Thursday, April 10, 2014

So Much Happening- Spring on our Homestead (FINALLY!!!)

Well, at the end of March we have several birthdays in our family (3 in house alone!).  So making each day special takes time. Then parties for 2 sides of the family (families are too big to combine!), makes for a crazy few weeks!

BUT, I am sooooo excited because Spring has rolled into my part of the country!  And since last weekend, it seems like we have been working on making our new little plot of land a homestead. though it may be small, I think we will be able to accomplish much on it!

Last weekend, we went and got our beehives. We moved 2 years ago in June from our old house. When we moved, we didn't have a 'home' yet, so couldn't take things like our beehives with us. So, I'd say for over 2 years, we let our hives (2 out of 3 had bees in them) fend for themselves. Not because we didn't care about the hives but because all the moving and the chaos of finding a home was too much. Bees CAN be petty self sufficient too, if they aren't getting what they need, they will swarm and move on. Which is what we figured our hives would have done. 

When we got there last weekend, what we found surprised us. There was actually an active hive! After the crazy hard winter we had here in Indiana, we never expected there to be a hive that lasted. But there was. And we couldn't be more happy!!  But this added to the complication of moving the hive! In the end, we got the bees all tucked away and we carried the hive through a muddy field, about 2-300 feet to our trailer.  We loaded them up and took them to their new home.

When we got here, we unloaded the live hive and prayed that they would make it ok.  The next day, my husband (still concerned over the moving of the bees) check on them.  He found a lot of dead bees in the bottom of the hive (which can happen) but he also found a large bee, which unfortunately could be the queen. 

We are pretty sure that it's too late for us to buy new bee packs for the hives by now, so we are going to sit it out and pray that the hive can replace the queen on their own. Which if they are as strong a colony as we think they are, they should be able to do it, no problem.  As of last night, the bees are traveling around they found one of the other hives and the honey that was left in it, and were getting that honey. I've even found one honey bee on the outside of my kitchen screen giving himself a bath. There a lake across the road from us that I'm SURE that our bees are now enjoying. 

I'm just so happy that they made it. We will continue to monitor their well being over the next weeks and months. And I will share here.

Being Spring, we also got our chicken coop cleaned out (ready for our new chickens on April 26th!!), and built our goat pen for the boys' 4H goats. We aren't technically allowed according to the old record on the property to have goats, but none of our neighbors mind, and that's the big thing. Plus it's a temporary arrangement, and though I wish we could have goats permanently again, we have to abide by the rules.

Tomorrow, the boys are going to help a neighbor lady by cutting down a few trees that she wants out of her yard, and she is letting us keep the wood! Great thing is she is right across the road. So free wood, and it only needs to be hauled 30 feet or so. It feels good to be stocking up for next winter already.  

While my boys work on wood, I will be making trips to our county compost site and getting free mulch! We need lots of it.  I am going to be making a few planting beds around our one acre and I'm also going to start a new garden plot.  I am going to use mulch in the garden. Watch Back to Eden gardening. It's a new, old approach to gardening... This will be my first year trying it, but I'm excited. We sold out big honking tiller last weekend too and I'm hoping not to need it anymore with this planting/ gardening method. 

I also have an idea for a small greenhouse where maybe in the fall and early spring, I can still have some of those precious greens growing! We will see if I can talk my hubby into that one... Or maybe I'll just doing it myself! It seems as though it could be a petty easy project, but I will keep you updated on that also.

Yesterday, while on my grocery trip (I go once every 2 weeks), I saw some fruit trees and immediately sent some pictures to my husband. He said he didn't mind if I got something's to plant. So I picked up a peach tree!! I'm beyond excited about it!  When we bought this house, there was already one apple tree and one pear tree grown up and almost seeming to be a lost cause, but my husband chopped those trees down to where he thought they should be (after he did it, I panicked, knowing that you aren't 'supposed to' cut that much off all at once). BUT the tree came back that next year and produced beautiful fruit! I'm so excited to add peaches to the mix!  We will probably get it planted tomorrow! Yay!!

And I guess last but not least, I am going back to my friend's greenhouse on Monday with my mom. I'm hoping to pick up some herbs for an herb garden I will be starting, and hoping to get some other plants and seeds as well. Only problem is that I put an ad in the area advertisement outlets asking for someone with a tractor tiller to till a new, small garden plot, and I haven't had any takers yet. So... Here's to hoping that gets done really soon so I can start my garden.  If not, I am not looking forward to doing that all by hand! :/

Well, it is going to be in the 60's today in my area, so I look forward to some time outside! Talk to you soon!


  1. I am so glad to see you back to blogging! Where did you keep your hives until you moved them to your new home? Getting bees is something I have been thinking about. Before you moved how much honey were you getting? Your chicken coop is cute! Did you just build it? You have inspired me so much through the years with your blog, I think I started reading it when you were featured in the paper for something (maybe saving money at the grocery store?) keep it up. It's so neat to see the changes your family has made in the past 2 years. We also want to move, but get more land and alot less house, it just seems such a daunting task. Jenn

  2. Jenn- so glad to hear from you! We kept our hive on the edge of our old property. Never checked on it since we moved! And our coop was made by my dad! They actually had chickens for a few years but are now moving into a town that probably wouldn't welcome chickens! Soooo we inherited it last summer! It's funny that you want to move to more property when we moved to waaaaay less! We loved our 10 acres, but in guess God had other plans for us! So this should be an adventure!! Thanks for commenting! :)


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