Life of the urban homesteader is full time work. Now that the weather is warmer we are really getting full use of our yard, which had the landscaping completed in fall. Plants that were planted in the fall and appeared to die during the winter are coming back to life. The lawn mower is tuned up and makes an appearance most weeks. The list of things to do and projects to work on is never ending but we're really enjoying it all.
Nellie has nursed these plants from seeds to seedlings like a proud mother hen. About half the plants are in the ground outside now but some (like the tomatos) need to get a bit bigger first.
I've decided to take the plunge into becoming a bee keeper. It's something I've wanted to try for a long time and finally got the courage to go for it with some encouragement from my new friend and neighbor, Emily-Kate. Here Emily-Kate and I are putting together parts of the hives in preparation for the bees that will come later this month. Emily-Kate and Laura will be keeping her bees at their urban farm which is getting up and running now - Sweet Beet City Farm.
Frames assembled with bee's wax foundation. Surely there will be lots more posts to come about bees but I find myself reading and wanting to share info about bees whenever I have free time now. It's not the cheapest of hobbies because there is a lot of gear to buy and prep up front but I'm viewing it as a fun little science experiment with hopefully a golden pot of honey at the end. Also bees in America are having a tough time these days so there's the bonus feel good points for doing something good for the environment as well. I totally recommend the film "Queen of the Sun", which is an awesome documentary about bees that's streaming on Netflix.
While Ludo and these primed hive supers looks rather menacing, keeping bees is not. I've been getting a lot of "oh brother" looks when I tell people what I'm up to. People seem to assume that I'll end up dead in my back yard from bee stings or that they'll never be able to come over now that bees are around. The long and short of it is that bees don't really have any interest in just stinging you for no reason and honey bees in particular are very calm costumers So - give bees a chance? Also - bee puns will be HUGE for me this summer.
Fully assembles hives, painted and ready. Mine is the tall white one on the left and Emily-Kate's are the purple and white. Finally using some of the left over paint from the house.
Another fun project that I finally got around to this weekend was this table for our deck. I stole the design idea from my buddy Dylan who built a ton like this for his wedding. It's a simple farm house table design but i really like the look. I made mine out of cedar so it would hold up outside over time. Eventually it will fade to a soft grey but cedar is great because you don't have to treat it for outdoor use. It's naturally resistant to rot and insects. As soon as it was done it filled up with my 3 favorite ladies - my sister, wife, and mom.....and Ludo - who is not a lady. Mission accomplished.