Friday, May 29, 2009

Bees in our bonnet (and not just figuratively)

Last sunday molly and i made a trip out to Knapp, WI for a little beekeeping with a doctor who is a client of hers. She was nice enough to connect me with him since she knew of my interest in bees. He was a very interesting knowledgeable guy. He has 5 hives and was transferring some of the bees to a new hive the day we were there. I enjoyed seeing the hives in person since the class i took didn't have any live bees because it wasn't the right season.

Minneapolis has actually passed the beekeeping ordinace recently, but i still think i will wait until retirement to take on this hobby.

Hives boxes.

The wire thing is a queen extruder, it keeps her out of the honey boxes (known as supers) and down in the area where the brood is (young bees). The honeycomb-looking stuff on top is called
Propolis. It is more an annoyance to beekeepers because the bees create it everywhere and then beekeepers just remove it and try to keep it under control. Propolis is popular in Asia and at health foods stores. It apparently helps with burns, improves the immune system and helps with worn healing. Also, it is used in comestic products.

There were only 2 bee hoods so Molly stood off away a bit more and a bee stung her. Only downside of the trip there was that we came home covered in ticks. I am fairly certain they were all wood ticks (deer ticks carry the diseases), but still it was not a very pleasant experience. Just when you think you have found all of them... you find another. Makes for a paranoid night of sleeping.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Marie Antoinette our new hen!

She's a rhode island red, lays brown eggs, about 1 year old, appears to have a nice disposition, is an Aries, enjoys holding hands and long walks on the beach.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Photoshop photo merge before and afters!

Here's one of the north side. Not quite sure why it didn't mix in with the other ones.

Here's our raised bed veggie garden. I haven't done much vegetable gardening in the past so this year will be a lot of trial and error. We have onions, broccoli, lot of herbs, many varieties of tomatoes (including heirlooms), tons of peppers, 4 different varieties of lettuce and some green beans. I have set my expectations kind of low and we'll just see what happens... keep you posted.

The gates are the last thing to be done. We kind of anticipate that they will take a while since we have to design and execute them ourselves. We will have three gates all told.

As you can see, all the new plants are pretty small. We planted about 225 perennials total, which we got from the Friends School plant sale a few weeks ago. The plants were a lot less expensive because are smaller, which is fine because had we paid full price it might have bankrupted us. We will just have to be patient over the next few years and eventually it will all fill in.

Kind of working with a blank slate here. We don't have a overhead 'before' because i got that idea late in the game. You get the gist of what we were dealing with though.

So the garage looks like it leans a bit in this picture, but that's just the way photoshop had to make it to merge it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dare we say nearly complete?

24 hours in their new coop, Camilla is the only hen who has figured out how to walk up the ramp into the hen house on her own accord. We just have some final perches to add and the coop is 100% done.

The finished product.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Landscaping sneak peak

The backyard is taking shape. We have literally hundreds of plants for the gardens that surround the new sod circle and the raised garden bed we built. The new chicken coop (upper left) is far from complete. But it is framed, sealed, and level! Two paver walkways are also in (only one in view). Half way into the project we're pretty happy. We'll post some before and after shots once we plant and get the fence in.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Christina and I watched King Corn recently. It was a documentary about corn, similar to the theme of the book (and later movie) Fast Food Nation. Relatedly, the link of the month is Fast Food News. It tracks the latest news on the food, chains, industry and trends of all thing related to fast food. There are some real gems on here.