Sunday, September 25, 2011

Feeding the Bees, and Making Salsa with Help in the Garden

The first of our pumpkins and squash.
With the first day of Fall this week, it's time to harvest and start thinking about the coming cooler weather. I've been reading a lot about honey bees these days, and I learned it was time to check the honey in the hives. Bees make honey for food to survive the winter, but if they have enough, we can harvest some for ourselves.

The other day, we opened up the hives to check on the girls and see what was going on in there. While we did get to see one of the queens, mainly what we found was a not a lot of honey. It looks like they have been focusing on increasing thier populations and so have not packed away much food stores. This is a problem since they will need the honey for the winter, so I now have to feed the bees.
Generally from the frost until the bloom, I'll be feeding the bees a syrup of sugar water so they can make honey and survive the winter. Old honey works well too though. I had some old honey comb sitting in a bowl from when we vacumed the bees out of the house, so I decided to feed them that in the mean time. The bees went nuts for the honey, as you can see, and had all that old comb cleaned up in a few hours. Now the comb is clean wax that I can melt down for another project.
Salsa Time! Whitney's tomatoes, peppers and onions all did pretty well this year. While this is only some of the harvest, this bunch will be enough to make several gallons of salsa that we'll can and use throughout the year.
Our garden did well this year,  but we did add some Jalapeno peppers and cilantro that were grown locally.
Since canning cooks the salsa, this first jar of fresh salsa went to a Griz game party and was a real hit (though, sadly the Griz lost). The rest of it will get canned and put away to be enjoyed later.

While we were at work in the kitchen, the chickens were also at work in the garden. My corn as you can see didn't amount to much, the potato bed is turned under, and the peas and herbs in the far bed are dead or gone to seed. So, we decided to give that part of the garden to the chickens for a while. I put temporary fencing up to keep them where we wanted them, and then turned them loose. The hens were in heaven and clucking happily as they explored this new area. They especially liked getting into the pea trellises and over grown cilantro and basil.

That's all for now.  KJ

1 comment:

Alyssa said...

How did the happiest peas in Plains turn out? That trellis is pretty awesome. ;)