I can't say that summer around here is restful; but taking moments to let it all soak in, is never a waste if time.
This summer has been much like past summers, hot! But along with the heat we get longer days, not a bad trade.
Summer has really just started and we still have some big projects, like harvesting honey. We are doing that this weekend. If I waited to include that, this post would be EVEN LONGER!
We have caught a couple swarms of bees so far. One in a swarm trap located on our property, the other was a swarm on a tree at our local farm supple store. An employee posted it on Facebook, I immediately responded. First swarm I've captured all by myself :)
These pics are from the trap on our property.
Then there was the swarm I captured at the Farm & Home. Ironic because the very same day (before I saw the post about the swarm) I was at that store, with a bee, a Queen bee. I had just picked her up from where we ordered her and it was too hot to leave her in the truck.
So, why do we capture swarms? I am asked this frequently. The sad truth is, humans. Humans are the main reason we capture swarms. When a healthy hive runs out of room, they will swarm. When that swarm lands on a home owners tree near their home or on an outside table, quite often, they are seen as a nuisance and sprayed (killed.)
Working the bees is always interesting, even to the little farm hand, who clearly has no fear. This is an important lesson. Our grand children will remember PawPaw and Mimi raising bees. They will remember they are not scary and they will pass that info on, even if never raise bees, they will remember the bees being a pleasant experience and they will remind others how important they are for the foods we humans consume.
This year marks the first time we had to pull a calf. We certainly weren't expecting this; but knew we had to when the calf started his entry onto Earth, back feet first! Luckily, we pulled him quickly and although he was a little early, he's doing just fine. As well as the other mom cows and calves.
Like all summers in Missouri, it's been H O T. I do put a sprinkler out for the horses.
I don't put one out for the cattle. So Jasmine (our first bottle fed calf) took matters into her own hands.
As far as the garden and planting, it's been pretty successful: lettuce, beans, 2 kinds of kale, radish, carrots, tomatoes, peppers,sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash and lots of cucumbers, resulting in LOTS of pickles!
We planted a few new items this year, luffa, wheat grass and elderberry. Wheat grass grows SUPER fast.. Luffa on the other hand, it's been a lesson of patience for me. Finally the other day, I noticed the very first one starting to fruit. We have some wild elderberry growing on our farm, so we planted ours in a nearby place, hoping they would take off. They did.., but the deer have found them. The only thing I can do that won't harm the bees is tie some soap in pantyhose on the elderberry, the scent is suppose to deter them. I have not purchased store bought bar soap in a very long time.. wow the smell is INTENSE! No wonder the deer are now staying away! I wouldn't put that on my skin, no way! But I'm pretty partial to all natural products :)
The summer so far has been filled with spectacular skies.
The summer has also been fun filled with our annual fishing trip (my new lucky fishing hat proved to be lucky indeed) visits from the other grand children and out of town family.
That's our summer so far, still a lot of summer left so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out my Dirty Dog soap (organic goats milk soap & organic oatmeal) Really great for dogs with sensitive skin.
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Thank you for reading and being a part of our lives here on the farm. I hope your summer is going well.
I'll leave you with this: remember to practice gratitude. I have been working on this one for awhile. It's not always easy, for any of us, that's why it's referred to as a "practice." Even if it's the little things. Like the way the sun streams through the trees. Be grateful, there's always something to be be grateful for :)