Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Bee's Knees

Gravenstein Apple
4-Way Cherry
4-Way Pear
I like the idea of keeping honeybees, but I'm not ready for the work. Some year I'll take a class, invest in a swarm, give that golden sweetness away to friends and family, blah, blah, blah. But for now I'm trying out Mason bees. They're docile, solitary, and really hard workers. I threw in a small orchard last fall and my trees are starting to bud; it's crazy exciting! I have high expectations for these little saplings and my duty is to help them and by extension me out in every way possible way; water, weed, feed...and now pollinate!

box-o-bees
La Casa

I purchased a small starter house, tubes and matchbox sized cardboard box with 10 cocoons inside (that are now patiently waiting in the back of the cheese drawer in my fridge). Apparently these things multiply like rabbits, and maybe I have a few hibernating out round the yard already, but I wanted to start out with a few mating couples now. This bee crisis seems to grow while the EPA looks the other way, my favorite pastime threatened, and the good food on my childrens' plate in jeopardy, I'd like to say I'm doing my part.

Crown Bee is a local information source check them out. Help out your garden and our food supplies!

Now, if only the weather around here would stop the massive rain showers and warm up a bit, we'd bee in business.

The Urban Farm Handbook

Here's my new favorite read. It came highly recommended by NW Edible, and I remember hearing quite the buzz about it over at the Seattle Farm Co-Op message boards as the co-author's are both quite involved over at the Co-Op. I borrowed it from the library, and admittedly returned it overdue only after I purchased my own personal copy.


It's a narrative with recipe's of 2 families slowly finding ways to feed their family and cutting out the middle man. And can you guess? I'm in process now of pricing out my own grain mill now...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Lorax



Breakfast of Champions


N would beg and beg his sister to portion off a few bits of grapefruit those mornings she and I would sit in front of him happily slurping away. Finally I broke down and cut him his own half this morning. 

He was in heaven.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Beauty of A Crocus


These first brave blooms of Spring are a promise of more color and warmth to come. They push through the frozen earth and I breathe a sigh of relief.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gymnastics Graduation

At the beginning of each class the children have a chance to stand up and do a pose as the teacher calls their name. At the end of each class the children have a chance to swing on the rope swing. And each class N shrinks and refuses (he's done this since the first class in September). Well, something changed on both fronts at graduation...and you can hear the genuine surprise in my voice while he's on the rope.

video
video

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's Chick Season Again



To keep up egg production we introduce 3 or so new babies each year. This year we carried 3 Speckled Sussex home. The breed are hearty foragers, and apparently remain consistent layers throughout the winter months. Though right now they are just about the cutest things you'll ever see they will all remain un-named due to the nature of their demise. They will be eaten after they're laying slows (and even sooner if we brought home a boy by mistake). We will not fool ourselves this time and literally give and call them by their flowery names; they are to do their job dutifully, they will be treated with the uppermost respect and care, but hey, when they start dipping into the red, they'll hit the pot.

E kind of laughed it off and started calling them chirppy, scratchy, and pecky and when I reminded her about not anthropomorphising these ones N jumped to their rescue;

"We won't eat the chickies, Mama." he sternly corrected me

"Well, no we won't eat them until they're grown, baby." I conceded.

"No, Mama, these are not for eating."

(oh boy)


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Get Your Cookies!


It's that time of year again and E and Kaela were out sporting their cute smiles in the blustery damp weather! Support your local Girl Scout!

How cute are they?!