It looks like we live in a different state. We have had rain every day, so unusual for July, and the grasses are green. No fires, no drought, no hundred degree weather. It has been glorious. Other places in the state are dealing with too much water but here in our little oasis of Kiowa we are basking in perfect weather. The gardens and trees are drinking deeply and everything is serene.
We were able to grab a moment of warm sunshine to put our bee suits on and peek in the hive. The bees are working on their eighth frame in the top bar hive. The frames stretch across the entire frame now reaching the sides of the hive. The bees were very busy and completely covered the outer frame. I tried to pull a middle frame up to see if I could tell what was going on (Is there new brood? Is there honey capped? What else am I supposed to be looking for?) but couldn’t pull it all the way up. I was afraid of smashing bees or pulling apart the combs. I need my mentor to come over next time and show me what the heck we are supposed to be doing. But for the moment it was like looking into a magical world. The bees were calm and I have fallen in love with these gentle creatures.
We have two interns here that are just lovely people. They have been helping me immensely. The gardens were all weeded and mulched by yesterday afternoon and new seeds planted. We enjoy meals with them and talk about our ideas and dreams. We have been looking for a place to move that has a small house but more land. Renting has a definite downfall for me, I worry. I worry that I can’t renew my lease, or that I have to stay but for how long? Can I plant trees? Should I get attached to this quaint little house, my neighbors, this town? What if I miss my opportunity for a homestead? Dang, I wish I could buy a place. Turns out we have a choice to make. The homesteads we can afford to rent are way out in the prairie or far away towns. Or we can stay near our children and granddaughter. Not a hard decision to make. My friend, Lisa, came over one day and asked if we were going to farm the back part of the yard because we had fenced it off (for the goats). Suddenly while talking with Stephanie and Ethan, our interns, I realized that we could, with their help, transform that space. We could build a greenhouse. We could use permaculture techniques to up our food production. Hopefully we can stay on for a few more years here since nothing seems to be coming up in the form of larger place.
I have been reading a lot about permaculture and came across a film that fascinated me and a technique we will definitely try. It is a free documentary. Worth the watch! http://backtoedenfilm.com
I do hope your mid-summer farming is going well and you get a perfect mix of sun and rain!