Friday, January 29, 2010

high winds and new hives

We’re back in the sub arctic temperatures again. Bennington county had a high of 12 today, and last night 40-mile-per hour winds whipped at the cabin like something outta Oz. I knew those sunny days were all talk. I’m back to cracking ice off of chicken fonts and hauling buckets of warm water to the sheep. On my lunch break I picked up fresh bedding straw and some heartier feed for the birds. A mix of layer mash and cracked corn. Corn is like liquid heat for poultry. It’s not the healthiest of feeds, but it does help retain a warmer running temperature and throw on a little extra fat. Tonight after work I’ll be laying down straw, feeding the birds, and lighting a fire to write aside. Big plans for this girl.

But you know what? I love nights like this. A Friday night in with a set list of personal projects and a warm fire is grand. I can stay up as late as I want writing or playing music, and then know tomorrow is just a coffee pot and sleep-in away. This is my normal routine, actually. Most Thursday nights my little band gets together to play music. (You may know some of my band mates, such as Steve, killer of Chuck Klosterman.) So those nights in pubs are my big social adventures for the week. Friday is always a low key time to myself.

In farm news: I ordered my bees. They won’t be ready for pickup from the supplier over in Greenwich till May 15th so I’ll be living in my next home by then. Just ordering them felt audacious. Who do I think I am? Planning a colony without a place to even set up their hive? I’m just banking on this all working out somehow. And when it does work out, I want my gardens to have the help of those honeybees. Besides being a pleasure to share my life with; they really do make all the difference in a pumpkin patch.


Blogger unpackingtreasure said...

I have also ordered my bees..I should have them the beginning of March here in North Carolina. It is my very first attempt at keeping bees, I'm so excited. I have a very seasoned mentor to help me get hens are just beginning to lay eggs..and someday...I want a replica of that sweet Joseph!

January 29, 2010 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Farmer's Daughter said...

I love Friday nights at home too! I'm experimenting with a new quiche recipe, using leftover creamed spinach that I made for Christmas and froze. Hubby and I are under blankets on the couch, we'll watch tv tonight and warm up by the wood stove. Way better than a night out, especially since it's so cold here in Connecticut!

January 29, 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Aranea said...

Fridays mean the laundry has been done and the house is all clean. Friday nights mean relax and plan what bread to bake tomorrow to keep unwinding. It'll be nice when the cores are garden planning and someday I hope bees, but till then my apartment can smell like fresh bread to keep the longing at bay.

January 29, 2010 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Texan said...

I am also planning on bees! I have not ordered any as of yet.

I love a quite night at home with the honeyman...yep that is the perfect evening in my book :O)...

January 29, 2010 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Friday night is pizza night at our house. I mean, pizza and beer night. We make pizza from homemade dough and home-canned pizza sauce. My husband makes the dough (he's the baker) and I do the rest of it.

I want bees, but decided that their expense should wait another year. In the meantime, I'll plant the perennial plants I want for bee fodder. I'm also concerned about them having enough to forage, rather than just being dependent on my vegetables. Last year I had no problem with pollination- there were a few honey bees, but a ton of bumblebees, and they did a good job. I got twelve pounds of tomatillos off just two plants!

Happy Friday!

January 29, 2010 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Conny said...

Relaxing at home, doing whatever you want on a Friday night is the Best. Long ago, I used to come home after a long commute and get straight into my pajamas and lounge around. It felt great! Here's to a fine weekend for you.

January 29, 2010 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger John Taylor said...

You go girl!

January 29, 2010 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have this great bartering deal with an old friend--trading canned green beans and corn (and a couple loaves of sweet carrotbread) for a christmas tree and a few pints of honey.

Ideal arrangement!

I adore your vote for the future in ordering up your bees, Jenna. Such blind hope for the future is the very stuff that defines homesteaders.

January 29, 2010 at 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a perfect friday night...Candlemas is on its way and for most traditional Germans that means the years spinning needs to be wraped up by then so I'm all about that right now. and tomorrow im all about donuts...Keep up your spirits, May will come and you will have a place for your bees! I enjoy your blog...keep writing!

January 29, 2010 at 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exciting youngster that I am...I'm spending my Friday night cuddling a hamster, baking bread, and tearing up a guitar. If things get really rowdy I might knit a bit.

It'll work out for you. You have so much good feeling out there rooting for you that it'll align the cosmos in your favor.

January 30, 2010 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger Rois said...

We don't have bees but last spring I planted Borage which the bees LOVED so much they kept coming all the way to frost.
Besides being a bee beneficial you can put the flowers in ice cubes to give the cubes a mild lemon flavor,excellent in ice tea.

January 30, 2010 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Sounds delicious. We're back to hot days down South though it's chilling a bit again. We have enough hot so the cool is welcomed.

I've started with my new raised beds. We're building the rabbit hutch this weekend and possible a chicken coop. They just changed our laws so I get to be a mama hen for real now :)

January 30, 2010 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sound like a good evening to me. I am thinking about getting bees and am going to hook up with a friend that has some. He is really excited about his bees and is willing to help. I am not ready to take on other type of livestock but I figured I could handle bees since they appear to take care of themselves for the most part.


January 30, 2010 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Patti~~~ said...

I absolutely LOVE Friday nights at home, spent in the company of my family----snuggled up on the sofa or on a big pile of quilts on the floor, hot cocoa, a plate of still warm cookies and good conversation. What could be better than that?! I live on California's Redwood Coast so, although we don't get much snow at these low elevations, we do get plenty of chilly, rainy, windy winter nights.

January 30, 2010 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger TnTConnect said...

Wow! I had never thought of ordering bee's. Good luck with them and I am sure you will have a place to put them. My Dad always told me...get the little thing first and the big thing will come.

January 30, 2010 at 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more I read, the more I research, the more sites I find where people are going back to the old ways...I am amazed and given hope that our civilization is on positive path that we have not been on before. The old ways were practiced in olden days because it was the only way, unrecognized as the best way. New technologies have paved marvelous ways, but most are not so marvelous for our Mother Earth. Every organic story I read/hear fills me with pride and hope for our future. Bonterra Vineyards in CA ( has an organic operation and some great video tours on their website.

January 30, 2010 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

"Live as if." a.k.a.: live your life as if it's exactly the way you want it, and it will come to you.

Having a day off after a band jam is always nice, isn't it? I love to sleep in the next day with all that music still ringing through my body. I'm sure I touch heaven in my sleep.

January 30, 2010 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Jenna, where did you order your bees from? Is a queen included? Thanks!

January 30, 2010 at 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh, that's wonderful! I would love to have bees but, living in Arizona, I'm concerned about having them in a subdivision due to the risk of them Africanizing.

The more years I garden the more varieties of native bees I see though; we get honeybees because a bee keeper has them about 4 miles up the road; we have two varieties of native bees I've seen; and we had bumblebees for the first time this past year.

I'm a big fan of natural fibers myself! And if I'm supposed to have the year's spinning done by Candlemas I'm never gonna finish....

January 30, 2010 at 11:30 PM  

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