Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Updates at the Wolfe House

It's been awhile since I gave a general update of what's been going on around here so I've been taking pictures the past 2 weeks so you can see what we're up to.

I think the bees are looking great this year!  This is our newest hive that arrived as a package April 8th.  It was give 19 frames of bare foundation and one frame with drawn comb.  This is what they looked like after cracking the lid---good overall spread of bees covering the frames in the top brood box. 

This is the top honey super in the Warrior Hive that survived the winter.  They were given an empty brood box and so far they have filled 5 frames.  The honey supers are about half full and the full frames are just bursting with capped honey!  They are working hard drawing comb on about 25 empty frames this summer and they are almost all filled!

Sorry no pictures of actual frames this time.  I typically don't pull frames out of my hives because my bees tend to glue their frames together and breaking the comb is a sure way to upset them.  This is what happens when the honey supers get separated.  I could scrape off this burr comb but there's a lot of honey and nectar so I'll leave it for the bees. 

As for the garden, a couple that we met through the homesteader's group offered us some of their goat manure.  How can we say no to that offer?  

The tomatoes have been thriving this spring with the chicken mulch and now we added the goat manure.  This year we ended up with 65 tomato plants!  Many were given to us by friends and several were volunteers that we decided to let grow just to see what happens.  We didn't receive a large tomato crop last year so the cellar is pretty sparse with tomato preserves.  We're making up for it this year so I can stock up on plenty of salsa, stewed tomatoes, and tomato paste to last us at least a year.

The garden has been our biggest project this spring because we expanded it and then went on a 2 week vacation towards the end of May which delayed planting.  For whatever reason, the weeds didn't get the memo to also take a vacation.  Weeding takes about 90% of our time in the garden.  For 3 weeks straight we have been weeding at least 1 hour each day to catch up from the 2 week vacation. Weeding is part of gardening that I have learned to live with because they will never go away.  It kind of becomes a meditative time for me because it's pretty monotonous...just me sitting on a bucket with a small hoe.  The first crops to get weeded were the itty bitty's such as carrots, beets, salsify, onions, and other small plants.  The final crop to get attention is the potatoes.  In the picture above you can see one of the potato patches.  This year they are looking really good!  Fortunately we caught the potato bugs early in the season before they did too much damage.  They are quite disgusting when they pop. 

And of course...cabbage worms.  What's more to say other than grrrrrr!!!  These pesky critters take way too much of our garden time.  They hide everywhere and their population levels never seem to dwindle.  Each year we plant brassicas and question whether they are worth the time.  We've been told that row covers help keep the moths off the plants so we plan to try them next year. 

Here is another type of cabbage worm hiding in the broccoli floret. 

To keep a steady egg supply we purchased 3 more chicks this year.  We purchased these from our mail deliverer after we returned from vacation.  They are the barred rock variety and adjusting to their new home just fine.  This chicken tractor has really paid off because it keeps the young chickens safe from predators and allows the older chickens to get acquainted with them without any personal contact.


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About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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