Kellen Smick thinks this hive has a perfect position, below our plum trees on an East facing slope for morning sun exposure and protection from wind and afternoon heat. He started the new hive with a frame of brood and a frame of honey, a new queen and some bees. They managed to hatch their brood and build a bunch of wax, and start a bunch of new brood. It's thrilling progress. They definitely have plenty of food.
He added another hive next to it that he split when it was on the verge of swarming.
Following Joel Salatin's instructions in Polyface Designs, we (including Kellen Smick) finally used the Aluminum roofing picked up in CA two months ago. The cages are lighter and better engineered in most every way... we think; we have not used them yet. The first cage was deployed at Kellen's house.
With several A2 cows now in milk and desire to move to purebred Brown Swiss or F1 Swiss x Jersey, Winnie (an A1 cow with 1/8th Angus) needed to go. We sold her to a family near Tri-cities, and she did a beautiful job being led into the trailer. We were all very impressed, and she sold for far more than we paid for her, allowing us to pay back the barn-building fund! We were so blessed to have her milk for several months and were sad to see her go.
150 chicks for Abundance Endeavors and 75 for the Smicks arrived from Jenks hatchery, with none dead!
Lizzie is our 2nd replacement heifer that is half Jersey and half Brown Swiss from Liberate. She was sired by Ensign 7JE1831, who was selected as a complement in each of her features. Ashleigh got to pull slightly, not that Liberate needed it, but it was strange seeing a calf hang 1/2 way out for several contractions.
This was a glorious experience for Ashleigh, Courage, Charlotte, and especially myself I suppose. There is something deeply wonderful and worshipful about having a heifer born on the farm that will be trained by the family and live some 15 or more years (sire had well above average "productive life"), giving over 10,000 gallons of God's custom engineered life-giving substance, Lord willing.
Thank you Beloved Creator!
Move dirt to where it goes, then plant trees... The dirt was finally moved.
After a day at the U of I arboretum scoping trees that do well in the Palouse, and a half day of browsing Moscow Building Supply and other nurseries, we settled on a number of trees and shrubs. We wanted edibles, but given that bees turn pollen to honey, and shade makes grass grow better, we went with a mix of large, fast growing trees and edible shrubs (with lilacs for beauty and fragrance).
Trees: Skyline Honeylocus; Autumn Blaze Maple; Tulip Tree; 2x Sweetheart (dwarf) cherry; Manregion English Walnut;
Shrubs: Wepster Hazelnut; 2x Theta Hazelnut; Jefferson Hazelnut; McDonald Hazelnut; Spring Flurry Serviceberry; Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry; Bloomerang (dark purple thrice blooming) Lilac
The shade trees all grew at least 4ft/yr, and the Walnut is an edible. Tree selection is far from easy or cheap. It took probably a week of labor between scouting, shopping, and planting, and we rented an E20 to do the digging, and we had manure on hand!
Winnie, the tame, was in perfect spirits to get recorded as a cow being "stolen" by 4th and 5th grade classes at the local school. Rebecca Hemphill and John Gehring are here recording the cow walking. With much video editing, the finished product we have seen but not heard, but it was amusing seeing her "green screened" into a classroom! "Somebody stole my gal" is being redone as "Somebody stole my cow."
Josh: Founder, father