Lisa got the onions planted ten days ago. The next got-tos are the Hatch Chilis (New Mexican seed from a place where Lisa used to buy peppers by the bushel), which really need to go in this weekend, and tapping the maples.
Actually, that’s go get the evaporator: If we can’t get it set up, there’s no point in tapping. It would be nice to find something larger and more stable than the 5 gallon buckets, but I’m drawing a blank. With me spending three days a week in Boston, we’ll overflow unless I put a five gallon bucket on every tap. We have two food grade 55 gallon drums, but there is no way I could haul them uphill to the tractor. A bucket on every tree it may be.
We finally have a date set up for Ella Mae. The guy has a Milking Devon bull, but he’s only six months old, and would need a ladder. So we’ve got her fixed up with a Devon/Jersey cross, which will at least get us a milk cow if we get a heifer. The trailer is hooked up and ready to go.
This week’s haul from Community Kitchen was 350 lbs of moldy corn muffins. The pigs love them, as they do anything sweet, and combined with tofu and hay, it’s a balanced diet, even if high in soy. (Corn is the fourth ingredient on the corn muffins.) My take is that we are getting about two pigs worth of free food on an ongoing basis. That’s a really big help.
The hive I was sure wouldn’t make it didn’t. The wind blew it over Thursday, and it was already dead. The really bad news is that Prince found the syrup in the feeder. Aside from smashing some the woodenware, our smart lad figured out that the middle hive has a feeder too. Which he pushed off. It was ten or 20 minutes before I noticed. That could be enough to have killed that hive, which had been alive within the week. I’m concerned about superhive: they don’t seem to have flown this week, despite some nice weather.
If we lose all three, we’re taking some time off. I didn’t have enough time to take care of them last year, and I’m sick of seeing them die. When we try again, I’m going to get nucs from Champlain Valley Apiaries. He’s been breeding in Vermont for mite resistance for a decade now. And I’ll be sure I have enough time to get them all fixed up for winter.