Blood, Sweat, and Tears …But Mostly Blood.
As most of the readership who have followed the modest smallholding trials and tribulations of Hunny-Bunny Farm know, much blood, sweat, and tears have gone into improving the cost-effective production here at the Ol’ Homestead. The tears are in the disappointing production of the year of the Late Blight 0f 2010, which affected everything even beyond the potatoes and other nightshade plants. The sweat mostly in the literal form of breaking the sod for the original garden and putting up fences and other structures, but also in sweating out the prospect of the bees making it through the critical period of February-March just before the spring honey flows begin. Finally, there is the blood, which generally comes in the form of minor cuts, bruises, and scrapes of normal physical activity.
This triple formula is normally in happy balance but here at Hunny-Bunny Farm I, yesterday, managed to tip the scales decidedly in the blood aspect of this ratio. It happened that I had completed laying on a cover of salt hay mulch and I began to tidy my garden tools, and as I’m accustomed to do I stepped on the blade of the shovel in anticipation of catching the long handle and WHAM! …the unanticipated excessive force of my step caused the handle to force through my waiting fingers and directly impact my nose. Yes, really…, just like in the Tom and Jerry cartoons, I did perform the old stepping on the rake pratfall, the ultimate slapstick comic gag!
The immediate effect of course, was pain on impact, which surprisingly didn’t last longer than a second or two. The second immediate effect, on opening my eyes was an explosion of blood ala the old comic books, (sorry, now called graphic novels to be politically correct), this was followed reflexively by a string of expletives, like #,*,%, @. The final effect was the instinctive reaching for my face and finding not only the bridge of my nose altered but a stream of bright red gore flowing down my face. Intuitively I straightened my now misaligned shnozzola and began the long walk from the garden up to the basement slop sink leaving a trail of crimson much like Hansel’s breadcrumbs all the way. Amazingly, all this occurred in less than 5 seconds.
On reaching the sink I plunged my face under a stream of cold running water to remove and retard blood flow and reduce already apparent swelling. This allowed me to see the damage up close and personal in my reflection in the mirror. With no pain, blood flow staunched, and the “break” already put in place, and considering the amount of work still to be done today I patched up the wound with iodine, (which also uncharacteristically did not hurt), protected it with a Band-Aid and continued with my routine chores. In fact, in looking at the wound later that day I would say that I technically did not break the nose but separated the cartilage from the nasal bone proper. So overall, beside supplementing the garden with additional nitrogen and some slight lingering swelling it’s, as the young people say today, all good. In future, however, I will certainly bend over for the shovel no matter how tired I am. So when you see me next, please no jokes about getting my nose all out of joint!
Meantime, in the apiary…
I checked the Queen Castle to see how the queen rearing process was going. The nurse bees were gathered around two cups still containing eggs, which should be hatching in the next 24 hours, if all was successful. The second chore was to transplant, so to speak, the bees and queen started ten days ago from the nuc box to their permanent hives. This was done successfully and it appears that this is a strong hive of about 3 lbs. of bees. So I now have 4 hives in total and anticipate 2 more if the queen rearing is successful. At this time, I’ve also added my honey supers so we should be getting some surplus honey for our domestic use. It’s interesting that this is the first time I’ve been able to get honey from new hives in the spring honey flow. Generally, the hives are still too fragile to take any honey at this time. Spring flows are also the best and strongest honey flows and I believe that we will have abundant honey this season. I believe that the early onset of spring with the warm March weather accounts for this unusual circumstance.
In the Garden…
The vegetable garden, aside from the excitement described earlier, is
proceeding apace; one problem is my eggplant is being skeletonized by some predator, possibly slugs though I’ve not yet seen any. It seems with the onset of warm weather in March of this year, the garden, and the landscape in general is prematurely luxuriant, lush, and ahead of schedule. Even the bugs are about their damaging business earlier this year. The mulch I laid down should thwart some if not all the devastation of the slugs, or whatever is raiding my garden. There is also the gardening theory that believes it is best to leave some weeds to distract some of the attacking predator insects. This argument has some merit but weeds can quickly get out of hand if not strenuously monitored. To this effect, I left some of the weeds in close proximity to the eggplant that were also suffering some devastation, notably pigweed, which BTW, is a potherb and good in salads if used judiciously. These two precautions should significantly curtail further destruction.
In the rabbitry,
The kits are fully furred out and will be opening their eyes within the next couple of days. Mama is doing well, but is ravenously hungry. She is, of course, getting extra food and greens to help in retaining the strength to continue to raise those kits. Since we now have a foundation of the Mac line of Florida White rabbits, I must now plan my breeding schedule and cull the remaining rabbits from the herd.
Remember, the Rosary Crusade for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary ends May 27th, be sure to tally up your rosaries and submit them to your local SSPX chapel or Mass center. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be an attendee of an SSPX Mass center to pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but for the sake of the mass rosaries please make a submission anyway of all the rosaries you and your family have said over the past year. More and more the events of our days indicate that this is not only our best recourse, but also our last recourse to counter the troubles we are witnessing.
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.