Monday, October 12, 2015

A Few Fall Projects

Now that our Summer Sundays at Squash Blossom season is over, we have a little time to tackle some fun and unfinished projects...oh, and get ready for winter. 
Yesterday I took a welding class through Crossings at Carnegie. My big (and heavy) result was a bottle tree I have been wanting to make for years.  I set it up in front of the store and was  delighted to see the  blue glass glowing in the early morning sun when I went out to do chores today.
I still need to remove the labels and find a few more blue bottles.
A couple other welded creations for the garden A dragonfly...
and a coneflower.
I also made a rustic (and soon-to-be rusty) "open" sign for the store.
While I was off having fun welding, Rog made progress on the  greenhouse (with some help from friends Jerry, Elizabeth and Beth.)  All the panels are up (and hopefully will stay up though the 50-mph wind gusts forecast for this afternoon.)
Still to complete are the roof ridge, baseboards, furnaces, wiring for lighting and flooring pavers. 
Last weekend, Rog got the fish gazebo enclosed (with  the same dual wall polycarbonate panels as on the greenhouse) for the winter.
A view of the panels inside the fish gazebo. We have disconnected the aquaponics system for the winter.
Enclosing the fish gazebo makes it into an unheated greenhouse and the greenhouse effect buys us some time before the water gets too cold for the tilapia. We will have to harvest them soon because they can't survive when the water gets colder than 48 degrees. The goldfish and koi will survive the winter underneath the ice.
I cleaned up the south side of the barn for a tour of ladies who came for pie and coffee and shopping in the store on Saturday.  You can see the  aquaponics green wall at the end of the room. It is recirculating water as hydroponic system now, and will be moved into the greenhouse when it is finished.
 At a recent  trip to the ReStore I found a lighted  cabinet that I thought had great potential for displaying baked goods in the barn, but it had very dismal dark oak stain. I repainted it with yellow and cream chalk paint in time for the tour -- it turned out pretty cute! (better than it looks in this dark photo taken late the night before the tour.)
Yesterday when I got home from the welding class I pulled on my beesuit to finally harvest the honey. On Saturday I had installed a bee escape screen beneath the supers I intended to harvest, the idea being that over 24 hours the bees would move down into lower boxes and not be able to get back up into the honey supers.  This worked pretty well!  There were only a few bees on the frames and I brush most of them off easily with a stem of dried asters. I put the frames of honey into big plastic tubs, covered them and hauled them to the barn in the wagon. I usually have hundreds of bees in the barn when I harvest honey but I only had a few bees this time. Of course I also only had one hive to harvest--when I went out to put the bee screens on, I discovered two of my hives (which had seemed to be thriving  a week and a half earlier) were totally emptied of bees and honey, only containing sad, empty comb. If I had harvested my honey a month ago like most beekeepers, I probably would have still lost my bees but I would have at least gotten the honey!

Now, off to extract the honey from the hives!

1 comment:

gz said...

bzzzzzz..good luck with the bees