-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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ve now cut up several boxes of beautiful white spring comb. The best!
Even Mason gave it a go.
It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you put limits on device time.
He even gave us a hand in the bottling room.
And what about the bottling? Are we going to have any liquid spring honey this year?
No bumper crop by any means, but there was enough heat and enough sunshine to make some magic.
Just enough during the spring bloom.
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.
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.