Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My latest adventure

Looks like I might be buying a farm! Well - it isn't a farm yet but it will be when I'm through with it. 5+ flat acres, 2 mobile homes, a pond with cat fish and blue gill, 2 tractors, a chicken coop, a bunch of fruit, nut and olive trees, cows as neighbors out in the middle of nowhere. The town has a population of 585 people and from what I saw consists of a mini-mart sized grocery store, a bakery, a feed store and an elementary school. Yikes! I'm excited and scared at the same time.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bee and garden update

We finally went into the hives this past weekend - everything looks good but I decided to wait a few more weeks to add the second super. One hive had a ton of honey already - the frames were hard to hold up. We removed the inner lid and added a screened lid to give them more ventilation during the hot months. The pictures above are the bees cleaning off the honey from the inner lid we removed - It is all cleaned off now ready to store until the fall.
Our veggie garden is going well too. Besides what we intentionally planted we have plants popping up all over the property that must be from seeds last year. The top photo is our compost pile - it has several types of veggies growing in it and the bottom one is next to the bee hives pumpkins (I think) just growing through the base rock we put down this winter and we have tomatoes starting all over the property. There is one type of gardening that is based on the concept of let it reseed it self. I can see how that would work

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New bees

So we decided to try bees again although I failed the last two years. The pictures above are two different hives We got two swarms from a man I met in my bee class a couple of years ago. Swarms are suppose to be stronger than packaged bees. They seem pretty happy so far and have been very busy flying in and out of the hive and I noticed a lot of pollan on their legs on the returning bees. - more later :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Solar Class

I'm taking a Solar Design class which is harder and taking more of my time than I expected but I am learning a lot and hope it will help me find a job if I need one - hopefully I don't but you just never know these days.

Last Saturday we installed a Solar system on a pretend roof. I forgot my camera but my classmate Bill emailed me some photos so I can post them here. (thanks Bill) Luckily the roof is at ground level so I don't have to worry about heights. Installing the Solar Panels was easier than I thought it would be. The live electricity part still scares me. The system was 8 modules in series and put out 1.4KW of power. I actually enjoyed this lab.
We got our last quiz back last night and I only got 72% right - I'm not use to doing so bad :( I spent hours last week studying and memorizing all the mathmatical formulas and the quiz last night didn't even have any questions on those. I'm not really sure what to study for this class - there is so much material and what I think is most imporatant hasn't been on the quizes. In the end I think it will be on the certification test so I'm probably not wasting my time at least. Can I live with a bad grade for the class??? Will anyone ever look at my transcripts??? I doubt it.
Ok - so I'm afraid of heights and afraid of getting electricuted so why am I in this class??? Well - I'm hoping that I can get a nice desk job somewhere or maybe a Project Management job at a large enough company where I won't have to do the heavy work. PG&E is at the top of my list right now.
On another note I'm dropping off 2 beehives at a friend's house on Sunday who collects swarms in Santa Clara. Once he gets a couple I will go pick the hives up and bring them home. Keep your fingers crossed that they stick around.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Heaven's Gate

Johnnie built fencing all around our minifarm to keep the aniamls in or out so to speak. Here is the front gate between our driveway and our house. We keep it locked and people have to ring a bell (hopefuylly we hear it) to get in. There are also 5 stars on the gate which symbolize the 5 pets we had when we bought the house. Only 2 of them are still a live now which makes me realize how quickly we've lost so many pets but I suppose that is what happens when they are close in age.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Our yard was nothing but weeds when we first moved it. (See picture 1) There was an old shed that inhabited by mice. I pulled all the weeds by hand (See picture 2) but soon after a new set grew in their place. (see picture3). Knowing what I know now I would have left the weeds and tilled them into the soil. We will get weeds but not nearly as many - and yes I still pull them by hand. All of these areas are now covered with raised planted bed for veggies, the old shed is gone and there is a wood fence around the property.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Here I am with some winter veggies. Radishes grown in fall and spring - they like fairly cold weather, Cauliflower and broccoli are winter crops that we LOVE. Beets like cold weather but we aren't wild about them. We haven't quiet learned to like kale or Swiss chard either but I think we might try that again next year. If anyone has good recipes for those let me know.