Monday, 20 May 2013

Harbouring Bees

Oh my.  I attended a workshop last night on harbouring bees.  Let me tell you, it seems rather complex!  After 4 hours, any prior confidence was totally shattered.   My how hard can it be?  attitude was humbly transformed into "what have I got myself into?" by the end of class.


I suppose like anything, once you get going, you learn "on the fly".  My first task in this journey is to read more - a lot more!  I've got PLENTY on my plate this year with my course and the developments to our property, so I'm thinking that next year would be BEE year.  I'd like to have more plantings in place to support the bees and that IS going to take some time.

I'm appealing to my readers for advice today - if you've kept bees, could you recommend books for me?  Also, I'm particularly interested in holistic/natural disease prevention/management.  It would seem to me that there are an awful lot of diseases and pests that affect bees and I'm not thrilled about using the recommended poisons/chemicals to treat.

Hit me with your best tips and resources!

Friday, 17 May 2013

RIP Jacques

R.I.P. dear Jacques...  our handsome French Copper Maran rooster died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack.  Such a shock!  It happens from time to time, but BOY we're going to miss this fella...  He was really THE man about town.

In other news, I'm recovering from a particularly nasty bout of pneumonia and have nothing exciting to report other than a week long (miserable) date with the sofa.  Such great timing, I have...  the VERY best gardening week of the year (weather wise) is just ending and the mozzies are out in FULL force today!  I missed that blissful window of Spring when it's nice enough to be outside but not warm enough for the bugs...


there's always next year...

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Forum is Back!

I've been woefully neglectful of this space recently (but I have good reason)!  This was my first full week of babysitting our 6 month old Grand-daughter, Penny.  Here she is helping me bake yesterday...  It's awfully hard to get a good picture as she is ALWAYS MOVING, LOL!  She loved playing in the flour and it's an easy clean up so I let her have at it!  She loves tagging along side me to do whatever I do, which these days is lots to do with baking, cooking and gardening :)

On to the exciting forum news...  

The Down To Earth forum where I volunteer at, has been experiencing LOTS of growing pains over the last few months which necessitated a server move/software upgrade.  As you can imagine, with a task of that magnitude, MANY glitches threw a wrench into things.....    We can happily say after many weeks of hard, hair pulling work from the Admin team, the forum is back better than ever!

CLICK HERE for all the details about either getting back to or newly registered on the upgraded forum!  There's lots going on from friendly "over the fence" chatter to specific learning about lots of simple living tasks.  

See you there!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Rhode Island Reds and Blue Orpingtons

Above, is one of our 25 Rhode Island Red week old chicks currently residing in the garage "brooder" while the Blue Orpingtons pip their way out of the shells (pics are blurry as they are taken through the plastic of the incubator).  As we struggled through a power outage on Friday, the hatch has been long and slow.  

First, the pipping of the shell, 

...after a long struggle, hatched at last!

Absolutely exhausted after all that work.  Face down for a well deserved nap.  So sweet!

As I fretted over the hatch, I had plenty to keep me busy between my studies, seed planting and a quick sewing project (a nice big soft cuddle blanket for our Grand-daughter, Penny).

There's still a few more eggs that are pipped, but I'm afraid our hatch rate will only be around 50%.  Mama hens do a much better job and they don't care if the power goes out!