5-6 per day. overall, the chickens have been a huge success! they are easy and fun to keep...everyone really enjoys having them around...we are looking forward to getting a few more chicks in the spring...a few different breeds. i would like to get some wyandottes and a few marans.

garden & worms: so sad...my fall plants, kale & brussel sprouts, were destroyed by the green hornworms!! so now, i am planning for spring...we will make more raised beds, keep composting, and think about what to plant next year! i am even thinking of starting a worm farm! i have been thinking about red wigglers! these little crawlers break down compost material and give back incredible fertilizer for the garden!

pets: we have a new addition to our family...
meet my boy, hagrid! as in harry potter's hagrid :)
he is a 10 week old, black lab/ golden retriever mix! he is a moose and already weighs close to 30 lbs!!

crafting & holidays: i have been learning how to quilt!! my husband bought me a sewing machine for chistmas last year, my mom & aunt have been teaching me quilting and sewing basics! i really like it and have made a few projects already... a quilt for my son, 2 wall hangings, and some drink coasters (from all my scrap material)...i am trying to do alot of homemade gifts this year...i think they are better than store bought :)
chicken print coasters!

Monday, September 26, 2011

apple pickin = apple pie!

yesterday,we packed up the minivan and headed out to our favorite apple pickin' location...http://www.berlinorchards.com/?gclid=CJus3_f_uqsCFUnc4AodQTLldg...what a great place it is! family owned, huge selection of apples, hayrides, pumpkins, farm critters and beautiful scenery!
little boo!
when we got home, i got to work on my first apple pie of the season...i used a combo of macs, honey crisp and golden supreme...yummy!

my apple pie w/ crumbly top!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

fall decor...

i found that piece of pottery for free on the side of the road!

i love this pumpkin! i plan on saving the seeds to grow next spring!

Monday, September 19, 2011

fall hive inspections...

honeybee out collecting some fall pollen!

things are changing here in new england! in 1 week we have gone from having 85 degree days to 50-60 degree days. bring on the apples, pumpkins, mums and hayrides!

yesterday, we did our fall bee inspections...all four hives are still active and bringing in pollen, which is good because they really need to stock up for the winter! i will be feeding them from now until winter...i made a more concentrated syrup than the one i feed in the spring. i also made up some grease patties, they help with treacheal mites. here is all the recipies i use for my bees...http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Beekeeping/Recipes_for_the_Bees.

there are important things to remember about winterizing your hives; ensure the colony has enough food stores; ensure the hive has proper ventilation; protect the hives from high winds ( i use ratcheting straps on all 4).

ventilation is very important...bees do not hibernate during the winter...they cluster together, with their queen in the middle. the middle of this cluster can get up to 90 degrees, so it is really important that the hive is ventilated, otherwise condensation will build up and moisten inside...the bees can tolerate the cold, but being wet will kill them!