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Hurricane Sandy - Aftermath on our farm.

Hurricane Sandy - Aftermath on our farm.

We survived Hurricane Sandy without too much damage.  The worst thing was the outer covers on our bee hives were blown off.  That's very bad. I wish I had thought to put a weight on top of the hives.  The bees seem ok but a little sluggish perhaps.  I kept the chickens closed in so they wouldn't be hurt and overall the soil erosion was not that bad.  We lost power for about 8 hours but we have a standby generator!

Heritage wheat - Part 3

My heritage wheat has germinated beautifully!  Several plants actually have two small stalks emerging from one seed. This is typical of the way grass grows but it's also good news for me since every stalk that grows will produce a head of grain.  I've read that particularly with emmer as many as 40 stalks can grow out of one seed!  Wow!  I'm going to leave the remay cloth on for a little longer because I want the seedlings to be protected from cold as long as possible and I also dont' want any crows to pull them up!  It's late October so pretty soon we will get a good hard freeze and they will go dormant for the winter. 

It's apple sauce time again!

It's apple sauce time again!

Apple season is in full swing and so we are in high apple sauce production!  We picked 3 pecks from Randall Orchards in Standish.  Here is a link to their Facebook Page.  I did this last year on this blog and if you'd like to see the video series where I did my own step by step apple sauce instructions CLICK HERE!  The only difference this year is that instead of sugar we used about 1 cup of honey per 10-12 pounds of apples and the result was nothing short of fantastic!  Try it!  All told we processed 11 pints and 4 quarts of apple sauce.  Ideally I'd like more but for now that will have to last us!  For the quarts it really helps to use wide mouth canning jars since the sauce can be sort of hard to remove from a standard quart jar.  Happy canning!

Bees - Drones kicked out!

Bees - Drones kicked out!

It's late fall and therefore time for the drones to leave the hive.  They have lived out their sole purpose which is to mate with the queen and so the worker bees are kicking them out of the hive.  It seems cruel but it is the way of things when it comes to bee culture.  It is part of their life cycle.  I noticed several dead drones and one that was still alive so I brought a few inside to look at.  Drones are easy to spot because they are larger than worker bees and have large eyes. 

Heritage wheat - Part 2

Heritage wheat - Part 2

My heritage wheat is planted!  We chose two raised beds for the site.  We weeded and added compost and then made rows.  I planted both varieties, emmer and banatka, in rows that are 12 inches apart and then 12 inches between seeds in the row.  So essentially this is 12 inch spacing.  After planting I covered the beds with remay cloth to prevent birds from digging up the seeds.  I will wait until the seeds germinate and then I'll remove the remay.  I'll be curious to see how much growth happens before they die back for the winter.

Women's Fitness Studio & Spa-Fall 2012 Les Mills Launch

Women's Fitness Studio & Spa-Fall 2012 Les Mills Launch

The Fall 2012 Les Mills Launch begins Friday, October 5th through Monday, October, 8th.  To ensure a spot in your favorite class during the launch, you can donate $5 and receive VIP treament, which includes a special VIP gift.  All proceeds will go towards the Annual Making Strides Walk Against Breast Cancer 2012.  For more information about registration, please call or email the club. 

Harvest time in our big garden! 2012

Harvest time in our big garden!  2012

Well it's harvest time in our large garden and we are in high production!  We're harvesting potatoes, which is always fun.  Harvesting potatoes is like going on a treasure hunt.  You know where to dig but you have no idea what you're going to find!  Soon these lovely yellow and white orbs begin poking through the earth and it's like finding gold!  We've also harvested lots of tomatoes and we are canning them like crazy, over 30 quarts so far!  I did a video on canning tomatoes last year so if you'd like to see it CLICK HERE!