Friday, June 14, 2013

Sustainable Solutions

Today was simply a beautiful day. I cannot find one thing to complain about other than the biting flies are beginning to make an appearance around about now.  Even the ticks were in decline today.

I finally got some issues with the pollen trap I put on Plymouth colony figured out. Well more or less, it still causes them a major traffic jam at the top entrance but I don't plan on leaving the trap on there more than a couple days. I wouldn't want to deprive them of the pollen they need for the larva, just slow em down a bit and harvest some pollen to feed over Winter.

The new swarm was hived and named Ferryland Colony. That to was a breakthrough as I had decided I was going to stop naming my hives but MammaBear convinced me her theory of naming the hive and not the bees was the best way to handle it. I am actually naming the weight bricks I use and painting the name on them for my record keeping purposes. It's much easier even if I do get attached a bit and saddened when one dies out.

I would like to stress here once again that most of my endeavors in homesteading are geared towards sustainability not necessarily what is the best solution or easiest one. While I will plow a field with my tractor or use it to pull a fence post I also am thinking all the while about how I would do it without a tractor, and more importantly how I can gain experience doing it that way as well. The continued discussion MB and I have about the EDEN gardening method is another good example.

I could in fact drive in to town daily and load up on wood chips. In fact I have done so on numerous occasions and will continue to do so as long as I can. But. I also must realize that without gasoline being available the wood chips would also not be available. This is why I am constantly testing different methods to achieve the same effects, or as close enough as I can get using only muscle power.

Simply put I ask myself a few questions but the first one is the most important.

Can it be done without refined fuel input? If the answer is no then that option moves to the unsustainable category. It doesn't mean it isn't the best solution currently it just means it isn't a solution for a grid down sustainable scenario.

As a point in fact obtaining wood chips might be sustainable for many a homesteader. There are many scenarios I can imagine that would make it so close as to be good enough. For one thing I figure fuel will be available to power companies long after it is not available to peons like me. I could for instance hitch up one of these lazy tree killing four hooved beasts to a wagon ( a couple of them are broke to pull supposedly) and travel to the central dump point and get wood chips. It would take all day but I could in theory do it at least until the power companies stopped trimming their lines.

Anyway you get the idea.

So I look for alternative ways. I use grass clipping as much as possible and I even can (and have) gotten them using an old hand push mower. Was it fun? Not in the least. But doable.

Let's face it folks in a grid down situation at first we are going to have our hands full but after a while we are going to have a lot of time and not much of anything else. Might as well get used to, or at least knowledgeable about, doing things with the least outside resource input as possible.

Keep prepping Everyone!!!


  1. I would name my hives just to keep track. SO if a hive dies does that make it Liberal?? HAHA. The best part of having a small farm is trying new and different methods of farming.

    1. Rob - Well bees are kinda socialist in reality so yes I guess they are liberals :)


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