Tag Archives: raspberry

Warre, Baby! – Downward Motion! – Nadiring!

17 Jul

The watched warre never goes downward?  After a 2 week vacation and a week and a half where I couldn’t get out to Queen Juju Bee’s hive, I returned to find her in pretty immediate need of nadir – after not having anything in the bottom box at last check.

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Upstairs and downstairs full!

 

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Lots of hot bees – even in the late, late afternoon!

 

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So nadiring happened!!!  

The top box was SO HEAVY!  I love that.  

I never wear the full suit except when it’s so hot that I’m wearing shorts…which is maybe paradoxical.  Also, I feel like a ghost buster.  I really like the traditional face mask better than the fencing style, but either way.  Who ya gonna call?

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Three high and about to get the roof put back on!

And, I don’t have honey yet – but I have another sweet reward in the interim – there’s a black raspberry bush about 4 feet from the hive.  I’m up to 6 pints of jam (and counting).

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June Garden Tour!

3 Jun

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Heirloom Helios Radishes – First Harvest!

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Not my usual garden helper – Connie the Basset Hound!  She belongs to my neighbor.

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Baby Raspberry.

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Black Currants waiting for their garden space in black, Minnesota Midget Melon in the white bucket, grill, Mexican Gherkin cuke, loooooooofffffaaaaassss!!!! and carrots in the long boxes.

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Baby watermelons that needed more space, carrots, loofas with a few early beets because I needed a spot for them.

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My prettiest part.  Top Row: Basil, Rosemary, Mint, Passiflora Incarnata Middle: Chamomile, Poppy, Calendula, Tarragon, more Chamomile, more Tarragon.  Bottom: Strawberry, Dill, Tomato Seedlings (up for grabs), Bee Balm, More Seedlings, Stevia (I think), more Bee Balm

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Lavender ,Cabbages Onions, Salad, Beans/Peas

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Proper Beet fields, Sprouts, Onions, Cabbages, Salad is hiding but it’s there, beans and peas….another cuke by the fence…and the corner of my asparagus bag.

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Baby Tomato Forest…and Marigolds…and a gnome…and some chard.

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Close up on the passiflora and my newest adorable pot.

Hive #1 Delivered!

29 Mar

Just dropped the warre off at its new home. I’m sad that I won’t get to see it every day, but I’m happy to be teaching my new friends, Bonnie & Eric, about beekeeping!

They’re going to be living on a two acre lot on the edge of conservation land (that’s what’s over the stone wall there) with an ENORMOUS patch of wild raspberries to frolic in.  The brown edge there is the beginning of the patch, and it extends about 100 feet along the wall at about 8-10 feet wide the whole width.  I’m hoping Bonnie will let me help them also make some raspberry jam from the copious amount of fruit they’re sure to have.

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I’m also excited to have a fully built-out box (that I’ve appropriately treated to ensure it’s a healthy place to put the girls) to start them off with.

There are queen cups in the wax from the industrious little swarmers I had last year and I’m not super sure of what to do about them. It seems that I could either leave them thinking that the bees will take them down and reuse the wax for something else – or I could pull out all the combs with cups, cut them out, and try reattaching them to the comb guides…which seems like a clumsy job if it’s not needed.

I have the question posted at my favorite bee forum, but if any of my readers have advice, I’ll gladly take it.

Just two weeks until bee day and one more hive to move. 🙂

July Garden Tour

5 Jul

Part of the reason that I keep bees is for the pollination situation in my garden – I’ve only lived here a year (almost) and have really just begun to make this place into the mini-homestead that I want it to become – but, like anything, it’s one day at a time.  I think I want to try to do a monthly garden tour to show what’s going on here.

To start – the front…I’m not taking a picture of the whole front because part of it is an insane, tangled jungle that I haven’t really begun to work on yet…but up against the foundation is this:

From left to right, there’s the tip of a trellis that you can’t really see which has a clematis I bought last year at a dead looking perennials sale that came back this year and *just* bloomed, purple!  Then there’s a blueberry bush, another clematis, a blueberry bush, another clematis, and a blueberry bush.  If you’re following the progression, I’m obviously missing a clematis.  On the to-do list!  I’m hoping for another dead perennial, but it’s a Ville de Lyon and the other two are Jackmanii, so I think I should probably get another Ville de Lyon.  The middle two were a wedding gift from Eve, hi Eve!  Also the blueberries are from Monadnock Berry Farm in NH.  It’s a super awesome place and I totally recommend both their plants and their PYO berries.  Yumtastic.

This is the ripest of the blueberry bushes – they seem pretty happy there!

I also put a pea teepee to each side of that bed.  I found them amusing.  I didn’t pay as much attention to them as I ought to have, probably.  But there are some pods on there.  Yay peas!

This is the side fence..I was hoping for a little faster bramble action, I put these in in late Fall – these are raspberries and blackberries from Monadnock Berry Farm.  The hope was that they’d swallow up the fence, keep the crackheads from getting any ideas (not the brown house…but to the right…grr), and make food.  All of this is a little slow going.  I’m worried that they’re not super happy.  The soil isn’t great but it’s full sun and they’re brambles.  They’ll get mulch and compost in the fall and we’ll see what next year brings, I guess.

Blackberry action!

We also have a raised bed, it’s technically on our neighbor’s yard – but I’m paying rent on that plot in the promise of food….so far promises are enough, but I’m hoping to be able to deliver on that promise bountifully.

This is the raised bed (and surrounding container items).

The rims out front (listen, this is the ghetto) have tomato plants in them…and some marigolds.  Aforementioned neighbor likes marigolds so I put some in for her.  Next year I’ll have heirloom ones that actually do what marigolds are supposed to do, but until then…they make her happy and are pretty.

The big vine-thing is in the cucurbita family, but that’s all I can tell you – it was a volunteer and the soil came from a gardening non-profit…so um.  Your guess is about as good as mine.  It seems bent on taking over before it even begins to let the flowers open.  I think it might be a zucchini, mostly because of its general enormity…but I know Ashley (hi, Ashley!) really wants it to be a pumpkin.

The recycling bin is full of red onions, I’m growing them from sets, which I’ve never done before and put them in late…so it may be October before we have onions.

Before I knew quite how insane that vine was going to get, I put in some brussels sprouts…which hopefully aren’t too mad about this whole thing.

This is the other end…bush cucumbers that are flowering, an eggplant, kale, tiny cabbage seedlings for the winter, some beets and some leeks. The buckets down this end have tomatoes in the outer ones and tomatillo in the middle…and carrots tucked in around them.  I normally start as much as I can from seed, but the wedding put me a bunch behind this year, so I bought the plants from a guy on craigslist who does all heirlooms.  He’s really cool and I might check in with him again next year, depending on how my seed-starting goes.  He had a lot of cool varieties – we got a lemon boy, a black cherry, a pink ox-heart, a zebra, and some normal looking Italian variety that I can’t recall the name of.  The black cherry is the only one I can remember which it is and it’s flowering right now.  This is exciting!

I have some black currants in the back…in a bed I haven’t really worked on much.  They’re not super happy…there…they’re shade tolerant but I think they’re too close to either the forsythia or the maple.  The larger one is fruiting a little, but I think still…they have to move.

I just moved all of my strawberries into here….they were not very excited about the transplant, but I’m hoping that they get themselves worked in here enough that I can stand the pallet up and mount it on a wall.  If I can get it to work, I’ll fill the rest in.

This is a perennial bed that Susan and I are working on….it’s probably the part of the garden that changes the most right now.  It’s actually changed since this pic was taken two days ago, and the other end which wasn’t doing much has new stuff too..but for now – bee balm, mountain sage, the lilac, and some sedum.  There’s liatris in there (aka gayfeather, har) that’s just opening now.  We’re just trying to fill it in with whatever we find cheap or on sale…the beauty of perennials.  I got a bunch of stuff (actually including that bee balm) from a craigslist ad.  The rest is a bit random.  It used to be ALL SEDUM and it made me mad, so last year I ripped it all out.  I’m looking forward to it being more cohesive – but for now, it’ll incubate things for other spots.

I forgot to take a picture of the container area on the patio.  There are a bunch of herbs and this asparagus plant that I took pity on lat week and bought.  It’s doing pretty well, actually.  There are also two cranberry bushes that I just put into this area…not photographed…they need to a adjust a bit anyway.  You can see them in August.

It’s also my sun-tea making area.  This is my current (oh god, this is about to be a pun) favorite iced tea – it’s black / black currant from Harney and Sons.  I went to their website to review it the other day and discovered that they make an iced tea version that I’m sort of pining for.

Up on the third floor fire escape, but not blocking egress, I promise.  Is the first part of my half finished rain barrel system.  This is the top barrel that will eventually catch the gutter from the top roof (as soon as M reroutes the gutter!)  The tube coming out drops down a floor to the second floor roof….

I’m still working on tube-placement for the drip-lines – but this is the corn field.  There are two pallets with corn and squashes in them.  A third pallet will join them on Sunday, when I’ll also try to mess with the lines a bit more.  Corn!  Squashes!  There’s a lot of sprouted corn that you can’t see yet….but it’s there!  And when I decide to add fertilizer, I can just dump it into the rain barrel and use it that way – no need for a fancy fertilizer injector.  Yeah!  Oh also, bee hive.

The overflow line from the third floor barrel will drop down to a second floor barrel and the overflow from that will pop into the second floor gutter which will drop down into a first floor rain barrel with a hand pump (that I just got on ebay) and then I we’ll have about 100 gallons of possible water storage as well as lots of water for the garden!  Yay for natural resources!

And this is from the 4th of July – coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and home-grown blueberries, CSA beets (thanks Debra!) with garden mint and basil, my first attempt at my Great-Grandmother’s potato salad- rave reviews! Also, we played several heated rounds of croquet with a set that was made for us as a wedding gift….and no one hit their ball into the garden. 🙂

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