Saturday, September 17, 2005

Meanwhile, Back on the Farm....

The melons are ripe, and over ripe. I'm going to try making watermelon jelly and maybe jam. The cantaloupe jam turned out great! Everybody loves it: Smooth and sweet with a completely different taste that makes you wonder about what went into it. Cantaloupe wouldn't occur to you, unless you knew.

GT got wonderful grades on her mid terms!! Woweee! 24/7 studying really paid off. She celebrated with an afternoon at the beach. She's still sickly with the croup, though. I'm a great believer in the healing power of a med rare steak: lots of B vitamins.

I clean picked limas & green beans, so will be able to pick fresher beans in a couple of days. Still have tomatoes, & they are smaller, sweeter and dryer than earlier.

Started feeding the bees, too. Thanks to BC for helping me get them reorganized for the winter. I have 24 hives, now, but too many are down to 3 frames, awfully weak. The drought (4 weeks) has shut down the Russian queen's laying. They keep smaller clusters through the winter, but the feed will revitalize them and get the queens laying the longer lived winter bees. No mites!!!! We didn't see mites or any evidence of them. Good genetics. I'm taking a risk, but I'm not treating them for mites this fall. I may be down to very few hives come spring. I'll use powdered sugar on them on one of the warm days in the winter when they're without brood and that will cause the mites on the bees to drop off. It makes them unable to hold onto the bees & makes the bees groom themselves and dislodge the mites.

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