Rosey the Riveter

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Walk Around the Homestead

It's been awhile since I posted about goings-on around here.  Today was such a beautiful day that I knew I had to take a walk around and post some pictures.
The bees in the Nuc are buzzing and bringing back pollen to beat the band.  As you can see, there were bees constantly coming and going.  The yellow blobs on the incoming bees are the pollen.  It's been unseasonably cold here, so I'm grateful that they have even survived the cold snap.  But the fact that they are bringing back pollen is another good sign.  Pollen is used to feed the brood.  If the queen hasn't started laying yet, she will soon.  I haven't actually been IN the hive to see what they are up to, as I don't want to disturb them.
The garden is all mulched!  I tried wood chips the year before last, and sadly neglected the mulching chore last year.  I didn't like the wood mulch, because it got in the way when I wanted to direct seed.  But it did help the weed situation.  So this year, I had Stephen shred all of our leaves with the mower and bagger.  Once I hoed and weeded the beds, I put the leaves on the garden.  This will help feed the soil and also block out the weeds.  Once this cold snap passes, I plan to have the soil tested so I can really know what I'm dealing with.  I should have done that when we first moved in!
There are some crocuses and a hyacinth that are blooming, so spring is on it's way!  The daffodils have started popping through, but they are a later variety so I don't expect to see them bloom for another month or so. 

Poor Extra Crispy is molting.  She looks absolutely horrible, and her tail feathers have fallen almost completely out.  You can see where her new feathers are popping through.  It looks painful, and it can be... she's one of our better layers, so I'll be happy when she's done molting.

Tomorrow, the cold weather moves in and we might even get some snow.  I'm going to take this opportunity to work on the garden plan, and drill some drainage holes in the containers I'll be using to start my seeds.  In another week and a half, I'll be headed to the Virginia Association for Biological Farming Conference with my dear friend Donna Rae.  I am so looking forward to the "Biodynamic Gardening and Beekeeping" Pre-Conference Workshop with Gunther Hauk, not to mention a whole slew of other workshops!

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