Wednesday, August 27, 2014
More Beans, Wax, Sheep and Vines
Picked another two 5 gallon buckets full of dried beans, still in the pods of course. I will start removing them from their shells once all the end of season work is finished. I have kinda gotten into the habit of sitting down and turning on a movie and just de-shelling beans one bucket at a time well into Winter.
It's amazing that all the work I put into growing and harvesting the pole beans yields maybe nine or ten dollars worth of grocery store beans. The true pay off for this labor of love isn't in saving money though it's in having a working knowledge of just what is needed when the time comes. I doubt many can really wrap their heads around just how much time and effort would go into growing and storing all the beans you would need to survive until the next harvest season. So far my average is still sitting at about 1200 plants per person for a year's supply. That's a a lot of beans and anyone who thinks they will be able to pop down to the local small town store and continue to buy em so cheap is just simply delusional.
As you can see in the picture above and below I have been running the solar wax melter non-stop during this heat wave. I have filled my little wax pot full tot he brim and have six extra baggies full of filtered wax for the Winter.
Haven't completely decided what project I am going to attempt with this batch yet. The list is long. I know I have a bunch of new frames to coat with it and maybe a couple of candles to try but after that it's still undecided.
The Cutting Crew has almost eaten the pasture section completely down to nothing. There is still some decent grazing they can do behind the barn but they saved me quite a few gallons of gas this Summer not to mention a fair amount of feed. In fact the entire thing worked so well I am considering expanding it next year and allowing them more access into other areas after I provide some nice fencing to protect my fruit trees.
With a little creative fencing I might be able to get the actual mowing down to a fraction of what I have been doing. The only downside I have seen so far is that some of these ewes have gotten so fat I may have to put em on a diet before I introduce em back to their rams. A couple of these ladies have fat rolls showing through their wool.
The puny little sticks that I planted claiming to be grape vines have really taken off since the winds died down and this one in particular has grown to the top of it's trellis. Pruning is definitely in order for them once Winter hits. If they grow any more I may even start seeing grapes off of em by next year.
Finally my last two new hives are showing some nice orientation flights each afternoon and are about ready for a second brood box each to help em get through Winter. If I get the new brood chambers on within the next couple of days the Goldenrod flow should really give em a chance to get them built out in comb before the cold temps start coming.
Looks like I am going to be needing to buy a few more sheets of foam insulation to cover all my new hives too.
With the grass turning brown and the beans getting harvested the daily duties are actually beginning to shrink into manageable numbers once again. Instead of 100 things to do each day I now have only 50 and can almost get em all done. Another day of picking Pole beans and then I will move on to the Cowpeas and the remaining Tomatoes, then it will be time to start mowing the garden under and give it a good Fall till.
It's been a pretty good year in production across the board and I am actually starting to look forward to some cooler temps and slower demands. I know I am way behind on building new hive boxes and such anyway. Of course wood cutting is now once again close and I am not looking forward to that.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!