Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

So much going on around the property and keeping us very busy, but it's been worth every ache to see the results. After thirteen months we've got a yard that's starting to look good and work for us, a dog, and bees. Not to mention the developments on the house itself. So much needs to still be unpacked and organized, and I think I need to buy stock in shelving. 

My daughter did a quick inspection of the bees. The ladies seem to be surviving well, and in another few days she will check them more closely to see if she can spot the queen, and check on egg production. Weather has kept her from looking.

She did have time to notice that there was honey production, and when she sits to watch them come and go, she sees pollen pants. We are hoping to see a little more activity as warmer temperatures move in.

Hunter is trying to learn to be outside on his own. It's going to be a challenge, but he'll get there. He loves being outside, I have nick named him the Tasmanian devil. 

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All I do is turn my back on him for a couple of seconds and he runs off with whatever he can steal. He keeps my busy.

My seedlings have been hardening off and I'm slowly getting things planted. These are mostly perennial flowers for the pollination garden, tomatoes, peppers, bunch onions and shallots.

I continue to dig out plants from around the yard to replant around the bees. I transplanted a rose bush, found even more chives,  spider wort, and more hosta. It's a work in progress, but so far it's cost only physical labor and a couple packages of seeds.

The plants are beginning to take well and are growing better than I expected. Can't wait to get more done this coming weekend and watch it bloom through summer. 

The compost bin is moving right along too. We've come a long way learning the composting process. It's ready for another good toss now that we've cleaned up some leaves.

Turning to the growth on the inside, she has added this beauty to the kitchen. It's smaller and gives us room now to be comfortable and it's in almost pristine condition. True vintage, and come this fall we will get back to adding color to walls. 

And finally I found a few moments to play with the succulents that have been growing around the house, and replanted my old steamer. Unfortunately last years plants didn't winter well and I had to start over. These are plants that were gifts and babies that we were able to collect. It's in the sun and already growing. Relaxation at it's finest. That's what's been happening in the last couple of weeks here at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by to visit and have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

The Town House Homestead now has it's first colony of bees. What an experience so far. Getting  a garden tilled, putting plants in, painting boxes, and then the trip to get them.

It was a one hour drive south of home to pick them up. You enter a driveway in your car, are given a tag with your order on it, drive up and they load a nuc, or many in your vehicle. Drive through bees. 

This is one colony of bees in the trunk of my daughter's car. On the one hour trip back we had one lose bee, but she may have entered when we had the windows open to do business. The process took less than fifteen minutes. 

When we arrived back home my daughter carried the nuc to the back yard and set it on top of the hive box and pulled the plug allowing them to come and go. It's been a week of very wet and cold weather, so she had to watch the weather to get them homed.

Fortunately we got a break between storms and the transfer was made. They were not happy, but did a great job settling in.

I was only brave enough to stand with the dog in the pen to take pictures, but fearless daughter got the five frames moved.

She added the cover and got them protected as quickly as possible. The next move would be to get them some food since it's been rainy and cold and they are not coming out to forage.

She temporarily added a jar of sugar water to the outside and left the empty transport box next to the hive box so any stragglers could find their way to the hive.

A few ladies here were discussing their plans to move. The next evening they were gone so they may have found their way in.

It was a great relief knowing they were in and it's been a long week waiting for the bad weather to stop, but yesterday a few started venturing out and looking around.

Since the initial transfer she has added a second box containing sugar water so they had something on the inside and could stay dry and hopefully warm. It's going to be warmer today and maybe a bit sunnier so I may see more activity. I didn't get as much of the garden around them planted as I wanted, but when they develop their flight path I can try and work around them. I'm an anxious gardener and I want to see it grown in quickly. 

Blossoms are starting to pop out around the yard. These are apple blossoms on a very sick tree that will need to come down, but for this spring we are going to leave it.

Hunter needed a bath. It's been nothing but mud here and he enjoys digging in it. He also thought that the dead bees around the hive were yummy, started licking the robber screen and chewing the corner, so today he goes out on a tether. Poor guy, but he was lucky no guard bees came out before I was able to call him away. He's developing well. In four weeks he's doubled in size. His first weigh in had him at six pounds two ounces, but last night he weighed in at twelve pounds six ounces. I think he's going to be a good addition to the homestead. In another month we'll start obedience classes. Until then he has to keep learning from us, but he is getting better every day. That's what's been happening at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I wish everyone a great week.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

Well let me update you about this little guy. Hunter is now three months old and quite a handful. It looks like he's imprisoned here, but he actually is quite comfortable with the crate and pen. Hunter has tripled in size and we'll have a weigh in at the vets on Friday. The bet is he's gained at least three pounds, but I think more. He has a wonderful appetite. Hunter is learning and trying and boy does he love to be outside. He will just sit in the pouring rain and watch what appears to us to be nothing, but I'm sure there's something. I am changing and growing with him and for the first month we had him, every day I wanted to find him a new home. Don't tell my daughter, but I think Hunter is staying.

I broke down this month and bought new tools. I drive, but I don't own a vehicle to get to garage sales and estate sales to find things used, so one trip to the home store and it was done and we have the additional things we needed. I looked at my purchases and wondered how we made it through the first year without them.

I got started on some planting in the pollination garden. The bees will be ready tomorrow evening and there's so much more to do. Yesterday, in the pouring rain, Emily and I were out digging in the mud trying to get things planted. This is because we don't want to disturb the bees while they are getting themselves oriented to the new surroundings. We can work to the sides and back  more easily than in the front of the hive. I can't wait for it to grow in so it doesn't look so shaggy. 

This is last night just after the torrential downpours. At least you can see the plants. Behind the bench is a row of St. Johns Wart and under the bench are variegated Hostas and Lilly of the valley. Also planted is lavender, bee balm, butterfly milkweed, and Calendula. 

This morning before the rain and while Hunter was in the crate, I went around the yard and thinned some Shasta daisies, black eyed Susan's, echinacia, and found a full pot of hyacinth bulbs that were just in odds and ends spots from last years tilling. A few new things appeared this year and we are just waiting to see what they are. I still have to move some iris, daffodil, and tulip bulbs. We are shopping our property first to save money. We can always change things as we grow.

This was the sunset after one of the wettest days we've had this spring. We were exhausted, but took a few minutes to enjoy it and the work we've been getting done. So, for this week that's what's been happening at the new Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and have a wonderful week.