Feb. 5…We’re gone for two days and look what happens…Our 45 year old front yard tree decides to topple.
it yanked the post clean out of the ground.
Look at all those branches…I’m going to try out my new battery-powered pole saw.
I like this saw.
While I was looking over all the wind damaged trees, a City of Bandon ‘bucket’ truck drove by, turned around, and stopped. “Looks like you could use some help.” Kevin took care of the leaning eucalyptus tree while Mark started cutting the big one.
Thank you Mark and Kevin and the City of Bandon utility crew.
That left the bare straight part and the stump. I figured we could wait for the weekend, but my wife let it be known that it had to be removed ASAP. “The fence is open and Bailey (our old and very deaf dog) could get hit by a car.”
A rented log splitter did most of the work with the two of us wrestling the sawn rounds onto the splitting plate.
I love it when the splitter pops the ’round’ all the way through, but it doesn’t happen often enough.
Load after load gets carried away with our DR Power Wagon. It will carry 800 pounds (362 kg) of anything, but it’s fossil fueled. We want to replace it with a battery-powered version. If anyone has a suggestion, please comment. Cool hat, Sue.
That stump was stubborn, but no match for the two of us, even though we’re in our 70’s.
Carmen is going to miss her climbing tree.
Sue shows off the latest in log splitting gear.
…and her mighty stacks of firewood.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged City of Bandon, DR Power Wagon, Greenworks 40vt pole saw, Sustainable living | 14 Comments »
It might not be pretty…
…but it’s pretty effective. This is my Warré hive winter protection from high winds driving copious amounts of rain against my hive. Since October, we have gotten 66.5 inches of rainfall (1689 mm).
A look through the observation window in December shows lots of natural honey comb.
I think this bright yellow pollen is from the Hooker Willow which thrives in soggy wet soil along The Oregon Coast.
I’ve been somewhat afraid to write about my bees. They seem to be doing fine with my efforts to protect them, but I didn’t want to jinx them. This is the end of February. The Hooker Willow has started flowering and bees are returning with bright yellow pollen, so I think they will make it. Also the gorse (Ulex europeaus) is blooming as it always does in February. The video shows bees on both.
Posted in Bee Video, Bee-loving flowers, Natural Beekeeping, Sustainable living, Warre Hive | Tagged bee-loving flowers, beekeeping, bees on Oregon Coast, bumblebees, Canon SX-50, gorse, honey bees, natural beekeeping, Ulex europeaus, Warre Hive, winter protection | 13 Comments »
…and the bees love it too.
Want to grow spinach? We have been wildly unsuccessful in growing it, but guess what…steamed turnip greens taste just like spinach. It turns out they are very easy to grow and are good for you too. This was supposed to be a mixture of several cover crop seeds, Fava beans, Winter Rye, and Hairy Vetch included. It looks like the turnips took over. Uh, I might have broadcast them a little thick. My “solar-roller water pump panel” is positioned for the afternoon sun. Gotta keep the flow going. 🙂
Turnip flowers in January provide nourishment for bees in the critical winter months.
October 8…This bed was planted August 1. Turnips grow fast. Plant them thick, then you can harvest the thinnings by steaming the greens. Leave a few to go to flowers in winter.
We’ve been getting three crops a year in our raised beds. This was lettuce last winter, then kale, now turnips. In between we bury crab shell when we can get it. This being October, that resource will soon be gone.
Oct. 10…My sweetheart made a delicious turnip soup for dinner this evening. These turnips were planted in early August. They grow fast!!!
Oct. 8…just in case we haven’t planted enough turnips, here is another bed started…complete with drip water grid.
Oct. 15…Turnips are up already. The shade cloth is to protect the little darlings from the hurricane force winds and 12-18 inches (300-450mm) of rain that was forecast…didn’t happen, at least, not yet.
Turnip soup recipe
Chop an onion, saute in olive oil, add 4 to 5 cups of peeled chopped turnips, two garlic cloves (peeled and cut in half), add two teaspoons of smoked paprika, and teaspoon of thyme leaves. Cook until lightly brown, add three cups of vegetable or chicken broth, salt to taste. Bring to boil and simmer until veggies are cooked. Blend in blender, return to pan, add a cup of milk, or milk alternative.
Posted in Bee to Flower relationship, Bee Video, Bee-loving flowers, Bumblebees, Gardening, Growing flowers for bees, Macro bee video, Natural Beekeeping, Videos | Tagged bee-loving flowers, beekeeping, bees on Oregon Coast, Gardening, Gardening tips, honey bees, natural beekeeping, raised beds, turnip soup recipe | 5 Comments »
The bees have been busy and so have we. Gerard Van Duinen of La Tabú (The Hague) graciously let us use his Tango music.
Posted in Bee Video, Bee-loving flowers, Bumblebees, Butterflies, Crab spider, Macro bee video, Music video, Warre Hive, Wasps | Tagged African Blue Basil, Bee Speckled dahlia, Bees in squash blossom, Bees on hypericum, Bees on Walker's Low, Bombus vosnesenskii, California Poppy pollination, crab spider, Gazania, Gerard Van Duinen, German Wasp, Greenworks garden cultivator, Honeycomb, La Tabú, Methley Plums, Mignon dahlia, Nepeta, Phacelia, Pole beans, Red Poppy bee, Salvia Nemarosa, Swallowtail butterfly, Verbascum, Vespula Germanica, Warré Bee hive, Winter lettuce | 7 Comments »
Returning from our morning walk, my wife turns to me, “Pat, the field is looking seedy. Should we mow it?” “Yeah, let’s mow it,” I say, wondering if there’s enough gas. Hmmm, I think I’ll try the new EGO battery mower to see if it’ll work on the thicker grass. To my surprise it works well.
July 4th…Independence Day. Mowing thick grass with the EGO cordless electric mower. I’m not producing carbon emissions. I’M INDEPENDENT OF FOSSIL FUEL.
We usually mow the field with the big DR Brush cutter. It’s about 11 hp and uses quite a bit of gas, so I was very impressed that the EGO cordless mower could handle this thicker and taller grass.
Leave some “No Mow Zones” for the bees. Here’s some healsall plants and some yellow Bird’s Foot Trefoil.
I left some tall grass too, for the deer. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to feed the deer, but there are so many juicy temptations in the garden that they feasted on last year. In a way, I am thanking the deer for not jumping the new deer fence into the garden. Maybe it’s more of a distraction, but so far it works. We’ve been picking up the “June drop” apples along with the mountains of ripe plums and scattering them in an area where we can see them eat (outside the garden, of course.)
Time to recharge. I use solar power.
Solar power plug installed 1 January 2013 (into my press room) Before that, I used a long extension cord from the panels through the shop window. 🙂
My wife won’t let me trim the flowers around the solar panels, but if they start casting shadows, there’s gonna be trouble! 🙂
EGO’s 56 volt battery RULES!!!
We fill several wheelbarrow loads. What are we using the grass clippings for, you ask? For mulch in the garden. We are coming into the dry season. We’re on a shallow well, so we try to conserve on water usage. Mulch cuts down on the need for water. I scatter the lawn clippings out in the sun. I’ll turn them tomorrow morning. It only takes a couple of sunny days to dry them out enough. (I’ve learned my lesson. Years ago I used fresh lawn clippings over newly planted potatoes. I couldn’t figure out why no potatoes were growing. Pulling up the mulch, I realized the grass had burned off the sprouts.)
After letting grass clippings dry for a couple of hot days, it’s ready to go.
Mulch in squash, lettuce and bean bed.
Barrels benefit from using mulch.
Poles beans growing nicely with drip watering pvc and lots of mulch.
With the advances in battery technology, it’s exciting to be able to do more and more things without using fossil fuels. If it’s true what most scientists are saying, then our grandchildren are facing a future of mass starvation, cities underwater, and out of control wildfires. With that being a possibility, we are very willing to reduce our carbon emissions as much as possible.
July 4…Our grandchildren.
Posted in Bee to Flower relationship, Sustainable living, Uncategorized | Tagged EGO cordless mowing, organic gardening, Sustainable living, sustainable mulch | 15 Comments »
Late April, for the first time ever, I start seeing Mason bees in the Meadowfoam.
My sister is a watercolor artist. She gave me her Guidance Mandala because she knows I like bees. I realize Mason bees don’t fly too far from home, but bees need all the help they can get, so I hung it here near the Mason bee nesting blocks.
A closer look at the Guidance Mandala. When Vikki paints a mandala she never knows where it will take her. During one of our weekly phone conversations she was inspired to add a circle of bees.
I set up the nesting blocks on March 6. Then I waited a good three weeks to see any activity. The cocoons had been in the refrigerator since October. You don’t want them emerging too soon because there won’t be enough to eat (or so I have read), but I always hold my breath hoping after five months of ‘chilling,’ they will emerge.
Finally on March 28, I see a bee. This must be a male. Males have long antenna. They usually emerge first because they are laid last in the tubes (being expendable.) Predators will be able to reach them easily. 😦
I see them slowly ‘waking up.’ This could be a female. The antennae look shorter.
Rusty says one of these cans will fill up in about three days. I count the number of straws to realize there are close to 100 straws in each can. Either there are more Mason bees in her area or they like the straws in cans better. I’m gonna try this method next year. Photo reprinted with permission from Rusty Burlew.
When I first saw this wasp go into a Mason bee nesting tube I was afraid it would start digging into the tubes. I asked Steve, of “In a beekeeper’s Garden” about this. His reply, “Your wasp is or has all the markings of a vespula germanica (german wasp) which lives in all the northern hemisphere, they are a social wasp so live in nests. they are great pest controllers eating caterpillars , insects and the odd bee (usually weak ones ) they won’t break into your bee tubes :)” In the video, I watch the German Wasp patrolling my garden. I watch until the wasp decides I haven’t gotten video permission from her and chases me away. 🙂
I think this is a resting Potter Wasp. I’m not sure what it’s up to. While I was grabbing my camera it poked into the tube and then emerged for it’s camera debut.
Apples, cherries, and blueberries, all benefited from having Mason bees nearby.
Want some plums? It looks like the Mason bees have been busy. My Methley trees are loaded with plums. Here are some recipes from Glory Garden.
It’s late May…I haven’t seen any activity for awhile which probably means the Mason bees are finished pollinating for this year. The cocoons are in a very delicate stage right now. I’ll be storing them in a cool inside room to protect them from yellow jackets. In September or October, I’ll remove the tubes from the blocks to store in the frig until next March. (Maybe I’ll have some new housing by then.)
More about Mason bees
Posted in Bee to Flower relationship, Bee-loving flowers, Gardening, Natural Beekeeping, Videos | Tagged German Wasp, Mason bee nesting blocks, mason bees, natural beekeeping, nature photography, pollinators, Potter wasp, Vespula Germanica, Wild pollinators | 21 Comments »
May 18…This is the entrance. Just today Sue was able to get the path covered with wood shavings. She says, “I feel like this is a secret garden. I can’t wait to show the grand kids.”
The project involved some block work by you know who. (Note to self…never make suggestions to someone about block work unless you’re prepared to do it yourself.)
Sue has added the planters with lobelia, snap dragons from seed, and Clary Sage Salvia (also from seeds this year), hoping to attract some bees. The squash barrels contain butternut, Red Hubbard, and Sugar Pie pumpkin starts. Between the planters and the squash is the Witch Hazel which we bought a couple of years ago, but it didn’t do well in the clay pot we chose for it. We hope it comes back and blooms in winter. It’s next to an Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium).
This is the only ‘before’ photo I could find. I didn’t realize it would become a new garden at the time the deer fence was being put in. I hope I got all the roots out or I’ll be finding them in a few months. 🙂
Here’s an ‘in between’ shot, some weeding done, some still to go.
And another ‘in-between shot), block removed and waiting for sand/clay mixture to be added and tamped down.
Here is the same view as above. Sue has added the planters with lobelia, snap dragons from seed, and Clary Sage Salvia (also from seeds this year) The squash barrels contain butternut, Red Hubbard, and Sugar Pie pumpkin starts. Between the planters and the squash is the Witch Hazel which we bought a couple of years ago, but it did not do well in the clay pot we chose for it. We hope it comes back. It’s next to an Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium).
I asked Sue to sit down for a moment so I could take a photo.
The hugelkulture bed is technically in the new garden too. It’s getting planted with cosmos, marigolds, phacellia, California poppies, and more marigolds.
This is the other end of the hugelkulture bed, looking back towards the tall echium.
Some other garden scenes…
May 22…Potatoes growing well.
May 18…..My wife says it was a mistake to mulch the lettuce. It takes quite a bit of time to remove the straw when you want to eat it. In the background you can see the turnip flowers heavy with growth. This is our turnip seed source. The bees are still working it for now. For the record, these turnips, which were planted directly over crab shells last year, grew all winter.
Because of the new deer fence, I can plant pole beans for the first time in about 25 years. It’ll be fun watching the vine crawl up the bamboo poles.
Posted in Bee to Flower relationship, Bee-loving flowers, Gardening, Growing flowers for bees, Videos | Tagged bee-loving flowers, Bombus vosnesenskii, echium, Gardening, organic gardening | 11 Comments »
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