Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Electrolyte Drink Mix/Heat Injury

If you think you are suffering from a heat related illness seek medical attention. I am only offering this as a preventative, as in HYDRATE! 
After getting way too hot a couple years ago and spending over a week in a terrible state I keep this recipe on hand at all the times. 

2 Quarts water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute (potassium chloride)
7 Tablespoons sugar 
1 cup fruit juice

This recipe is also great for animals which have gotten too hot or dehydrated from scours or excessive heat. Replace the fruit juice with Karo Syrup. 

Once you've gotten into a heat emergency situation you will always be more susceptible. Keeping hydrated is the easy prevention. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

A lull in the buisyness.

Finally got HOT, HUMID and
So, in the time between planting and harvesting there is always weeding and pest control. During a 3 day stretch of rain I ended up with cabbage worms eating their fill. Yuck! Aside from that it's been a bit slow. So I'm painting my hives.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Updating Garden Pictures

We've had an unusually nice spring this year. Most years there are just a couple of weeks, if that, of cool enough warm enough weather to really enjoy and then it turns straight to hot. (SE Illinois) It has been quite wet though and I think the cool wet weather has slowed the garden just a bit. 

Finally have baby yellow squash starting. 

My compost is starting to build 
back up. I expanded this year and used up all I had. Keeping it turned kills of the seeds from weeds mixes the wet and dry spots to help move it along faster.

Some years
I have gotten the best volunteer veggies from around the edges. Last year I had enough Tomatillos for a couple batches of salsa.

I let the grass grow between the rows and just weed eat before it goes to seed. This way even when it has rained I can go right out in it without tromping through mud. By mid summer the grass I have cut works like a mulch and I have to cut it less and less.

I love the wild things that come up by themselves. In early spring there is an abundance of Dandelion for that very first salad. This picture is Dill and Borage. It's everywhere! I dig a few of the Borage plants and relocate or share and just let the others go. So pretty and good for the bees.

Peas didn't really take off this year. Planted them on St. Patricks day and I guess they were just not impressed with the weather or were just a little too old. There are enough I can snack on while I garden though so it's all good. Between them I planted Lufa Gourds. By the time the heat hits and the peas give up they should grow up the trellis.
I started almost all my seeds inside in February and March from the seeds I have had for years. Every year I have some left, and every year I get too excited and order more... This year I decided not to order any and grow what I already had. The germination rate goes down with age but I had really good success and will just fill in the weak spots with flowers and buy what I lack from the farmers market. This year I have about $45 dollars in the whole garden.

My Zucchini caught a chill early on
but is coming out of it and starting to flower although the plants are much smaller than normal for this time of year.

The Cucumbers 
that I started inside had an unfortunate camping trip outside when I was trying to harden them off and did not survive. I decided to just wait till the weather picked up and started these where they are. Looking good now.

Yukon Gold and Red potatoes starting to bloom. Funny how something as simple as a potato can have such a pretty little flower.

Rainbow Card.
Came up a bit sparse but yumm!

I planted Cherokee Purple, Orange Amish Paste, German Pink and some Cherry tomatoes this year. I absolutely love the all the colors and different textures and tastes. I make a lot of spaghetti sauce and when all mixed together they just can't be beat by any store brand. 

Cattle panels
make for a great trellis and are a one time investment. I weave the plants though or clip and tie as they need support. 

My first little 'maters!

This is the
patch of Horseradish that I showed how to transplant a while back. Going strong. And I recently found out you can eat the leaves. Loved and grown this stuff for years and had no idea!

Hot peppers are perking up.

Two T Post and a cattle panel (and one very handy multi-purpose post driver, lol)
make a great trellis for beans, cukes, gourds and anything else that want to vine. Besides that it looks really pretty when things get going and you have these covered walk ways spread around the garden.

This one
is for my Scarlet Runner Beans. This is the first time I have grown them. Bought the seed last year and didn't get them planted. I've read that very young they are like a Lima Bean and later are a great large dry bean.

By setting the T Posts just deep enough to be stable they are super easy to move. Next year this row may be peppers or squash. Crop rotation and air circulation makes a huge difference in controlling pests and disease. Also a diverse planting environment. By allowing beneficial "weeds" and flowers to grow along with your veggies good insects are drawn in and the bad ones are easier to control. Around the outside of the garden I have planted Jerusalem Artichoke, and roses so far. Throughout the rest of the yard there is Honeysuckle, Herbs for my kitchen, Comfrey and a lot of other odds and ends. When we mow, it's set on the highest notch. By leaving the grass longer we allow it to thrive and smother out the weeds on it's own and it leaves more of the clover tops and things like wild Violets.
I you are interested in my garden here are a few of the other blogs that I have shared on getting to this point. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Fixin' my bee hive.

I didn't set my hive up quite right. By leaving the top box open the bees decided this was a better place to build than on the frames. I didn't see this an emergency issue because they are finding plenty to build with and eat (and just still here) but as far as being able to check them and hopefully get honey later, it isn't ideal. 

To try to fix the problem I am cutting the combs off and tying them into empty frames. 
This was actually very exciting. I don't wear the gear, I don't feel like I can see and feel as well as I would like to. And instead of a smoker I use sugar water in a spray bottle. The water helps keep them from flying and they will spend some time cleaning the sugar off of themselves. 

I had some of the wooden frames but not the wax liners that go in them so had not used them. 

Rubber bands were suggested but since I didn't have enough I used twine. I trimmed the combs to fit and tied them in.


I use a clean paint brush to move the bees off the edges after spraying with the sugar water.

I added the second super on top and the inner lid.

My helpers.