Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Un Bee-lievable!

Complements of Ace Clip Art

It has been a while since I've mentioned anything about Farm plans. If you are interested in some of my farm-related blogs, you can see a couple here here.

Since Dan and I are city kids, we have been taking courses to help us figure out what kind of farming to do. I'm sure it's going to be a lot like having kids: you read and read about raising kids, you know exactly how it's all supposed to work and exactly how you will handle each situation so that your child will turn out to be the most beautiful, most intelligent and most well behaved in all the land. Then the kid comes along, asserting it's own will, turning your life upside down and making sure you're eating humble pie for the rest of your life!

We can read every book, take every class, ask every expert and still won't know what farming is all about until we're actually out there shoveling poop and chasing cows out of the neighbor's garden.

[As an aside: a few weeks ago, I went out to the coop to check on the chickens. The puppy was with me. When I started heading in the house, I noticed the dog was chewing on something. At first, I thought it was a stick or something. It turned out to be a dead squirrel! I was so grossed out! Once I got him to drop it, I knew I had to dispose of it or he'd be gnawing on it every time he went outside. Besides, it was disgusting and I didn't want my kids to see it.  I got rid of it and I was quite proud that I did it without the assistance of my man (I did make sure he knew what an awesome wife he has though: "not every woman would do this, you know.") I consider the whole incident hands-on training for farm life].

Anyway, some of the courses we have taken are: food preservation, intensive grazing management, beginning farming entrepreneur program and growing berries. Last night I went to the first of five classes on beginning bee keeping.

There are certain things in nature that I think are perfect and by themselves can prove the existence of God.  For instance, the fact that you can take a tiny, itty bitty seed, put it in a bunch of dirt, water it for a few weeks, it grows into a plant, the plant produces blooms, the blooms turn into fruit or vegetables, you pick the fruit off the plant and eat it. And it's good and makes your body healthy. The more I learn about farming, the more amazed by and in awe I am of our Creator and how well he provides for us.

Bees and honey are definitely on the "Amazed and Awed" list. Did you know that a hive of bees will fly 55,000 miles to produce one pound of honey? That one honeybee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime? That honey never spoils? (when it crystalizes you just have to put it in hot water to liquify it again). Honey has antiseptic and other healing qualities? It's all so fascinating! Honey bees (and other pollinators) help increase crops, gardens, flowers and other plants.

Our next two bee classes will be spent building hives and the last two we will get to establish a hive. I can hardly wait! At this point, we are planning to start at least one hive this spring. I'll keep you posted as more fascinating facts come my way!  ;)

More farm news:

  • We are in the process of designing a barn. We have a builder and have decided the size and location of the barn. It will be a combination living space and storage. We also want to eventually put in a commercial kitchen.
  • Dan started working on some gardens in the Fall. The plan is to begin planing several gardens of vegetables this spring.
  • Dan built a hoop house for the chickens to stay in this winter. So far, they are doing well. A couple of times they have ventured out into the snow, but I think it's too cold on their feet. They seem to get a little grumpy, then run right back into the coop. We now have two egg layers - the mama and one chick. I'm not sure which chick it is yet. She lays light brown eggs. It's still so exciting to find an egg in the nest!
  • One of the chickens, Caroline, is a rooster. He's not crowing yet, but he does have an attitude and he's definitely working on developing his voice. Once he crows, he's history. We don't want to annoy the neighbors any more than we already do.
That's all the farm-related news. The last thing for this post is that I'm taking an online blog course. I'm hoping to tune this thing up a bit and make it more interesting. I appreciate you sticking with me!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Almost 3 Months Later and It's 2011

I have to admit it.

I've been avoiding you.

Like the plague.

When I log in and see that it has been almost 3 months since my last post, instead of getting busy typing something interesting and clever, I just want to run like the wind. One of those coping mechanisms that isn't really working for me but I keep doing it anyway.

In my heart, I want to be the best blogger and Etsy shop owner. I want to be creative and funny and clever and organized. I want to have one of those blogs that is beautiful and interesting and full of good information for the multitudes. But you know what? Every time I come here (and every time I go to my Etsy shop for that matter) I just see what is left undone. The posts I haven't written, the photos I haven't taken and in the case of Etsy, the items I haven't listed. I just feel defeated and guilty for not doing what I say I'm going to do.

For a few hours this week, I considered shutting everything down. The blog, the shop, the face book and twitter... just take it all down and not be heard from (online) again. But I don't think that is really what I want to do. So I'm seeking help through an online blogging course. My hope is that I will get some perspective and information on how to improve my blog. I've also been getting some feedback about my Etsy shop so that I can make a better effort to sell things there.

So, if you are interested, I just wanted to check in to let you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth. I'm in the process of figuring out what it is I want to do and then doing it.

Thanks for hanging in with me!