Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Making Lavender Salves

 During the heat of the summer, I can't even think of anything fiber! So, I look to my other passion, working and making herbal stuff. With just these items...
and my little double boiler, set on low simmer to heat the oils safely and evenly. If the beeswax doesn't melt down completely it will become clumpy.
Here is the finished product, so simple and so wonderful! It makes such a soft salve, a great gift and will be available in our farmstand.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

We're in the "Red" with our queens!

 This year is the color red for the marking of the queens. Our new split has successfully raised their queen and she has been marked and is doing well.
She has begun laying at a rapid pace and I am very happy with her progress. If you look really close into the cells you can see the eggs that have been layed and in a few days they will cap them. Our over wintered hive (hive #1)is growing rapidly and making honey. Hive #2 is our new split and hive #3 is our new package which is doing very well and they have settled in and the queen is laying away. Today we made a new split from the Nature Center hive which will be hive #4. That hive will be encouraged to produce pollen and has been placed on a pollen collector. So all and all the bees are fairing well and we are on our way to a great bee season!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wild Edibles, Yum!!!

 Wow this is our 300th post! So what a better way to celebrate than to  share some wild edibles! One of my favorite teas is Sassafras Tea. The best way is to harvest the roots of the small sprouts, clean, dry and then boil in hot water, steep, strain and add coconut sugar to sweeten.
 The next is Garlic Mustard Pesto that my friend Scott turned me onto last year. It grows wild and is free! It's an invasive species so why not pick a bunch for your lunch!
 In the picture to the right, is what it looks like in the first year of growth. The flavor is really in the second year of growth...
 This is what it looks like in the second year, taller and the tops are seed pods. When you harvest this don't put it in a compost, discard or burn, we have enough growing.

 Often it will have white tiny flowers and will smell of garlic and slight mustard all at the same time!
 So pick as much as you want to make. It can be frozen and used at another date after processing.
 Wash it and strain it. Pick the leaves off the stems, however you can include some stems, there is flavor there too!
I put the leaves into a food processor, added some garlic, Parmesan cheese, sea salt and fresh ground pepper and there you got it, Garlic Mustard Pesto harvested from the weeds growing wild in my yard! it is good to freeze, serve to friends who stop by on crackers or over pasta! Yum!

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Rabbit Grooming adventure!

 So last week we had record setting temperatures and I was looking at "Honey Bunny" and realizing she was not doing well with the heat. Her coat was so dense and thick. I asked her breeder if I could clip her and got the okay. I had also looked up on-line and it was suggested to give her a bath...
 so I did! At first she acted out in full terror, but with some comforting strokes and words, the warm water and the feeling of relief from the heat she calmed down and seemed to enjoy it.
There she is! Finally getting a chance to see her beautiful eyes was a treat. Once she was dried I cool blew her coat out...
 and proceeded to clip her in full terror that I would make a mistake and cut her. I watched countless videos on "how-to" on-line. I am pleased to say all went well, she can see and is now short and comfortable for the summer!
 Honestly she looks better but this was while in the process of clipping. She is such a busy girl, moving here and there, checking out this and that.
I did net some nice fiber from her and look forward to spinning it soon!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

We're on our way!

It has begun! We added the super onto our hive last week and they have already begun making harvesting honey! We should have some honey in a month or two! Some of the frames are blank with foundation so we will have comb honey as well! What a perfect Spring we are having with tons of pollen and nectar flow!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Hive and "the ladies" update...

 So I have been watching my over wintered hive closely because this is the time of year they like to swarm and upon an inspection I found swarm cells...
 with little baby queens in them, every last one of them. If you look closely you will see a baby queen surrounded by royal jelly. That is the substance they feed them to make a queen.

 This is just another shot of the queen. I moved the cell a bit to get a look inside and managed to rip it, they quickly began to tend her.
I find this very unacceptable when I am finding frames of brood that look like this through out the hive, so I made a split. I took the superseder queen cells, put them in a nuc box along with this frame of brood. Closed them up inside for a couple of days. I then also added a frame of honey I had left over from last year. After a few days I opened it up, installed a feeder onto the front and sat back and watched...update to come!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Spinning Angora goodness...


My obsession with Angora rabbit fiber has had me spinning my secret stash that I had purchased here and there, buying it on line and plucking from "Honey" bunny whenever I can...

this has also had me practicing with her on my lap as I spin. She does so good, she loves to just sit there and enjoys the bonding. She is so sweet and gentle.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Guilty as charged!

Sorry for the absence, after loosing our two dogs I was sitting on the couch with "Honey" our bunny and she chewed thru the laptop cord. Look deep into that hairball, she is so naughty! We ordered a new cord and are now back on line! I have a lot of post to come and I am learning a lot about her and the fact that a house bunny needs boundaries!