Friday, 31 October 2014

Up Close and Personal....

Quite the experience yesterday....before getting my own hive I booked in to get up close and personal and see exactly what happens when you open up a hive...this one only had about 10,000's a relatively new hive...and I have to say I was amazed at how little the bees mind when you open it up and start digging around in there....they are Italian honey bees ...the mood of the hive is dependant on the queen and apparently people specifically breed the queens  to be laid back.....
After smoking the hive lightly.....Bec opened it up.
 Even after Bec pulls out the frames they are still not attacking us...they start to make a louder buzzing the longer you muck around with them....but I was not remotely intimidated or harassed by angry bees trying to sting the bejesus out of me...which is what I thought would happen by the way.
Close up look at the bees ...the filled in bits are capped larvae waiting to turn into bees...this is from the main brood section.
 You need to inspect hives weekly in Spring for lots of reasons but the main thing is to ensure the queen is ok...when Bec opened up this box she found a queen cell ..which is a cell that contains a queen need to destroy these if you already have a queen laying eggs otherwise when the new queen hatches the old queen nicks off taking half of the bees with her causing a really is fascinating how the colony works.  I am keen now to get my own hive even though my man is not remotely interested...the world needs bees !!
Whitish stuff outside edge is capped honey...Bec is scraping off a queen bee don't want those if you have a queen.
On another note it's Halloween tonight which doesn't have much meaning for lots of Aussies....but most kids seem to be into anything that gets them a big bag of lollies...we had quite a few knocking on the door and collecting their fluffy girls thought they would get into the action..!!!
These two are all set for Halloween.......actually we all had  spaghetti bol  for dinner ....they love it
Happy Halloween if you are a devotee....but if like us you think it is just another excuse for people to fall into the trap of unwanted doesn't hurt to  dish out treats to entertain kids. !!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Things we Do.....

It was a beautiful busy weekend....lots happening in the garden...picked up the Greenhouse..... didn't realise it would be in quite that many pieces...hopefully my man will have it together next weekend.
I dragged him along to a local amateur theatre production on Friday night ...featuring 10 , 10 minute plays selected from entries by local writers....I enjoyed it myself, but I doubt I will get the man there again....was nice to be involved and supporting the local community.

the herb garden is going well...chives have flowered ...they look lovely.
....turned over my diary page for tomorrow and the birthday marked there is for my beautiful friend Heather who died in March this year......still haven't taken her number out of my mobile or deleted her text messages....I miss her.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Some More of the Same....

It's just another day in's the usual busy run up to Christmas now with lots of planning underway....we are doing quite a bit of entertaining over the next few weeks...need to get organised....still have lots of time for the garden and growing stuff.
Day 2 of the sprouter...looks incredible...these little guys grew is really quite fascinating to watch what happens with just water.

They grow at an incredible speed...should be ready in a day or two.
Pickings from the vegie garden this morning...I know I bang on about it but it still surprises me every day that I can grow my own food...if a non green thumb like myself can do this anyone can...

Leeks, beetroot, kale, cauliflower and finally broccoli heads for the table...
 The girls also got into a bit of gardening action while I was outside...look at those little feet up on the furniture...we have a bit of fresh soil lying around the yard and they can't seem to stay out of it...
"Who me....What dirty feet"......
This project of mine is probably the world's slowest mosaic.....have set myself the target to have it finished before Christmas...there I've said it ..... I am the great un-finisher.
When both panels completed will read "Live a Simple Life" is taking ages as I have too many things on the go...
Should be picking up my greenhouse on the weekend....I am really excited about it...growing from seeds will be so much cheaper and much more rewarding I think...and the ladies are still on the eggs so hopefully chicks by cup weekend......enjoy your day !

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Wellbeing Wednesday.....

The skies are sunny and Spring is everywhere....but  I've been spending a lot of time taking my folks to doctors and hospital visits...spending so much time around sick people and the elderly has made me take a good look at my own health....I always have the best intentions but continually fall of the healthy bandwagon...It really is time to take not only mine, but also my man's health seriously. I really want us to enjoy old age (not there just yet!) and think it's really important to do as much as you can to maintain a healthy mind, body and soul.

Juicing is an easy way to get lots of good stuff into you...I keep forgetting to make them...will aim for 4  times a's messy cleaning out the juicer but worth it.
My favourite mix, organic carrots, apples, oranges and kale from the vegie patch

Drink straight away....I really love the taste of this one.
 Eat more vegies...I shop weekly at the local organic store in Kallista...the amazing colours of fresh fruit and vegies  bursting with goodness.....also need to up the fruit intake...don't think we are doing the two pieces of fruit per day.
Lovely organic vegies...the milk is what I use to make my own yoghurt and the organic sourdough is made locally.
 Healthy was chicken and avocado with garden greens and feta.....will try to enjoy salad vegies is tricky over winter but so easy when the sun is shining..

Today's lunch.....I love avocado and use it on sandwiches instead of butter..
Keep growing our vegies...the broccoli finally got some good solid heads on them...will pick these babies for dinner tomorrow night.. 
Beautiful broccoli heads...finally..

 On the weekend I purchased a seed sprouter...I know you can sprout in a jar but I think it will be easier in this contraption....instructions say sprouts in 3 - 5 days.....see how we's only been one day so far...should be great to add to salads.
Sprouting seeds....alfalfa and been shoots
 Also need to concentrate on man's okay...but I am very unfit...will try to walk the dogs everyday and continue with my yoga practice...along with a busy garden and house to maintain that will hopefully be enough....While keeping my spirit strong with meditation......Namaste.
What do you do to stay healthy ?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Broody Hens and Honey Bees.....

The Bee workshop I attended on Saturday was a real education and got me to do some serious thinking...I didn't realise how much of a commitment it was to take on a Hive, regular checking in Spring to ensure the Hive remains disease free and that the Queen is still OK and laying her eggs.....the need to prevent swarming and ensure they have enough room in the Hive....strict hygiene and ensuring no bee by-products or honey from your hive are left lying around in case other bees come in contact with them....the list goes ...I genuinely want to do this but feel I need to get a bit of hands on experience before I go ahead and commit myself to the maintenance and upkeep of a Hive....I had no idea that a single hive can contain up to 60,000 bees in Spring...I find that incredible...I also have to ensure that I have the correct location to place the the delightful Bec from Becs Bees has invited me to go onsite with her when she opens up one of her hives to see how I go...really looking forward to that.  It will be quite the challenge but will certainly help me decide if I am up for it. Responsible beekeeping is quite involved including registration and yearly honey samples sent to a lab for disease testing.  It's all food for thought.

The little bags on the honey bee for collecting her pollen....nature really is incredible...
Two of my light Sussex girls have gone broody again...last year I put them in and out of a broody box and it drove me crazy because the next day or two they were back on the went on for ages until they eventually gave up but they wore me out....this year I don't have the heart to stop them and have decided to let them sit on a four eggs each and see how they go....hopefully better than the first year with them.. when 2 out of 3 eggs hatched and after 9 weeks I found out they were both roosters...thankfully Isa Browns don't appear to go broody....although it's beautiful to see the girls on the nest so determined to get chicks and so contented...

This is the first time they have been broody at the same time....they have snuggled up's now just the waiting game and see what happens in 21 days....they are on fertilized Isa Brown eggs so hopefully I may wind up with a couple of hens...fingers crossed...anyone else got broody hens on the go?

Friday, 10 October 2014

Friday's Musings......

You always notice how quicker the weeks fly by as it gets closer to Christmas.... already the shops are full of Christmas and it's still October.  Strangely our local supermarket has Halloween and Christmas items out at the same time....don't remember that happening before....but then they had hot cross buns out in early February...go figure.
It's been a busy week ...mostly full of the usual, but my thoughts go out to a lifelong friend whose daughter is in ICU after she developed pre-eclampsia, underwent caesarean section, and is now suffering a  life threatening condition called HELLP syndrome....hopefully she will make a full recovery .... baby is doing well...once again reinforcing the fact that our grasp on life is so precious and precarious.
Spring is in full force around here...beautiful sunny skies today...the seeds I planted and nurtured in the mini greenhouse have unbelievably grown ...first time I have had success...snails didn't manage to find these ones..look forward to planting them out in the next week or two.
Corn seedlings....first success growing from seeds....need the big greenhouse now I think.

At rear: nearly all the pumpkin seeds the front only a few zucchinis ....still happy with that though
 The cauliflowers finally have little heads appearing...not sure if it is too late in the season and they may go to seed before they get any bigger...there's been so much leaf growth I didn't think they were ever going to get a head on's a waiting game.

The cauliflowers in the patch have finally started to show their heads....
Busy weekend ahead which includes a Bee Workshop on very interested in having bees so thought I would do the workshop and see what exactly is involved... see how we go hey.