Monday, July 22, 2013

From Reaction to Action

Summer has entered a new phase this weekend. Up till now almost everything I have been working on was simply a direct reaction to what the season was throwing at me. Certainly I managed to squeeze in a bit of project work here and there but even those were reacting to the fact that nature had given me a bit of a break due to one reason or another.

Spring and early Summer are typically just a blur of taking care of things when they were needed to be taken care. A swarm showed up, time to hive it. Ground dried enough, time to plant or till. Rain let up, time to get the mowing done. You get the picture.

Now however the brush fires are settling down so I have more time for other endeavors. Instead of grabbing spare woodenware from storage, I now have time to actually build and paint more and that includes planning for future needs.

As usual this time coincides with harvesting and seeing the first signs of return on my investments.

This weekend the first of the tomatoes ripened up. This is a bit late because the early ones we usually get were damaged with all the rain and humidity so we lost most due to premature rot. The cucumbers are in full swing and I sent about 5 grocery bags home with my brother. His family loves cucumbers and they never seem to have enough until my harvest kicks in. I make some pickles but really I plant my cucumbers for the bees to work and to give away more than anything else.

It looks like we got ahead of the Japanese Beetles and managed to save a few ears of corn. I picked the first ears today which were a red tinted variety that the tasseled early and the beetles didn't seem to like as much.

Finally I got some ripe tomatoes today as well and immediately ate them with dinner :)

Most importantly the Small Hold Pole Bean variety is now safely resupplied with seeds for at least next year and prolly several after that. Enough of the early producing plants had the pods dry sufficiently to be picked and are already stored for future planting. Now I can pick some to eat. We came so close to loosing all my years of work selectively breeding that variety if this years crop had failed it would have been the end of that experiment.

In between harvesting and garden work I repaired, built and painted another three full hives worth of brood chambers, bottom boards and inner covers. I also managed to cut some new tops as well. Basically I would walk over to my painting rack, which was really 2x4's on saw horses, and give the new boxes a coat of paint then go work in the garden while I let it dry. Another couple of days banging away and I should have all of this years expansion needs covered and have a pretty good jump on next years as well.

Soon I should be caught up enough to begin looking at long term projects once again. I still have an old burn pile to clean out which is where I want to put the chicken coop and one more brushy area I would like to fence off temporarily and let a sheep in there to clean out. I also have 12 tons of gravel coming on Tuesday to start getting the back of the barn into shape.

Now if the grass growing would just slow down a wee bit more.....

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. PP,

    Glad to hear you have some control over the Japanese Beetles.

    Harvesting some corn and tomatoes, again, I'm a tad jealous. Our veggies are moving slowly, I do have tomatoes but there green.

    Oh don't talk to me about the grass, it's not slowing down one bit here. I cut part of it Saturday evening when it cooled down, now I have the remaining part to do and have no motivation to do it.

    1. Sandy - I looked last night and did not see any new beetles so maybe we got ahead of them. They do migrate around though so I am sure more will show up.

      Things are just starting to pick up ripening-wise here but it was a slow start for us as well and the early coolness put a number of plants behind.

      Ya the grass mowing sucks. Not so bad the first month or two but it gets old by Mid-July.


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