Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Honey, Honey!

Yesterday, we got some sweet, raw honey from the farm. There are a few bee boxes out there, and the guy who keeps them stopped by the house and gave us a frame from the box. Yay!

It was definitely a messy job because we obviously don't have the appropriate tools for extracting it properly. We just scraped it all off into a big bowl, then strained out the pieces of honeycomb to separate from the honey. We got just about 2 pints of honey, and will still definitely use the comb as well. The kids have been sucking on pieces of them and then chewing it like gum.

Ok, see? I warned you that I didn't have a super-awesome camera to take great pics of me doing step-by-step "good things".

And speaking of getting stuff from the farm/fields, we have been harvesting and eating alot of wild greens these days. This time of the year, there's not a whole lot of cultivated produce available yet. All of that will be slamming in about a month, but unless someone's got spinach or salad greens in a greenhouse, it's slim picking. So, as I said, we have been harvesting and eating alot of nettles, lambsquarters, dandelion greens, etc... These greens have an astonishing- truly stunning amount of nutrients in them and they grow plentiful and wild. Like weeds, literally. :) These greens are especially high in Vitamin A and calcium. Okay, I know, I'm boring you to death. I don't even have super-cute little pics of the kids holding each of those greens for you visual learners. So sorry.

Aaaaanyway, the main idea being that we are trying to be resourceful and creative, AND what a great thing for the kids to learn- to identify and forage wild greens. I mean, someday, that may be all we've got! That's a whole other blog entirely.

And in an unconscious effort to prove what a bad blogger I am, I took the kids to Rakes Mill Pond today, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway and basically our back yard. A few hundred years ago, Mr. Rakes built a stone wall on his property and dammed up a pond. He had a grist mill, and offered that his customers fish in his pond while they waited their turn. :) So, the pond is still there, right on the Parkway, and it was alot of fun. There was a 15 foot waterfall on the other side of the dam, and we saw bullfrogs, tadpoles, fish, turtles, crawdads, etc... OH, and I'm a bad blogger because I forgot my camera. Yep. So do your best to visualize, friends.

But, in an effort to redeem myself, we later went for a walk at home on the farm, and I dutifully brought my camera then....

Notice Novah's hesitant face. This is just before she launched into 30+ minutes of screaming bloody murder about some thunder off in the distance. Sigh. And I have no explanation for the book.

The bees, from which cometh the honey. Elliot went up too close and got stung by one. I had to pull the big stinger out of his ear. He cried a little. Then Connor informed him that when a bee stings, it releases a chemical that tells all the other bees to come and finish the job. So, then Elliot joined Novah in screaming bloody murder for 5 minutes or so. Our family walks are really awesome. :)

I lied! There's Connor with some lambsquarters! Good thing!

And these are the newly constructed hops trellises. The guys put in those 15 foot locust poles (well, 18ft really, but the hole they lie in is 3ft deep). Four rows of 10 logs. The hops plants are just starting to wind up from the bottom. They follow the motion of the sun and wind around on their own. The hops are grown for the brewery, which is located on the other half of the farm. Sweet! A good thing.

and here we have Connor pointing out every thing that's growing here and there. I should note that Elliot knows exactly what's there, and even planted some of it himself. BUT, those of you who know Connor know that he needs no excuse to talk. If he were out there in that field all by himself, you'd better believe he'd still be pointing and explaining, and somehow, asking a question. It's who he is. :)

Brothers gotta hug!

Elliot's smelling the air for rain, and yep, I'm pretty sure Connor's talking about something. Probably potatoes, but there's no telling.

And, the boys on the big tractor. Connor's saying something about the emergency brake. Sigh.

Sammy, our wildcat, always joins us on our walks. Just like a puppy. It's pretty cute.

Okay, I know, I've bored you to tears. Somebody (kenya) has been putting the pressure on for post #2, and I know that my brother is beside himself in anticipation and expectation. I think he has lain awake for days, chewing his fingernails and checking this blog every 4 minutes just to see if I've updated it. It's OK. Sleep, Marty. Rest.

So, coming thoughts on the mail. And yes, I think I will do a Flashback Friday- starting next week, perhaps.


  1. wow girl.... what a strong start, that was an amazing long and wonderful post. i will be disappointed with anything less than this now :) just kidding. george just got some honey bees! we probably wont get honey until next year though. yummy. the kiddos look great. elliot even seems interested in what connor is saying :) oh and we def have the crying spells. seems as if someone is always crying. ok well my comment is getting as long as your post so i better wrap it up. love ya! talk to you soon.

  2. This is going to be a contest winning blog. I can just feel it now. It may even inspire some creative film maker to do a movie. :) I love the honey. I am so jealous. We are so excited to come and visit. I know Kayla is going to have the best time with you for the month. I pray she doesn't fall in love too much and comes back home. It seems that the tantrum stuck out to me as well :) I probably could have heard it, but Aly decided to scream over Novah. She has been pretty good for her Mama R visit, but didn't let a day go by without showing us what she's got at least once. Today it was all because she had to drink her juice at the counter. How dare I??? xxx Sorry for deleting my previous post...your brother was not logged out!