Saturday, July 31, 2010

Garlic Harvest

Lydia, Ella, Nate and Nancy



Last week we harvested our garlic with the help of two nieces and a nephew. Its now hanging in our sugar shack to dry.

Over the years we've slowly honed in how much we need to plant for a years worth of garlic plus enough to plant next years crop. We've been replanting from our own stock for 6 or 7 years now. I can't remember the last time we actually bought garlic.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Migratory Beekeepers

The hives loaded up in Jeremy's truck ready to make the trip through town to their new spot at Kingsbury Farm

The hives at their new home

Nance watching the bees


First the good news:

We were invited by our pal Aaron at Kingsbury Farm to move some of our bees down to the farm to help with pollination. I said yes right off the bat because on some level this just feels exciting to me; we've been keeping bees for roughly 5 years now and having hives in more then one location feels like an interesting step. I'll be curious to see if a different location affects the honey catch at all. I also like the idea of having a couple of hives at a semi-public location where there might be opportunities for workshops and that sort of thing. Its fun to share our enthusiasm for beekeeping with others.

We brought two hives down to the farm early Sunday morning and decided to change the location a bit from what we had agreed with Aaron a day or two before. The spot we picked seemed to still be out of the way but was better because it wasn't under the barn roof overhang and it got better morning light. I called Aaron after we got home to mention the new spot in case it was problematic for him.

The hiccup:

The new spot is not good for a few reasons, so we are going to have to move the hives to a new spot. This might not seem like a big deal, but you can't just move a hive from one spot to another unless the new location is at least 2 miles away. If you move the hive a short distance the bees will all go back to where the hive was before being moved.

We have to meet with Aaron again and work out a new spot. That shouldn't be too hard, but the challenge will be how do we move the bees. My thought it to bring two new hives from our place down and bring the hives currently at the farm back home. Nance is in favor of doing the incremental move where you move the hive very small distances each day until the hive is in its new location. We'll have to resolve this quandary soon.

Despite this initial hiccup, I'm really excited about branching out from our beekeeping status quo. I have hopes that one day we'll produce enough honey that we could start selling it locally. I think that would be really fun.

Update:

Turns out we'll be able to keep the bees where they are for the rest of the season and then we'll relocate them to a better position next year when we bring them back again.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Velo et Vin


The cupboard of a friend's grandmother's house is lined inside the doors with countless wine labels going back to the 1940's, presumably commemorating many an enjoyable evening of food, wine and friends.

Inspired by her cupboard I decided that I'd start a version of this myself but with a twist. Being --as you know-- a fan of bicycles, I thought I'd make a point of collecting wine labels with bicycle imagery. I'm not sure, but it seems that bicycle-themed wine labels have been a bit of a trend in the last few years, but the truth is I have no idea. I think its one of those things where when you start looking for something you start seeing all over the place.

Nancy and I had Cycles Gladiator as one of the wines served at our wedding. As someone said, what could be better then flying naked redheads and bicycles? In fact it was on our honeymoon in Quebec that I acquired the Nicolas Laloux label, while I first saw but did not acquire the Penny Farthing bottle up in Sherbrooke while out for dinner. I wanted to ask the waiter if they could grab it from the recycling but shied away from doing so. Not too long after I found it again.

So, if you come across a bike related wine (or beer for that matter) let me know about it, I'd love to add to my collection. What's out there that I've missed?