Friday, September 30, 2011

18 Days After Planting Seeds

The fall plantings in the high tunnel are growing quickly!  This is how everything looked this morning when I rolled up the side for ventilation.  Actual rows!
The radishes are the furthest along. They are Watermelon radishes - large and mild with magenta interiors and pale green exteriors.
Two rows each of red Bull's Blood beets and Golden beets.
The red beets, close up.
This is the Biondi di Lyon chard. So far, it's a bit larger than the rainbow chard one bed over.
These grassy straggles will be baby leeks
and these are scallions.
The broccoli raab is growing exuberantly.
Carrots were the last to emerge and even they are getting their first true leaves now.
This weekend I need to weed, mulch, thin the rows
and seed grass on the bare ground outside the high tunnel.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Empty Nest

Bethany and Brendan headed out this morning for their next life adventure.
It's going to be kind of quiet and lonely around here. 


Yesterday, my bee mentor and neighbor, Tom, came over to help me get ready to harvest the honey.  We checked the Langstroth hive, which has 3 supers on it, the top three smaller boxes. The supers contain the honey for us.
A little smoke  to calm the bees.
The bees had not stored any honey in the top super, the one I added  in August.  And the first frame we removed from the second super was not full - I was getting a bit worried.
But all the rest of the frames were totally full of capped honey! Tom said they were perfect -- State Fair contender frames.  He predicts we will get at least 20 pounds of honey from each of the two supers!
The bees look very healthy, with no sign of parasites.
Bees at work.
The larger orange bee is the queen. She is not very large for a  queen, but she has done a great job populating the hive.  Most of the drones (male bees) have already been evicted from the hive for the winter, leaving just the female workers.
We placed a bee escape in the hole of the cover.  Inside the bee escape, the oval metal piece, are brushes that allow the bees to exit but they won't re-enter against the grain.  We placed the cover beneath the two supers full of honey. Over the next few days, all the bees will  leave and won't be able to get back into those supers. That way, when we harvest the honey we won't have to worry about harming any bees.

The two Warre hives are another story - they are going to be very challenging to harvest. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: What Our Intrepid Interns Did Last Summer

Bethany and Brendan, thank you for being such awesome interns!  You dove into whatever tasks we suggested with enthusiasm and good humor. You worked tirelessly, even in sweltering heat and pouring rain. You were irresistibly charming ambassadors for our farm. We love you like family and we are sure going to miss you!

Good luck in your next adventure - and please come back to visit often!