Hunny-Bunny Farm This Week
As promised I’m dedicating this week’s article to proactive and positive efforts here at Hunny-Bunny Farm. The first order of business was to harvest, extract, and bottle this year’s honey. Let me start by saying that despite buying all new packages of honeybees this spring, only one hive remains strong enough to make it through the upcoming winter. The next living hive recently and suddenly weakened for no apparent reason. The other three of the five hives died over the winter with the likely cause being the Colony Collapse Disorder, commonly known as, CCD. I left whatever honey was produced by the weakened hive to the bees. Additionally, I will begin feeding both remaining hives a sugar solution beginning next week and running through approximately Christmas.
Of the honey gathered from the strong hive I estimate that I will have less than twenty pounds, or approximately about one case each of pint size and quart size canning jars. The honey was harvested and extracted but the bottling requires settlement into the collection tank through gravity which takes several days. I may be able to bottle today if settlement is complete if not by early next week.
We also harvested tons and tons of peaches of various varieties and put some away in the freezer, as well as, made some delicious smoothies for immediate consumption Additionally, I’ve made a desert wine by soaking some of the peaches in wine, which will be ready in about 6 weeks. We also have a bumper crop of apples and pears which are about ready for harvesting and will make some great pies, sauce, and other delicacies within the next week. It is amazing the abundance and variety of fruit produced this season and not just here on Hunny-Bunny but region wide. In my experience I’ve seen the fickleness of nature. Despite the efforts or lack thereof of man, nature will cyclically have seasons of plenty and seasons of want. Man’s attempts to enhance production are marginal at best and have only a small effect, at least if you try to stay natural and / or organic, without resorting to commercial chemicals.
In the vegetable garden little did well, the cabbage had only small heads not even enough to make a decent batch of sauerkraut. Beans were late in coming and only enough for seed saving for next year. The Swiss chard did very well, as did the cucumbers the broccoli initially yielded well but some critter, though unseen, had raided them as well as the kale. My neighbor whose garden is less than 50 feet from mine reported seeing a ground hog though I never did. The damage to the kale and broccoli was consistent with ground hog predation. It seems even critters are cyclical in that we’ve not seen a ground hog in about 7 years. This coincides with the lack of predators not seen this year. Coyotes and Bobcats were scarce as hen’s teeth, so this could explain the proliferation of garden raiding pests like ground hogs, chipmunks, and rabbits. With the relative lack of garden production this week the hens were turned into the garden to clean up the weeds and glean whatever vegetable leftovers they can; and were they ever happy about this.
So the only thing left to harvest are the potatoes in the alternate garden, as well as, some of the herbs.
Speaking of herbs we have to bring in one or two of the more sensitive species to the green house, which over the past weeks has been readied for them as well as some other plants from the deck and pool. The heater, a Mister Heater® duel tank, is working like a charm. For a spot heater it has been consistently working all this past winter and with some minor cleaning and dusting started right up. It works better than the propane heaters designed for long term heating. Clearly, it is a matter of workmanship and a tribute to Mr. Heaters® design and manufacture.
Finally, we are also gathering up the rounds of the Norway maple shade tree we recently cut down. It will provide about 2.5 cords of wood when stacked and split for the 2017 heating season. This is a time consuming job and requires a yeoman’s effort to gather, heft, load, transport and stack. It’s amazing how firewood has gotten more dense and heavy over the years. Let’s blame it on the politically correct climate change and not my growing older…☺.
Overall this past summer seems to have passed very quickly and now the harvest season is passing so as well. That said, we will soon be ready for another winter season and we will then, once again, be as snug as a bug in a rug, until we come out of hibernation in February and March of 2016.
So it goes without saying that daily news brings more and more reason why we must redouble our efforts to pray the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. While roles are seemingly reversed and it is Russia who now stands against the NWO, it is their errors, as Our Lady of Fatima forewarned, that have spread to the West. Therefore, it is still more than ever most important that Russian be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.