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Monday, May 21, 2012

More Chicks!

OK the day after our bees arrived, our baby chicks arrive.  I do enjoy going to pick them up at the post office, it is the larger sorting place in Hickory, and when we enter the door we can see all the chicks everyone else has ordered and this time, a special treat, a package of bees someone had ordered.  The chicks are always excited to see us ;-)

These are for eggs, and this time around I bought Rhode Island Reds and Rock Whites.  These are two breeds I have had in the past and are really great, dependable egg layers.  The ones I have now are great egg layers when the conditions are perfect, LOL.  If there is a slight dip in temperature they quit for about a week, then start laying again. These chicks also came from McMurray Hatchery.

Of course it does take some time before they are old enough to even lay eggs, so for now they are under a heat lamp, staying warm and growing.  Just cute little puff balls.  By next spring they will be taking the place of my current layers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Pumpkin Waffles

OK this is another delicious recipe, I say that about a lot of recipes ;-).  Very rich and flavorful!  I didn't use any syrup on these waffles. The recipe comes from this web site, but I cut it in 1/2 and adapted it to be dairy free as well as gluten free and they were wonderful!  Everyone in the family enjoyed them.

1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup almond milk
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Earth Balance

Just preheat your waffle iron and cook like you would any other waffle.  Just pumpkin goodness!


I can't remember if I posted here or not that we wanted to get some bees.  A friend is doing a project for her sustainability degree, on bees.  And I have always been interested in bee keeping, just a little too afraid to jump in.  So I decided to learn along with her and take the leap.

I might have posted pictures of us building our bee boxes and frames.  And this past weekend Jackson, dh, and I picked up a nuc of bees.  This is really cool as a nuc is just a hive in miniature.  Just the nucleus hive.  So while we were putting the nuc frames into our own boxes we really got to see everything.  Jackson identified the queen.  Not sure I would have been able to pick her out as there were just so many bees.  We could see larvae, capped brood, capped honey.  They were so busy it was just incredible.  I thought I would be more nervous about it.  We bought a bee hood and gloves, but other than that I wore a hoodie to cover my arms, and long pants.  But the bees were so busy doing what they do, and we were so busy doing what we do that I wasn't nervous.  I was prepared to be stung.  I mean when you have that many bees and you are moving them....I just thought it was obvious that I would be stung.  But not one sting, Jackson either, neither one of us had one sting.

It was really fascinating.  I keep wanting to go check them out but am doing my best to leave them alone so they can get working.  We have so many flowers and trees in bloom right now, and it won't be long before our gardens will be in bloom.  So I hope they have enough resources to pull from to make it through the winter.  For right now I go part way down the pasture and just look at them from a distance.  My friend suggested binoculars, so I think when it stops raining, I will do just that.

Here are some pictures from that day:

And one more thing, a plug from the place where we got our bees, 7 Stands Bee Farm.  The web site is a little sparse, but this father son team is very nice, and full of knowledge.  We had the pleasure of meeting the father, Jim.  And he was so nice and had lots of tips for us getting started.  Said to call him any time if we had any questions or problems and he was happy to help.