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Sunday, June 24, 2012

De-Beeing our New Shed

Earlier this spring we brought in a new building to our farm. We are going to fix it up and put it to use soon - but first we had to get out the bees!  Our friend who keeps some hives on our farm helped us with this, and he got a new hive.

The tiny opening where they were going in 

Setting up the "Bee Vac"

Getting some of the bees from the outside first

Time to move inside.  There entrance was right under where the sunlight was coming in.

Corner board removed.  Except those aren't honey bees, but bumble bees!

Removing the bumble bees

There are the honey bees!
A peek inside

A better peek inside 

Collecting the bees

A shot downward after many bees had been captured
Bees in their box, ready to be relocated.

I had to leave for the last part, but the comb was removed - the honey was not dry enough to be used so it will be given to the bees who will take it into their new hive.  And now our building is ready to be worked on!

Friday, June 1, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? - June 1st

I thought it would be fun to do a little photo journal of my garden this year. This is the first year I have really had it set up how I want.  We've been slowly tilling up new land, running hogs in it for fertilization, and battling the joys of starting a new garden. (Weeds, grass, soil quality, etc.) There's a little more work that needs to be done - putting a border and rock down at the hydrant, tilling up the berry/grape end (not shown in the drawing) and fencing it in. (We will be using field fence and will be including the orchard in the fence, which is directly behind the garden - this is as much to keep our livestock out!)

I have decided to garden with quadrant gardening.  I will be rotating the 4 sections of my vegetable garden each year (moving 1 section to the right) to help control disease and nutrient loss.  I used some resources to piece together my quadrants.  It isn't exactly what was recommend, but it is what works for the types and amounts of plants I grow.  I also have some permanent and semi-permanent beds.  On the back, north side of the garden, is my asparagus.  In the front I have a strawberry patch and cut flower patch.  I will rotate the strawberries and flowers every 3 years for the benefit of the strawberries.  And then directly behind the strawberries and cut flowers is a permanent border with rhubarb.

Click to Enlarge

I realize that it is a little hard to read the words on my drawing.  Here's what's in each quadrant.

Quadrant 1: Peas, cucumber, dill, green beans, yellow wax beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cantaloupe, herbs

Quadrant 2: Sweet peppers, green bell peppers, banana peppers, zucchini, summer squash, acorn squash, carrots, onions, lettuce, spinach, slicing and cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, onions and carrots, basil

Quadrant 3: Corn with beans, pumpkins, gourds

Quadrant 4: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, watermelon.

I have almost all of the above planted. I got things in a little later than hoped, but it's much earlier than I have been able to other years. I'm also excited that this year I was able to start all of my plants from seed, either inside or in the garden, except my hot peppers.  I only wanted 1 or 2 of each variety so it just worked better to buy those.

So with all of that said . . . here's how my garden grows in June. :)

Full View: Enjoyed a few strawberries from new transplants. Excited to see experimental direct seeded asparagus up and joining asparagus transplants started indoor from seed.

Quadrant 1: needing to plant herbs, lettuce behind peas, and eventually fall broccoli and cauliflower
Quadrant 2 : harvesting lettuce and baby carrots - needing to plant acorn squash and basil
Quadrant 3 - needing to plant 3 rows of late sweet corn, sunflowers, pumpkins, and gourds
Quadrant 4 - needing to plant 3rd row of sweet potato slips, watermelon and beans
Blueberries and Vines: nibbled on some unripe, but nicely tart, blueberries - needing lots of work and planting yet!

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