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9642 Randle Rd
Williamsport, OH, 43164

Honeyrun Farm produces pure raw, honey, handcrafted soap, and beeswax candles in Williamsport, Ohio

Blog

It hasn't been terrible

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

I’m trying to remain an optimist on this dreary evening as the rain comes down in torrents.

For us, I mean. It hasn’t been terrible for us. All in all, the bee farm has survived the spring. I can’t say as much for my poor sister, the produce farmer.

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It seems every other week, she’s suffering a new disaster.

The climate change experts are telling us to get used to it. This is the new normal, they say. (I’d call them scientists, but you know we midwesterners don’t believe in that science stuff.)

I feel for all the farmers. Big and small alike. The muddy, sweat-drenched lettuce pickers and the climate controlled, mega-acreage commodity producers.

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It’s been a tough spring for everybody. Way too much water. Almost daily I hear a news report about the plight of the midwestern farmer. There’s a lot of acreage not getting planted this year. The insurance companies will be busy.

I sometimes wonder about the economy of scale. Over the last couple decades the trend has been toward bigger farms and bigger equipment. Even if you only make a few pennies per bushel, when you manage to produce a few million bushels, you’re ok. Buy a new truck, another big tractor… pay high rent next year… But these super wet spring seasons seem to be throwing a wrench in that philosophy. If you can’t get in to plant your 10,000 acres, what good is it?

This is something I haven’t heard discussed in all the sob story news pieces. It seems to me that the smaller farmers were able to get in and get done just fine. They made good on the five or six dry planting days they had. Maybe someone should give a small farmer the microphone.

Just thinking out loud.

Flooding wasn’t the only problem this spring. When we were out bouncing around Utah, we heard about you getting nailed with tornadoes. I had a buddy from Toledo text me at 5am (Utah time) and ask if we made it. Are you ok?, he asked. Yeah man, we’re fine. Go back to sleep.

And we were fine. I called Mom and found out nothing horrible happened. She forgot to mention the big cottonwood in our backyard had snapped in two.

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But this wasn’t terrible. It gave us a multi-day bonfire, plus a newly rebuilt clothesline. Something I know my lovely wife has always wanted. (If only it happened closer to her birthday.)

Since we’ve been home, I’ve discovered that the bees were busy in the comb yards. They really took advantage of the few sunny days.

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We’ve now cut up several boxes of beautiful white spring comb. The best!

Even Mason gave it a go.

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It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you put limits on device time.

He even gave us a hand in the bottling room.

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And what about the bottling? Are we going to have any liquid spring honey this year?

Yes!

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No bumper crop by any means, but there was enough heat and enough sunshine to make some magic.

Just enough during the spring bloom.

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About a third of the hives are filled out with the delicate white honey. I learned my lesson (again) with the other two thirds— you’re splitting too hard! Something to keep in mind for next year.

We’re a week into the spring harvest, and it’s looking like it will take another two weeks to finish up. Maybe a little longer if this rain keeps coming. It’s not looking good.

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But turning to the other farmers, many of them still trying to plant, I have no room to complain. I guess it hasn’t been terrible.

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

I love it when a plan comes together.

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Remember that weekly Hannibal quote from the A-Team? (Those of you over 40.)

I really do love it. Especially when I do zero of the planning. I’m so thankful that Jayne not only loves to travel, she can also orchestrate a trip like the one we just took. We’ve been doing this for, I think, four years now. Traveling around Memorial Day. At first I thought it was a little nutty… do you realize what we do, Honey?? We’re beekeepers! It’s the height of the season! But I’m used to it by now and I’ve adjusted the schedule accordingly. Anyway, I’m usually so overwhelmed and burnt out on bees by late May, these little getaways are probably healthy for all of us. I don’t do any thinking or logistics. She handles it all.

Let me tell you about this one— Seven days, four kids, seven national parks! If you permit me, I’ll share a picture or two from each park and maybe a memory to go with it.

In chronological order:

Arches

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-Crowded! (As you can see.) But still beautiful.

-In the visitor center, we ran into an old geology professor from Wittenberg. Small world! He was surrounded by summer field studies students from Santa Barbra, CA. Talking strata, of course.

-One of the view points on the map was called The Garden of Eden. Our Eden made sure we got to that one.

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Canyonlands

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-Spectacular views! Windy!

-This park made me remember Edward Abby and the characters in The Monkey Wrench Gang. I did a lot of preaching… which nobody listened to.

Capitol Reef

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-Another awesome geology talk in the visitor center. This one given by a cute young park ranger, and lasted a full half hour because some annoying guy from Ohio kept asking questions.

-The morning we left Capitol Reef, we were greeted with the biggest, most beautiful snowflakes ever—

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Up around 9000 feet, those big flakes stopped being beautiful. 15 mph, 10% grade. This was how we spent Memorial Day.

No need for sunglasses.

No need for sunglasses.

Bryce Canyon

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-We had a nice long hike in Bryce. It was still cold, but the kids managed without too much whining.

Zion

Eden! Get away from that hippie people-hugger tree!

Eden! Get away from that hippie people-hugger tree!

-Of the seven we visited, this was my personal favorite with its massive red sandstone cliffs.

-It was crowded in the afternoon, but the next morning about daylight, I took a run up some trails. Had the place to myself.

Mesa Verde

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-Another long hike. Probably three hours. We had to get to those petroglyphs! Our kids were troopers

-Leaving Mesa Verde and traveling across beautiful southern Colorado, we had the chance to officially make this a business trip.

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Great Sand Dunes

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-For the kids, this park was the highlight of the trip. They had been here two years ago and I guess the memories were good.

-It’s just a big sandbox, but if you feel inclined, it makes for a pretty intense workout.

Ironically that day, the last of the trip, I had Dylan’s You Ain’t Going Nowhere rolling through my head. I think it came to me because of one line in particular: We’ll climb that hill no matter how steep…

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When we come up to it.