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This week on the farm, ending 5/6/18

We must start with an ode to another week of pretty wonderful weather! Can you believe that a mere three weeks ago we were in a blizzard warning and were being pummeled with heavy snow and wind? We are so grateful for the warm sunshine, light wind and showers/thunderstorms. Our lawn has greened up so well in the last week that it might be time to break out the mower.

It seems like every spring is highly anticipated, yet completely overwhelming once it stays for good. We only have about 2-3 weeks of getting things cleaned up (I'm talking landscape/garden areas) before the weeds get too high and the real battle begins. We are continuously improving on previous years in the hope of "catching up" (whatever that means) in terms of property maintenance. If any of you have found the secret, please share!

This week included such "catch up" activities as cutting up a tree that was felled last fall and general farm clean-up. The tree had been losing bark for a few years, so we knew it was a good time to take it down. The wood is very nice and will make for some great fires.

Cutting up the tree felled last fall

We also checked on our hives to make sure the queen was out of her cage. When you receive a package of bees, the queen is in her own little cage with nurse bees that take care of her. The cage is used to keep the queen safe and to get the rest of the bees in the package used to the queen's smell, so they will recognize her and follow her orders. Part of the process of "hiving" the package of bees is to poke a small hole in the candy that separates the queen from the rest of the bees, so the bees can eat their way to the queen and she can escape into the hive and start laying brood eggs. All of our queen cages are empty, so we know there are some busy ladies out there!

Checking the hives to make sure the queens are out of their cages

The rhubarb and garlic are coming up nicely, and we look forward to getting some cooler weather crops into the ground, including greens, radishes, beets, peas and broccoli. Hopefully next week we'll discuss this (hopefully) accomplished item. Have a farmiful week!

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