Sunday, April 24, 2011

season's first beanygreens!


hippychick is out of doors watering the veggie patches and will return soon to write a bit of blather. 

stay tuned or be warned
the choice is yours

cheers!

i'm back and it's been quite a day.  a good day.  one of hauling and watering and planting and mowing and moving and cooking and cleaning and not much resting.  

a good bit of good hard labor is good for the soul i do believe.  maybe not for the souls of my feets but given a bit of time, they'll repair.

the morning started off with a bit of "still in the pajamas" watering followed by the harvesting on the beautiful beans you see in the photo.  we enjoyed these very green beans for dinner and ooh ooh baby they proved tender and yummy yum yum.
i then spiffed the yard up with a good clean mowing, moved a whole lot of chicken bedding from it's temporary "under the fruit trees" location to 2 more compost piles.  i've now got three piles cooking which means that our compost needs for the fall garden are secure.  i figured i was done with moving compost for the spring season except for the fact that i may need to relocate a few bins so that i might relocate a bee hive to the location that the compost pile currently sets.  

i got a report from a neighbor that my bees are collecting around her newly installed exterior night lights.  bees will do that because they confuse the very bright light for the sun.  the knowledge i imparted about the bright lights bit did ease the soul of my neighbor but not so much and understandably so.  so, it's best if i find them a better spot in the yard away from the lights.  in the long run, it will prove better for the bees and better for the neighbor.  though i did offer to purchase the neighbor yellow flood lights for her fixtures.  i did not get a feeling that this was going to take.  so plan b for bees in underway.

i've never moved a hive before.  and i'm not quite ready to do it as there is that 3' x 3' x 3' fully loaded compost pile that will need to move first.  that is if i feel the compost spot is really the best place for the bees.  i'm not sure yet.  i'm pondering options.  i might place them on the south side of the chicken coop.  this spot may prove too hot, too exposed in the heat of the summer.  i'm not quite sure yet.  bunbun is currently located on the south side of the coop and i've been thinking that it is about that time of year that i move him to his more shaded summer spot.

this is no small event so i'm going to take a bit of time before i decide.  my neighbor did not ask me to move the hive and i don't think she will but i would like to be the good neighbor and see what i can do to make life happy for all long term.

what am i thinking about when it comes to the plan bee pondering?
  • i am considering where i have the most foot traffic
  • where the cats and creatures travel most, protection from wind, rain and the uber hot sun we get for more than a few months in the year
  • places where my gardening will not be hindered
  • most importantly a spot where run ins with the neighbors prove less likely
this is not so easy when you're living on a 1/4 acre lot.  i'll work it out, it just takes some planning and pondering. 

now i wonder if i really should split a hive this year which would increase my current count of two hives to three.  hmmm, i think i can.  it just means that the planting planning may need some adjusting. more on the plan b for bees as the pondering develops.

i'm off track - 
so the chicken bedding got moved to the new piles.  i then roughed up the dirt beneath the fruit trees in order to mix the remaining bedding in with the soil.  the better for breaking down and not attracting flies it is.  i did make sure to keep the hot bedding away from the base of the trees which might prove too hot for the trees.  i'll let it mellow a bit before raking it in closer to the base.  once the area was roughed up, i watered it all in.

i did have a helper.  the "visiting" rooroo decided to kick in and turn a bit of soil beneath the fruit trees for me.  good for him.  i would appreciate a little eating of the baddy bugs.  after all if you are going to take up residence then a bit of holding your own is nice. yup, that's right i think this boy is going to be around for a while.  my oh my.

on another subject, i took a bit of the finished compost and placed it around a lime tree i had taken for dead dead dead from our very harsh, very winter weather this year.  most all of my citrus trees took it hard.  most lost all of their upper growth and most are showing new growth on the lower part of their trunk.  some are  now showing great promise where others are inching along.  i took this baby for lost.  wrong!  the wee lime tree has shot out two little little stems near to it's base so I laid out a bit of good compost around the sweetie and watered it in.  we'll see how she grows.  i may need to pot all of the citrus up later this year to make winter garage protection possible as the last two winters have really done a number on the babies.

i put in a few flowering, 'make the bees, butterflies and humming birds happier' plants today.  i plan to focus this year's plantings around the needs of bees, butterflies and other feeding creatures; beneficial wasps, butterflies and the like.
  • yellow trumpet vine
  • blue pincushion flower
  • white trailing lantana
each are all relatively fast growers.  we'll see how they do in our heat.  i have seen bees all over trumpet vines elsewhere.  i figure the more i can provide for my hives right here at home the better.

as i mentioned, the beans were steamed up for dinner.  i then made a most excellent pot of tapioca pudding with farm fresh milk, eggs from the ladies, raisins, nutmeg and shaved coconut (unsweetened).  i used home harvested honey to sweeten up the pot. oh baby this pudding makes a hippychick quite happy.

overall, we are doing well.  i have just about run out of steam for the day so i'll sign off for now.  the sun is down and soon shall i be too. until next time, enjoy the goodness that life brings you.  cheers.

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