Thursday, May 07, 2009

Early Harvest and New Bees

Since I have been taking pictures periodically, I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted to my blog until I started looking at the pictures on my camera. Apparently it has been awhile.

We've been very busy in the garden over the last few weeks. With all of the rain falling in the area, I've worked long and hard on the dry days. Fortunately, we had a multi-week dry spell in April and I planted most of the garden during that time.

The lettuce has been growing well despite hail and flooding rains. We even managed to get some nice salads from thinning the lettuces a couple weeks ago.

We are now starting to enjoy salad more regularly from full grown salad greens and have even had enough to share.

There is something about eating fresh out of the garden that just can't be beat.

I think the only thing better is perusing the garden for fresh vegetables and salad and then serving it with home raised chicken or turkey.

I really like the homesteading lifestyle.

Some of the warm weather vegetables have started growing. The corn is up.

And the sugar cane looks great.

I love looking out over the garden.

Our pool deck rises above the garden and provides views of the woods and our neighbor's pasture.

Our neighbor runs sheep and miniature horses in the pasture.

The horses are just beautiful.

And this year a baby plays around the pasture to the delight of us all.

He really is the cutest little thing.

And so curious.

We've added some new livestock to our homestead this Spring.

These are organically raised, small cell bees.

We ran into trouble with our last bees when hive beetles and wax moths attacked and we didn't want to use chemicals. The bees came from a standard commercial apiary where chemicals had been used and the bees couldn't make it without them. This time we are starting with bees raised in line with our own anti-chemical beliefs.

Everyone has been excited about our new Russian residents. They are not supposed to be as gentle as the Italians we formerly owned, but so far Kurt has been working the bees without his bee suit.

And the kids enjoyed helping to set up the hives. All the frames needed wax foundation before they could be installed. Gabrielle got the hang of the work quickly and Michael decided pushing pins into the box was help enough.

The kids are growing up so fast and I'm glad we've been able to raise them in the country.

Of course Gabrielle told me today she hasn't yet decided if she is a country girl or a city girl. So far she thinks she'd like to live in the country, but close to a city.

Michael has really grown.

And he tries to micro-manage everything in the house, driving us all batty. He's a bit too smart for his own good and already thinks he knows everything.

We took the kids to a barn party a couple of weeks ago. The party was a work thing for Kurt. We all had fun.

Michael spotted the jumping thing immediately and couldn't wait to play, unlike in times past. In fact, he wanted to stay when I returned to the barn. Normally Michael glues himself to my side.

Of course he wasn't alone since I had Gregory and Gabrielle keeping an eye on him. Still, it was a big step for Michael.

My favorite part of the evening involved catching up with friends I hadn't seen in awhile.

Since leaving Gulf Breeze, there are people I just don't get to see very often. Barbara is one of them. She is a dear friend and I miss her a great deal. I loved getting a chance to see her for awhile at the barn party.


The Gingerbread House said...

My oh My! what a beautiful bountiful garden :o) I can tell you won't have much time for blogging..too busy with those canning tools :o)...everything looks wonderful and your right homesteading can't be beat! except with a hoe :o)...Life is good...

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

I love seeing all the photos...the horses are precious but the children more so ;) Just hope those horses don't ever get loose and in your me how I know about those things!

And, Hurray for Michael's big step out into the world ;D


Barb J. said...

Your garden is looking great, and that colt is so cute! Nice of the neighbors to provide such a great view!

Joanne said...

Your garden looks wonderful! Those are great photos. I love locally owned honey, it is sooo good. The party really does look like it was fun, too. I am so glad you were able to see your friends.