Cafe Au Lait

We are planting these dahlias this summer!

We just got our huge shipment of dahlia tubers-a variety called Cafe au Lait. They are so gorgeous. I might even call them sumptuous. I can’t wait until we can tuck them into the bouquets for our csa shares. They bloom from mid/late summer straight until frost!

We just got our huge shipment of dahlia tubers-a variety called Cafe au Lait. They are so gorgeous. I might even call them sumptuous. I can’t wait until we can tuck them into the bouquets for our csa shares. They bloom from mid/late summer straight until frost!

Bees in winter

Last summer we set up our beehives with the help of our friend Tim. So far, they have deigned to stick around, which is not a given. Apparently, bees sometimes decide to pick up and relocate as a whole group- swarming it’s called.

This past month with the bitter cold and windy storms, Dominick worried that they might not make it through the winter. But a few weeks ago there was a sign of life! Our daughter came in from feedingthe chickens and said, “Mom, there are bees in the chicken feed!” I didn’t really know what she was talking about so I just said “oh OK that’s nice...”.

But she was right! They needed a little protein and managed to find the tasty chicken feed!  Tim came back out and he helped us learn about these “protein bars” for bees.  They love it.

Now every time there’s a warm day and the sun is shining on the hives you can see little bees heading out to find the early early bloomers: the snow drops, crocuses. It’s very reassuring. 

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Bee food! 

Maple syrup time!

Dominick has been lugging hundreds of gallons of sap from our beautiful sugar maple trees to our new evaporator. We stoke the fire to boil it down for days on end and voila- tasty syrup. (As an added bonus Dominick has brushed off his middle school knowledge of ratios, density, temperature, vials and the like to calculate when to stop boiling - the riskiest moment.)

Well, we have 5 delicious gallons of syrup canned and waiting for summer csa boxes now. 

Its amazing what trees do and how little we know about them. Next on  my reading list is The Secret Life of Trees.

our new evaporator! 

our new evaporator! 

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the beautiful old maple

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The winter chill

Well, the temps have been low low low this week. We have been a bit worried about our chickies, as it’s their first winter. So far so good!  They are even still laying, which is remarkable. We have the water heater to keep the water from freezing and the heater lamp going.  But the mobile coop we built this summer is standing up to the cold, the storms, everything!   

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