A friend of a friend needed somebody local to look under the hood of a 1954 Ford he was considering buying. Who better than Mike K? The seller was asking an exorbitant price, and it was a pretty car, but Dad found many shortcomings. He said it was a good '6 foot' car, meaning it looks fine if you're not too close to it.
I am going to wait a few more days before transplanting this year's vegetables into the garden - night time temps are still dipping into the 30s. Here is a list of what is pictured here - many of these baby plants came from Laurie, who grows the most interesting vegetables (from her own saved seeds) of anyone I know. If I ever start a band, any of these vegetables varieties would make a great name for the group:
chocolate cherry nectar rose San Marzano orange banana Amish paste green doctors orange flesh purple
zebra red yellow brandywine green cherry sun sugar orange
zebra green mortgage lifter pink brandywine sun cherry red
Cherokee purple Virginia sweet rosa stripes bianca pink ponderosa
buttercunch lettuce collard greens purple cauliflower red bell pepper
salad bowl red lettuce red cabbage red brussel sprouts purple eggplant
rainbow chard green cabbage jalapeno pepper white eggplant
red kale white lightning kohlrabi white jalapeno pepper
red, purple + gold marconi pepper
lacinato kale apple green kohlrabi purple jalapeno pepper
You thought it was a cast member from Sigmund and the Sea Monster, but it's 20 crowns of asparagus. The root balls have long tendrils, you dig a trench, spread out the tentacles and next year there will be a grand asparagus patch.
I attended a meeting of the Kingsley Historical Society at the library last night. It was very interesting with all the old timers getting up telling stories about local history, events and families. I shared the old photo album from my farm with the group, who keep an archive at the library.
This is John, a 93 year old whose farm is just up the road from mine. He had great stories and great suspenders. He used to hang out in my big barn with friends when he was a kid.
When you buy a queen bee, she comes in a tiny cage sealed with sugar candy, that her attendant bees will eat their way through to gain access to her. I bought an Italian queen when I got my bees, who are doing fine after their day out in the grass.
The topic of the bi-weekly food meeting today was fresh cheese - we made fresh mozzarella and goat cheese. We cultured the milk for the goat cheese and sent everybody home with a container full, with instructions to let it set out all night and drain the curd tomorrow.
Pressing whey from the mozzarella curd. Everybody got to form and take home a hand-pulled mozzarella ball.
The honey bees did something very strange - they swarmed in the grass near their hive. I called the bee guy and asked what he thought of this unusual behavior, and he had no explanation. My theory is that for some reason the queen went outside into the grass, and everyone followed her. We're still having frost in the mornings and if the bees remained outside they would die, but the solution was simple: remove the bottom of the hive and drop it on top of them. I hope they make it.
About an hour after I put up the new bluebird house, a handsome pair of bluebirds moved in. They are large birds, about the size of a robin, but with brilliant blue feathers
I had seen a few orioles around the farm over the past few days, back from wintering in southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America, and I read that if you put orange halves onto trees, it will attract them. I did, and it did.
I picked up 3 lbs. of honey bees from a bee keeper in Holland this week - he told me to choose my box from the stack pictured above. The box I chose had very active bees, plus a couple dozen more on the outside of the cage trying to get in. I figured there must have been a great bee party happening inside.
You have to gently shake the bees out of the box and into the hive - it's weird, they kind of drip out. We tried to grab out the stragglers with a paintbrush, but instead of brushing them into the hive, they clung to the brush. That is a can of sugar syrup that they ate in transit.
My bee net and looming thunderstorm in the background