Friday, December 9, 2011

Mom... your on your own!!!

Conversation in the car on the way to school this morning... Well girls, I've seen my friend's chicken coop and she has an fenced in, roofed area that the chickens can hang out in safe from the elements and varmits and scratch and dust until they are content. I think this will be the project for 2012 ---to expand the chicken coop area to include a covered area for the 'girls'. To which they have replied... "sounds good mom, but your on your own!". Looks like I'm going to have to rally some friends, fill in the hole where the plastic pond is, dig some post holes, gather some wood, find roofing materials and chicken fencing to create my chicken oasis. Any volunteers? :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I wanted to get back to this blog, revive it and breathe new life into it. So today I want to start with my goals for 2011 and what I want to do for 2012. The things that I removed are to get the bees productive, make wine and try rutabagas. Our bees are doing well and I hope Emily and I tucked them in properly for the winter. The next day we have with temperatures above 50 degrees I will peek to see if they could use more food. Until then we have to believe in their survival instincts and hopefully the queen will be strong enough to lead her hive into the spring. The bees produced a fair amount of honey for us this year and I have to say this was the coolest thing I have ever done. Bottling honey is VERY STICKY work but so worth the effort. We received an inspection by the state of Ohio apiary inspector and we have to treat for varrora mites. The mites are not out of control at this point. We received our inspection in fall and will treat our bees in spring should they survive the winter. Our wine making efforts are in full gear. Jim has embraced this hobby and is excelling at it. Our only failed effort was the cranberry wine. I'm still saddened by this. I was so looking forward to this wine but alas, something went wrong in the fermentation period and he tossed it out. However we have sweet cherry and sour cherry, made from the berries, currently working which will be bottled late spring 2012. He has also made wine from kits including Merlot and Chianti. I am the official taste tester and a job I take seriously... as I feel compelled to check as many bottles as possible! ;) Now for rutabagas. We tried these unique root vegetables, however, I tried them out of season. DUH. I would like to revisit this vegetable one day to give it another try.