Hunny-Bunny Happenings for September 18, 2014
The days are getting shorter and temperatures are falling as we head into the final stretch of summer. The result around Hunny-Bunny Farm is a flurry of preparation in anticipation of winter. Last week at the Farm efforts continued with the trimming of many plants in window boxes and planters which are intended to winter over in the greenhouse. Continuing in that mode the sensitive garden herbs, such as bay, lemon verbena, tarragon, rosemary, etc. will also be trimmed and transplanted still this week. As regards the gardens themselves it seems that we had some great produce this season, but as I was involved in major projects here at the homestead this summer and my little helpers, the grandkids, who love to harvest the plants were not around at the key moments for prime production, and so, much of the production was left on the branch and vine. Beans, squash, and oriental eggplant were left, as well as cucumbers, tomatoes and other garden produce. Well it figures, the one year we have a super abundance of fruit and vegetables… harvesting time was at a premium. All is not lost, however, as I will still pick the best of the best produce for seed saving for next year. Meantime, this week I also fed the greenhouse plants with a fish-formula food and a bit of the product known as Thrive®. Initially, this feeding will be once a month declining to about once every 6 -7 weeks. This will help the plants maintain their strength over the winter. Beginning in late February the feedings will gradually increase to every 4 weeks once again until spring 2015.
In the apiary, next week I will take whatever honey the honeybees have made for me. I will of course, leave them adequate stores to help them winter-over; and in addition I will winterize the hive for the upcoming season. This is essentially placing a insulation board in the hive top, that is, the outer cover. This insulation board has a small hole in the center with a small tunnel leading to the outer edge. This will allow the moisture that is generated by the bees to escape to avoid condensation on the hive cover and the subsequent dripping back onto the bees below. Of all the causes of winter loss this is the most frequent cause and the most easily resolved with adequate ventilation of moisture laden air. This will complete the honeybee yearly cycle and effectively put the honeybees to bed for the winter; now, all that remains to be seen is how much honey the gals produced for my consumption.
Meanwhile back in the rabbitry, I once again mated my doe, (Anna) with my buck, (L’il Mac) to finalize my own strain of Florida White rabbits. The readership may recall that about six weeks ago, her last kindling was disastrous with all the kits dying, including one kit that survived the initial 24 hours and was nursed by me in an effort to stave off death. Nothing can compensate for motherly care and the effort failed. Additionally, Anna hemorrhaged excessively and needed TLC to come back to strength. Hopefully, this will be a successful mating and the beginnings of Hunny-Bunny Florida whites will be well on the way.
Meantime, back in the garage, I took advantage of the fine weather to recondition my workbench. The bench tops which, due to lack of funds at the time, were made from painted particle board had given up the ghost. The tops were warped, flaking, and its strength and support very precarious. I replaced this well used surface with ¾ “ 2 x 4 panels, which I painted with 4 coats of a high gloss latex paint. In addition, I also painted the 2 x 4 stud supporting structure and the backsplash. I then organized my tools on the pegboard in order of the most used items being readily at hand. To this workspace I enhanced our old dining room table to serve as a project area holding my power tools such as the router table and the miter saw. To this I added wheels to facilitate easy moving throughout the garage to accommodate my needs for working room. However, the main purpose of re-working the garage configuration was to accommodate room for the car. With the empty nest comes the increased space for storage, that is, once the kids have removed all their things. Now with all things removed, we can plan better and part of that includes parking the car in the garage for winter; so half of the two car garage will be my workshop and bee equipment storage and the other will be, as designed, a parking area. In the above pics you will notice that a statue of St. Joseph the Worker is front and center… what better place than a workshop for this patron of workers. Additionally, you will notice a sign above the window for a landscaping business I owned back-in-the-day, (Clean and Green Lawn Service). Of course, that was back in the early 1980’s before the illegals took over the industry and competition was more just and on an equal footing.
In summary, winter preps are winding down quickly. With a coal delivery coming next Tuesday, and the set up and transfer of the fire wood racks and wood from the rear of the farm to the front yard, all will be in readiness. A quick cleanup of the coal stove and repair of any stovepipe connections and we will be as snug as a bug in a rug this winter. The propane heater in the greenhouse is now working as it aught and all is, or will be by end next week, in readiness. So let it snow… let it snow… let it snow.
Meantime, please continue to pray the Rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart. Our Lord’s Church is being battered from all sides and its unity is clearly under assault. The last recourse to alleviate this situation is the Consecration.
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.