Sunday, March 22, 2009

routines




one of my favorite things....a warm boiled egg








making yogurt for the week






french toast (homemade raisin-cinnamon bread) made in the waffle iron (holds more syrup!)

bounty


Garden tomatoes - taste as fresh as the day i put them in the jar.

If you grow a garden and grow one thing - GROW TOMATOES (i read that in some book - awhile ago) my thought process this morning as i was preparing for this years garden was LAST YEARS BOUNTY!

a trip to the basement revealed that we are still well stocked (over stocked). i'm saddened to hear of people going without. i'm saddened that people have seemingly lost touch with some of the arts of food growth & storage.

i just have this "thing" about storing food away? time to start "gifting" friends....

New Cookie Jar


i spied this cookie jar at a local cookie "outlet" shop. it wasn't for sale....but then the gal gave in when i told her WHY i had to have it.

take note of the little "thermometer" next to it. the number at the left is our kitchen temp - the number at the right is the temperature "in the hole".

i've been reading a book about food storage - primarily root crop storage, etc. and i got this hairbrained idea that maybe we already have something that will "kinda" work as a food cellar! we have a cement "hole" with a staircase going from the garage (a hatch in the floor) into the basement (separated by a door) - and it stays relatively cool in there. so we'll be monitoring the temp throughout the year.

i grow lots of carrots, beets, potatoes....and these things just aren't the same frozen, pickled, preserved...

root cellaring - one of my goals in 2009. we'll have to of course add some things....shelves, "sand" boxes, a fan for air circulation?, some type of moisture monitoring?

Tis the season

Garden planning has begun...some things are already well on their way - tomatoes, peppers. i'm a spring baby and for my birthday, it's become a "tradition" for me to get seeds as my present. i love seeds....i love the thought of so much power and potential in that little package. today i went through an initial scan of "what, when and where". next will be the graph paper and the planning. i have 4 gardens. one bigger vegetable garden that is fenced in - it primarily gets the veggies that "bunny" likes to eat. of the two smaller unfenced gardens, one usually gets squash and one potatoes. then there's the culinary and medicinal herb garden, which i try to find something "new" to add to every year.

I have to move the indian corn this year (if i grow it). it was outside the fence last year and some raccoons got into it late. i don't even know why i grow the stuff - other than the fact that it's REALLY FUN - peeling off the husks and "discovering" WHAT PRETTY COLORS is one after another going to be?....like treasure. i hate to use the space inside the fence for corn...it's either this or i plant cucumbers around it (raccoons don't like the picky leaves of cucumbers)....that could happen too.

Monday, March 16, 2009

hive invasion


the MOTHER OF ALL HIVES was invaded yesterday. we had a wonderful 50 plus day here in wisconsin. the girls were out and spreading their wings by 9 am. my BURSTING hive in the backyard got it's "scheduled" maintenance. i needed to do some hive body repairs....so this hive was taken apart frame by frame and MOVED into new boxes. so - i did the springtime "hive body switch" (moving the bottom frames to the top/tops to the bottom)....and cleaned out the bottom board right away.

how do you do this MOVE???? VVVEERRRRRYYYY carefully. it would be a very bad time to hurt the queen.....there are no drones "made" yet! so, in an emergency requeening - her highness might not find mates.

Hive status: BURSTING WITH BEES! very HEALTHY bees. only a very small pile of dead bees in the bottom.

if all continues to go well with this hive....i'm splitting this one - i want to maintain these genetics! these bees are getting some of their own crystallized (whipped) honey "back" (see picture)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bumblebee Yellow


My New Hive COLOR! "Bumblebee Yellow". I've since added cute "bee" stickers. Last weekend - a quick check of the hives indicated that they had found my "paper plate" of whipped/raw honey on the top of the inner cover. I put some 1/4" hardware cloth across the top to keep them from drowning in the goodness...

The Pipes, The Pipes are Calling...


Warm weather IS COMING! you know how i know? our band: celtic nations pipes & drums is starting to book weekend parades. here i am mid-spin in competition. if you think it looks like i'm having fun - I TOTALLY AM!