welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Friday, August 20, 2010

farm update

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted anything! I blame it on spending time with friends, both new and old; weeds and their desperate and evil desire to get the best of me; and lack of anything that seemed important enough to warrant a post on its own.

On the bee front:  
As you may know, with a hive of bumbles in the greenhouse for pollination and a hive of honeybees for honey and field pollination, I am a recovering bee-phobe. Not quite there yet, but making headway. Or, at least I was, until a few weeks ago. Deciding to clean up some old wood, I disturbed a nest of yellow jackets. After much swearing, running, arm flailing, and finally jumping into the shower to get them off me, I was stung five times. Not that bad you say? I beg to differ. I am still jumping at the sound of buzzing. That little incident probably set me back a year in my relationship with bees. At least. As a result, last week a friend volunteered to inspect my hive for me. He borrowed my jacket and hood, but the tyvek suit was too small. "Not a problem", said he, "I'm not afraid of bees". Long story short, the bees were in a foul mood and he was stung at least ten times. Never having been allergic, he didn't worry until he started having trouble breathing. I gave him three Benedryl and after about an hour, he started getting better. Come to find out later, after hearing his symptoms, his doctor said he nearly died. We can just consider this another year of set-back with bees, okay? However, my friend's not a quitter and so asked me to order him a tyvek suit. Now, armed with an epi pen he is ready to tackle hive inspection once again. Maybe this afternoon. God help me.

The flock is doing great. Everyone is healthy and thriving. Due to a reduced pasture size, heat and drought, I've found it necessary to feed hay. No lambs have been sold yet, so it looks like they may be going to the butcher at the end of October. If you like lamb and are interested in some for your freezer, let me know.

There are now seven remaining silky chickens here. Out of 25. Twice, I forgot to close their door at night. The first night, twelve chickens disappeared. The second time, another six were taken. I blame foxes. And of course, myself. I've been way too distracted lately.
The geese are doing well. Several goslings were sold and just one remains. Unless sold by the end of October, he'll be butchered.
To round out the year's supply of meat, my plan is to get some broiler chicks in the next week or so and have them ready for processing at about the same time as the gosling and lambs.

Market garden:
I've officially lost the battle with weeds in most of my new plot. Probably the best course of action at this time is to mow it and start prepping for next year while vowing to do better. The greenhouse is chugging along and producing well. Fall and winter seeds were ordered and have arrived. Planting will start up for those crops next week. A little late, but still okay.

So that's what has been going on here on the hill. I've been distracted in the best possible way, but as a result, things have run a bit amuck. Time to buckle down and get back to business.


Sheltie Owner said...

I'm so glad to read this post and catch up with what's going on at the farm. Too bad about the bee incidents. In defense of the bees, yellow jackets are buggars and never a friendly lot.

Hope we can get together soon so I can hear more farm news!

Penny said...

Allergies to most insects that sting is what keeps me from having bees so you and your friend have all my sympathy.