I’m working down in the flatlands now, so weekend days are precious. We need to get the farm set up so Lisa can do more than just take care of critters. And then soon, I need to be able to do more than that. A year ago we had extra firewood, but the sheep shed marathon last fall kept us from getting ahead, so we need to cut and stack a whole winter’s worth. Luckily there’s plenty dry on the ground.
The bees also need attention. One of the new hives is very busy, the other is not. The one that is languishing is the one whose queen I let out prematurely. It’s too early for new workers, but if the other hive is queenright and this one is not, its workers will drift away. I finally heard from Champlain Valley that he does have nucs for me, but after getting the two packs, I’m having second thoughts. Champlain has been breeding for varroa resistance, whilst whatever knocks mine off, it has not been varroa. Am I likely to get varroa from Champlain Valley and lose my other hives? I still have two more nucs coming.
Today we ran fence. We now have one paddock completely surrounded by woven wire. We’re using a cattle panel for a gate. We’re reluctant to let the sheep in there, it’s barely recovered from their last visit last fall. However Bjarki has started to wander. He went down to the village last weekend, and today Valerie picked him up on 123. We now have a place to stick him. The plan is to continue down Mack Hill Road, building out from what we have.
We had talked about putting the orchard there, but it’s actually shaded for a good part of the day. We’re now discussing letting that be pasture and putting the orchard downhill from the garden.
We also pulled the new tractor out of the mud. The old one has serious engine issues or it would have done it all by itself. As it was, Lisa used the old one to pull, while I drove the new one. It popped right out, and we’re a two tractor family again.