Sunday, November 05, 2006

Winter it is...

Now that winter is upon us I hope to start keeping you all informed of the joys of the farm life.
We're all battened down for winter, with a full woodpile, and equipment winterized. The upper garden has been manured, plowed, disked heavily, and sown to greens, turnips and rutabagas. CC's Grandfather says we planted 5 acres of seed in a quarter acre. We'll see. We did plant late, but with the winter coming later and being milder I am pleased that the seed has germinated and seems to be doing well.
The bees are mostly bedded down too, though I still have to put pollen patties into the garden bees and about four of the driveway bee hives. I'm feeding straight corn syrup now to allow them to put it into the comb and cap it off. They probably will take wax from other parts of the hive to use, since it's too cold to secrete it.
The bee inspector came a couple weeks ago and we looked at most of them. There was no indication that there was nectar coming in from the asters. I put in pollen patties and fed this last week, but found that there was a huge amount of capped honey in the hives (I did all of the hives I split this summer). Evidently the asters, or something, started producing. Still not enough, and way too little pollen stored. There was no brood in all but one which had a tiny patch of eggs because they had superseded and had a new queen (black). She had laid multiple eggs in each cell, neatly on the bottom. I'd heard that new queens would do that. I wonder if they'll raise brood now that they have the pollen patties. I'm not worried about the hives I've yet to get to, since they are better provisioned than the summer splits.
High on the priority list is getting the tractor working so I can finish putting the garden to bed and get the ground ready to plant in the spring, bush-hog the CRP fields and drag up some more wood to be cut up. I love that tractor.
CC has drilled his left middle finger to the bone in a car-renovation accident. He and some buddies had cleared the time (i.e. no girls) to spend a Friday night working on one of their cars and instead had to make a trip to the hospital. He's out of commission for a while. Our tractor is currently in pieces, because he was in the last stages of doing some maintenance on it, changing out filters, fixing a relay that was iffy, etc. I bought the full set of maintenance manuals for it, and CC has been gleefully studying them and figuring out the inner workings.
Tuesday I get to see all the neighbors who come to the Polls to vote. Around here you can visit with everyone who lives in the district by being a Poll Officer. Most people hereabouts believe in voting. Well, most of the folks who've gotten serious about their lives. There are some organizations that also figure into that 'serious' category: Church, Volunteer Fire Department, Rescue Squad, Hunt Club, Rotary, Lions, etc. Once the kids have grown enough to get out of the house the serious ones gravitate toward the places where adults are available to mentor them. Grandparents, uncles and aunts have had their time, and the kids go out looking for other adults to explain the world to them.
It's common to find that kids, like CC, have learned how to work by helping their grandparents. He plans to get his education and do as his forbears: support his farming habit with a job. CC knows that without a good job, backed by that degree, he can't afford to run the farm. Wanting to be a farmer is his incentive to get his degree. Farming is an expensive hobby. You hope to raise a family and pass the land on. The farm life is its own reward. Profits and losses will, hopefully, even out.
Wednesday I get to go see the nieces in DC. They are coming down to the farm to spend the long weekend doing farm and field things. It's mushroom season and I hope to coordinate with the hunters so we can canvas the woods for mushrooms (lots of orange). My library of mushroom books is growing and I'm memorizing as fast as I can. So far I've only eaten the oyster mushrooms I've found, and have identified fairly conclusively some Amanitas to stay away from. Spore prints and photos have helped, and there is so much on the internet! Luckily it will be in the 70s for the whole visit.

1 comment:

The Schlosser's said...

Aw, have a great time with the girls! I miss you all. Love you, Angie