The calf has arrived!

June 30, 2010
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Maureen, our dexter cow, gave us a calf last Thursday morning.

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A successful honey bee swarm cut-out

June 30, 2010

I received a call from a landlord in Maple Valley who had a swarm of honey bees move into the wall of his rental house. I told him that yes, this is something I’m interested in, and no, I don’t charge to remove honey bees.

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Shifting my Beehive from Langstroth Frames to Top Bar Hive

June 21, 2010

I moved a 5 frame conventional (Langstroth) nucleus hive into a top bar hive so they would have space to grow. The bottom corners of each frame are cut off to make the rectangular frame fit into the trapezoid shape of the top bar hive. Since I’m running only top bar hives now, it makes sense for me to have a consistent setup.

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Permaculture & Christianity, part 3 – “Native vs. Exotic Plants”

June 17, 2010

God is the ultimate “permaculturist”. He was using the permaculture design principles before Bill Mollison ever wrote them down.

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Cool weather continues

June 15, 2010

Today is June 15th, and Seattle has yet to break past 75° F/24° C this year. This means it’s been a great spring for growing grass, but the rainy weather has taken a toll on my apiary.

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Geese mow my lawn

June 8, 2010

It has now been 7 weeks since my goslings hatched, and they are about half-way feathered out–about 3 lbs each. It’s been cold and rainy since they hatched, but their parents have done excellent work keeping them protected.

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Got thin eggshells?

June 8, 2010

In my experience, an egg with a thin shell is a problem that can be easily corrected. In order to put a shell on its egg, the chicken mainly uses calcium, phosphorus & vitamin D. If any one of these factors is missing, the bird will not be able to create a healthy shell.

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Free to a good home: Blue Orchard Mason Bees

June 7, 2010

Since mason bees are a native insect here in the Pacific NW, you can “grow your own” just by providing suitable homes. It will take a couple years to build up your local population this way, but you don’t need to purchase your initial “start”.

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Our milking routine

June 3, 2010
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Here is a quick roundup of how our milking routine works. Kathy has gone through several different routines, and this one is working well for us.

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The taste of raw milk

June 1, 2010

I learned about barn odors & milk flavors in a cheese making seminar I took a couple years ago, and it’s true. We’ve tasted the difference in our goat’s milk between the days where they are out in the pasture vs. closed up in a pen–though they were eating the same food.

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