Spring Bees~

When does one decide it’s spring?  I think it’s quite possible that we all have a different barometer that tells us that spring has officially sprung.  For some it has to do with certain flowers being in bloom, for others it is marked by the length of  daylight remaining in the evening sky.  For Mark and I, spring has arrived when the bees come out of their hives for a full day in search of the first signs of tree pollen because their Queens have started laying and the babies need feeding.  Today, was just such a day; the sun was out and so were we (without our winter coats) and the bees, they were buzzing. Yes, our bees were filling the blue skies with their golden bodies, while streams of their yellow poop cascaded down from the great above, to land on the white sheets that were airing on the clothesline.  But, despite the shimmering bee poo falling from the sky, we were thrilled to see our bee friends; to hear their hum upon opening the door this morning.  They have been very missed you see.  It is a long time to be without their company, from early winter until now.

Yes, when the bees tell us it’s spring, well we believe them, and spring activities begin…And so Mark and I began planting seedlings in little pots that will sit on our sunny kitchen windowsills, until the greenhouse is ready.  (which should not be long now!)

And we have also begun turning the winter rye (our nitrogen fixer that we planted back in the fall)  into the soil to make space for the peas that will be going into the ground in a few short weeks.

We are like two enthusiastic school kids these days, as we diligently follow the guidelines of our bio-dynamic farming texts.  We are transplanting on the designated transplanting days, and planting fruit seeds on fruit days, and root vegetables on root days.  It is taking some getting used to, but we are slowly getting the hang of it.  Biodynamic Farming is an age old agricultural technique that pays much respect to the ways in which the lunar cycle impacts the growing cycles on planet earth. It all sounds rather folkloric, but some of the best truths do, and as far as we are concerned, it certainly cannot hurt.  In fact next time you have the opportunity to try a bio-dynamic bottle of wine or carrot grown using the said method, do, I urge you, try it!  I think you will find a surprising difference between bio-dynamic and just organic.  ( but I am not here to convince you about such things, just to update you on Honey Grove)

Otherwise, whatelse have we been up to?  Well, we started framing our greenhouse with wood and high hopes to put the poly on tomorrow or the next day.  Mark was very patient with me, while I learned about power tools, not really a forte. Lets just say that not all the screws went into the exact bits of wood they were supposed to. ha ha.

Mark on the other hand, seems like a bit of a pro these days and I have to tell you, for a man trained to be an electronic sound artist he has become a fairly decent farmer.

So there you have it, that about sums it up. The bees came out to let us know spring has arrived, and, we got to work. It seems that we will be getting busier and busier as the sun shines brighter and the days warm and lengthen, but isn’t this what we have been waiting for?!

Spring Blessings to All,

Nao and Mark and The Bees~

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Bunny Grove Farm

In those magical hours between day and night, in that betwixt and between time, when faeries and gnomes have been known to show themselves to lonely shepherds on pastoral hillsides, we see something else here at Honey Grove.

I wish I could say that it were a circle of winged creatures dancing in a mystical glade, but I am afraid it is not.  No, we are not seeing fairies here at dusk, instead, we are seeing nothing but bunny rabbits.  Yes, those cute cuddly cotton tailed ones from Beatrix Potter’s little books, and I can tell you already, that they love our garden as much as they do Mr. McGregor’s (and we don’t even have any vegetables growing yet!).

You can see where I am going with this can’t you?  Yup, you guessed it, sigh, as all gardeners know, despite the cuteness of these fluffy ones, they do nothing for gardens but eat them.  Bunnies destroy vegetable gardens. The only choice we have, other than bunny stew (which Mark is keen on) is to build a bunny-proof fence, perhaps not quite like Australia’s, but at least 3 ft high and all around the veg growing garden. And so, we have been digging again and rock piling and fence post pounding too.  We even decided to make our own fence posts this week, as we have opted to use untreated posts around our vegetable garden, with a heartfelt dedication to maintain a truly organic farm.

I might also say that this decision (that is to use untreated posts) was made after much careful consideration.  We realize that our bunny-proof fence won’t last for 20 years, it may not even last for 3 years.  We know that untreated posts will eventually rot and that we will need to make a new fence in the not-so-distant-future, but somehow this option seemed better to us then sticking turpentine posts into the same soil we will be growing our food in.  As you can well imagine, this choice has brought many opinions to the forefront.  eh eh eh. The general consensus is that we are doing a lot of very hard work for a very temporary fence. And indeed, this is true, it is a lot of work, but tell me, what in this life, that one is dedicated to, is not hard work?  We see it like this: 4 or 5 days of solid effort for 3 years of a temporary bunny-proof fence doesn’t seem such a sacrifice to make.  The fencing materials can also be re-used in the future and so it is quite a different thing from temporary toasters and cell phones designed to fail after 2 years and then straight into the landfills.  But enough about toasters and cell phones, I digress. Let me tell you more about those untreated fence posts…you see,  they came from trees that were threatening to take over our driveway and they were going to become firewood if not fence posts.

And so, over-all, it would seem that much good has come out of this new plan, a fence is being built, our driveway is being maintained, and a bundle of dollars were saved from not having to buy more posts. We are very pleased over here.

We have also had some more guests in our cottage as of late, and they left some very nice comments in our guest-book. Reading their words was a truly positive and nourishing experience.  It helped us to see what it is we are creating here at Honey Grove, and it reminded us that all our hard work is worth it, not just for our own benefit, but for the benefit of those who come here to stay. Otherwise, we are reading loads about chickens and we will be ordering our laying hens from the farm up the road in a week or two.  We are getting our seeds ready to plant and will start sowing some indoors this week!  And when we are not working, we are going for long walks and we are meeting some lovely folks out here, to share suppers with and to celebrate full moons with.

May this find you in the midst of a beautiful day~

The Sims~

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