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Whew! What a few weeks, ending 7/8/18

Wowza! It's been a busy few weeks, we have been working hard outside and waiting to catch up on the blog. That just means you now will have lots more photos in this blog post, lucky you!

Every summer I feel like the gardens just don't grow. At all. And that's why I take photos. Our gardens have really picked up steam, and I am hoping we'll be able to enjoy the harvest by the end of the month. Our green beans and vine plants are growing well, and the beets and rutabaga are coming up nicely. I'm still waiting on carrots to peek out, but I might need to replant.

Growing green beans and borage!

A great friend came over and helped to weed the garlic patch. It looks great! In a few weeks we'll be harvesting garlic, and in a few more weeks we'll be enjoying fresh garlic. Yum!

A nicely weeded garlic patch.

We also had some fun checking the honeybees and doing a walkaway split. We are trying this type of split for the first time, but it should help us to expand our hives as well as have a better chance of overwintering our hives. We were very nervous to do this, but hopefully we will have good luck.

Checking the bees and the brood frames. Looking good!

The key to doing a walkaway split is to find the queen bee. Can you find her?

We also had to do some maintenance on our hives, as the grass had grown quite tall. There's nothing like wearing a beekeeping suit and weed-whipping around bee hives when the temps are in the mid-90's and it's very humid. We're glad this doesn't have to happen very often!

Weed whipping in a bee suit when it's steaming hot. Does it get any better?

A nice frame of brood. Can you see the larva in some of the holes?

Three hives full of bees. A beautiful sight indeed.

These past few weeks we also have experimented with putting baggies on some of our apples. The baggies are supposed to keep diseases and pests away from the apples. Since some of our trees are extremely tall, we put baggies on the apples we could reach (the low-hanging fruit, if you will) and we'll compare them to the high apples during harvest. To put a baggie on an apple, simply take a zippered sandwich bag, zip it on either side of the apple, staple the zipper part on either side, and cut a corner off for drainage.

Zestar apple before the baggie

Zestar apple after the baggie.

Zestar apple drain corner.

The vine garden is coming along nicely. We added more paper mulch to allow for the vines to run on a nice surface, not in a weedy bed. Now the vines just have to get out that far! Grow vines, grow!

Rueben and Rusty help weigh down the paper mulch. They are doing a good job!

The chickens "helping" us spread mulch around in the vine garden.

Growing tomatoes and peppers. Come on, plants! Grow, grow, grow!

Stay tuned for more updates and more garden photos. We really just need some rain (it's been awhile) and the plants need to show us their stuff.

Have a great week!

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