2016, May

Farm update – 5/1/2016

I seriously hope you forgot to buy produce this weekend, because we are in our spring bounty. We have a plethora of produce this week, a gaggle of greens, a hodgepodge of herbs… Ok, sorry, but hopefully you can tell I’m excited about all we have going on this week: honey, eggs, potatoes, broccoli, greens galore, turnips, and herbs. All we need now is a dairy, an abattoir, and an orchard, and we’d be full service! Head over to the Currently Available page to order anything we have this week.

This week’s highlights include another successful foray to the farmer’s market in Bainbridge, digging potatoes, assembling and painting a new beehive, and lots and lots of weeding.

We’ve been at the Bainbridge Farmers Market three weeks in a row, and it’s really fun to start recognizing our “regular” customers, and also to meet new, interesting, and enthusiastic people each week. Thanks for the continued support!

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Digging potatoes is always exciting because you never know exactly what you’ll find. Some plants have a couple big potatoes, some have lots of smaller ones, and some come up still attached to the seed potato we planted months ago. While weeding the potatoes this weekend, we discovered that some potatoes are already a pretty good size. That combined with the fact that we’re inexplicably losing some plants (to potato wilt? overwatering? insects?), led us to conclude that now was a good time to take the first row.

 

We’ve also decided to get another hive this year, so the first step is to have a home for the bees. We’ve been super happy with the setup of the hive we currently have, so we will replicate that exactly. The bees will start with a single deep brood box. Once the queen is laying well and the colony outgrows that box, we’ll add a medium brood box. The bees will store pollen here, the queen may eventually lay eggs in it, and the bees may also keep honey in it over winter. These two boxes always belong to the bees to do whatever they please. If the bees get to a point this year where they outgrow those two boxes, only then will we put on a honey super or two. This is a place where the queen can’t go (a metal queen excluder above the brood boxes ensures that), meaning that no eggs are ever laid in the honey supers, and they are the ones from which we collect honey. When all the cells in the honey super are capped, the honey is cured to the right moisture content and we can extract honey! We’re starting about two months later than last year, so we’ll miss the main nectar flow, but hopefully we’ll get a fall harvest from this new hive, if all goes well.

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Assembled hive awaiting painting.

We’ve been so busy planting the last few weeks that we haven’t had much time to spend on weeding, so that was a major push this weekend. And it sure looks a lot better, and should make the veggies happier, with the weeds gone.

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