On the expanding farmstead

Every spring, the number of creatures goes up on most farms.  Ours is no exception…except, well, our numbers exploded this year, thanks to:

the bees.

We took delivery of them on Tuesday night.  I chatted with them in their box on the sideboard as we ate dinner, telling them all about the farmstead and neighborhood.  After dining, we went outside and watched Tom place them in their new home.

We’ve also got a few baby turkeys.  Not the 17 of last year’s first hatching, we’re content with four, maybe five.  Queen Ruby has successfully raised five in the past; it seems about all the girl can take.

And as usual, it’s baby chick season.  The spring has been so cold that all four of our sitting hens lost their eggs so I supplemented their mothering need by giving them meat and egg chicks from the feed store.  They don’t care.  Babies is babies.

There are also bunnies.  Ugh, bunnies.

And we’re expecting one, or maybe two, kids to be born toward the end of the month.  I’m getting a half gallon daily from Bell, but it would be great to squeak out another half gallon from Cricket…is that being greedy, counting-unhatched-chickens-wise?  Time will tell.

10 responses to “On the expanding farmstead

  1. Why do you say ‘ugh, bunnies’? I’m just curious.

    Good luck with your bees and everybody else.

  2. Excited about your bees! Are you Langstroth-ing? I think I remember so. We are hoping to get a top bar hive built lickedy-quick and buy a package next week…we’ll see if it gets done!

  3. How exciting for you to start another new farming adventure! I’m working on my garden and planting and have some cool weather crops coming! We are gardening on a much larger scale than ever before and trying new crops which is a lot of fun for us. Lucky score at the Goodwill, 26 quart- sized canning jars for a song which will be put to good use!

  4. Looking forward to your future blog posts about bees. I have been enjoying a few bee blogs lately. I’d love to have some myself some day so it has been nice learning a bit through the experience of others.

  5. We’re trying bees again this year too. I hope we do better by them this year. They’re such enigmatic creatures. So other. I never felt I had much in common with chickens, until I started learning about honey bees. Good luck with your golden ladies.

  6. Awesome on the bees. I’m taking a gardening class series that has a bonus free bee session, so I’m hoping to get inspired for next year. Looks like you’re expanding in lots of ways this year! I’m pretty sure our garden is doubling in size (howdidthathappen?) so I’m pretty psyched here too 🙂

  7. I was wondering when you would be getting bees! Have fun! They are fascinating – and extremely frustrating when they decide to swarm two weeks ahead of schedule, 30 feet up a pine tree so the swarm cannot be captured…. well unless you have one of those bucket tree cutters use… I see mead in the future…

  8. Goat cheese drizzled with honey, honey! I don’t know how you do it.

    Is that Liz from Pocket Farm? Hi, Liz.

  9. Hi Paula, well, the bunnies don’t contribute much is all. We’re getting meat bunnies this year so that should balance the scales for me. But thanks. They are cute (ours are pets).

    Good luck, Serina! Yeah we’ve got the box setup. Tom has been a great beekeeper thusfar; very doting. I hope they do well…I am trying hard to produce flowers for them. Tom hopes to do a top-bar hive too later this spring. We’ll be in bee heaven then.

    Liz, that’s great. Every year a new thing, you’ll soon find, and what a great score on the jars! We use SO many of them. The cool spring should help those cool-loving crops too.

    entire leaves, well, yeah, I will have to have Tom make a post on the bees, which I am sure he’ll be glad to do…he’s voluble on things that interest him, and for once I am saying “not my job” to something on the farm, it’s actually a bit of a relief!!

    Thanks, Kate. I hope to escape the fate of one of my friends who calls herself a bee killer and honey harvester, not a beekeeper. Sheesh! Good luck this year with yours, too. I would think they’d be happy by you because they shouldn’t have to fly far to find things. Here, the girls are in for a long flight…we’re fairly forested, and then there’s that lake that takes up so much of the flight radius.

    Sara, I have been watching with interest your land expansion. How exciting. And I agree: we need more weekends like this one where we actually SEE some accomplishments. (Before now, it was like, hey, I weeded 6 beds, that counts, right? Visually, not in the slightest.) Can’t wait for the greenhouse.

    Sylvie, we tried to get bees in 2006 but that was the height of the crisis here. We were to get a nuc from a local guy…it was really sad. Anyway, yeah, after much delay, it’s Tom’s dealio. How frustrating! So you lost the whole hive? Hope you were able to recover…and mead, mmmmeeead. Mmm.

    CC! Uh, gah, ANYTHING drizzled with honey. Or maple syrup. But most definitely, a few chopped sprigs of mint on fresh chevre with honey…mmm! And I haven’t heard from Liz in a long time. She’s mostly flickering now.

  10. Awesome! I cannot wait to read your family’s adventures with bees! And babies! Spring is so sweet. Happy belated Mother’s Day, Mama!

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