This picture cracks me up. I had the camera down in the big pool that they are in and they were so curious that they came over and had to see what it was, then I took the picture. They then got frightened and ran around the swimming pool and I felt bad. I just wanted to get a picture of them now that they have some feathers! Can't wait to get them outside!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Here is a picture of some beautiful alpaca fiber I dyed pink. It reminds me of cotton candy! You almost want to eat it. It's so soft. The machine you see it on is called a "carder". It has hundreds of tiny metal teeth. The two drums meet and as it turns it seperates the fibers and turns it into a "batt" that makes it easy for spinning.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Check out this cool little invention called a "Pot Maker". You take news paper strips, wrap it around the wooden part of the pot maker and the fold the paper at the base, then use the base part to shape the bottom. This packs the paper into a useful pot to plant your seeds. Then when you are ready to plant, you just put the whole thing into the ground and the pot biodegrades allowing the plant to grow and extend it's roots. It's a very "green" product. I got this one on ebay.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Cold Frame is chock full with growing plants. This Cold Frame is one of the best things we ever built, or should I say Tim has ever built! We are growing everything this year, no buying plants from the store. We ordered organic and heirloom seeds. We are growing everything from tomatoes, peppers, and. Also in there is a couple of Patchouly plants as well as a few Bay plants. The Mesculin is getting there, can't wait to have a salad from them as well as the spinach and lettuce!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Each week this time of year, I take the top off the bee hive and see where they are and inspect for anything out of the norm, parasites, etc. Much to my sadness today I discovered most of my bees were dead. There were many baby bees, some about to emerge from their capped cells and bee larva present. The queen lay right in the center of a cluster dead. A few weeks ago I noticed one bee had a mite on it and have been treating them with a powdered sugar method. The best I can tell is that my bees died from this parasite or possible use of pesticides in this area? Bees are such an important part of our enviorment and I beg all my readers to please not use them! These things are not only deadly to bees but leach into our food supplies as well as our water and contaminate the very enviorment that we hold so precious.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
This sweet little boy arrived yesterday evening, what a beautiful boy! All the other Alpacas love him already and are actually fighting among themselves to see who can get closer to him.
He's curious about the lambs and other animals running around here.
He is 6 months old and we are leaning towards calling him "Jasper" because of the color of his highlights which remind me a bit of the gem. He definetly needs a hair cut!
Monday, April 12, 2010
This year planting all my own herbs and vegetables was a major goal for me! No more genetically enginered stuff for this farm, we were going organic! I found seed from one line heirloom seed companies and ordered a vast array of seeds to benefit our future harvest.
For the past few days I have been sick with one of the worse cases of bronchitis I have had in a long time so it was a perfect sit down job to get done. I planted 4 kinds of basil, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, scallions, onions and the list goes on. This easy planter fit nicely in the cold frame which happens to be stock filled at this point, can't get much more in there!
So now the wait begins for some awesome produce to sow!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Our little Rhode Island Red Chicks arrived today! I had originally ordered 12 of them but when I was there, a couple had ordered 6 but only wanted 4 of them and gave me the two extra so we have 14! They are all doing fine, thriving, eating and drinking. We should have eggs in a few months. This breed of chicken lays extra large brown eggs. There is nothing better than fresh eggs that come from your own back yard. Just one more step to sustainability.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
After a long winter I got up to the bee hives today and was somewhat pleased with what I saw with the exception of a single Varroa mite I saw on one of the bees, which alarmed me. I instantly rushed down to look up how to treat this. I had a preventive in my hive over the winter but to no avail, the hive appears to still have them. I looked up some treatment but then went to Long Lane's bees site and found an organic treatment for the bees.
In the hive I spotted many workers, drones, baby bees as well as capped honey and capped brood. I did not find the queen but she was on the run when I smoked the hive and can very well be in this cluster of bees in this picture. She also could be out mating when I was inspecting the hive. If you look really careful at the picture you will see a dot of yellow, that is pollen one of the "girls" is carring into the hive.
Overall I am happy with what I saw and am hoping for a successful year of bee keeping.