It's finally Spring! The winter has been fun and relaxing, and we are gearing up for another great season of honey, flowers, produce, soap, and farmer's markets. The bees are making their way out of the hives, trying to find pollen and nectar. I saw this little bee on a crocus last week, and Isaac mentioned that today he saw a lot of bees carrying the biggest pollen sacs on their legs that he had ever seen. Out of 80 hives, we have lost about 20 so far, which is a very good survival rate compared to other area beekeepers we have talked to.
Becky and I started planting in the greenhouse on March 15th. The plants had one cold night as the heater quit working, but they survived and are growing well with this warm weather. As you can see we have some herbs (sage, rosemary, lemon verbena) started by plugs that are already coming along nicely. We are also trying some new organic controls for the aphids that usually turn up in our greenhouse. I am buying 5,000 ladybugs and releasing them inside the greenhouse, since they love to snack on aphids. We've heard other farmers have done this with great success.
Here's a new crop for 2010: Broccoli! I love the way broccoli sprouts look. And although I don't have a great camera or photography skills, I still attempted to do some justice to these beautiful little broccoli plants. Becky decided to grow these especially for her CSA customers. The rest of us might get some if we're lucky.
And here is one of the first little tomatoes that sprouted. So cute. It's hard to believe the bounty this one little plant will eventually provide. I am so ready for tomatoes and basil. Aren't you?
And finally... a picture of one of my little greenhouse "helpers." Maizy has done pretty well out in the greenhouse this year, keeping herself busy by crawling around the dirty ground, finding sticks to put in her mouth, and tugging at my legs. Mason likes to play with his dump truck on the dirt mound out back. It certainly has been a challenge this year with two mobile children... but the work is getting done and we are all enjoying it.
Our first market this year will be April 17 at Earth Gathering in Chillicothe. More info on this will follow!