More Winter Homestead Preparation

Our place is really beautiful in the fall, but Oh. My. Lanta. I almost haven’t had time to enjoy it!!

We have been outrageously busy here.

This past weekend we had a wedding in the family. Our oldest was the ring bearer in my husband’s cousin’s wedding. It was pretty, and fun, and we saw family we hadn’t seen in about a decade! (Ask me how I feel about being able to say it’s been a decade since I’ve done anything…old.)

But we actually managed to get a little work done around the place too.

My better than wonderful in-laws took care of my laundry and dishes so I was practically hunting for things to do.

We prepared the site for our bee hive.

We decided on a spot that is in full sun, out of our immediate walkways, east facing for first morning light, and in the direction of the bulk of our garden.

We may eventually add a second hive if we have success this year and put it nearer the orchard. Who knows.

My husband secured a massive amount of some heavy duty cardboard boxes from work so we layed down about 4 of them to keep grass down and eliminate the need for mowing directly around the hive boxes.

Then we layered on wood chips and (tried) to make it level. The bees will build level combs whether the hive is level or not, so the goal is to not have wonky comb building patterns.

The kids did what they call “helping” which consists mostly of imitating my husband and I while we work. My daughter’s impression of me is spot on.

Then we set up the stand for the hive using some 4x4s we had left over from our chicken coop project, along with cinder blocks which my husband secured for free — God provides, people. You just have to be able to see it.

Then I cleaned out the pepper plants from the garden.

We still have vibrant parsley, sage, and onions with some pretty marigolds on their home stretch.

That is the oldest of our B2E garden terrace beds and it’s soil is Ah-MAZ-ing. Such a pleasure to work in! The pepper plants had trunks– not stems– trunks 3″ thick, and root systems that were 5 feet in diameter!! It was outrageous.

Then we started work on the final terrace

And finally, after much prayer, this afternoon, the kids and I (after what felt like 10,000 “no-stop it- don’ts”) moved our captured strawberry runners to their new home.

It was cool how it happened actually; I was feeling pressure to get the runners moved and I finally walked out to the garden with Henrik and prayed for God to show me where to put them. When I looked over the garden, the sunset cast the most gorgeous sumbeam directly across the top terrace bed. So, I thanked God for being so direct and to the point, and decided to make a permanent bed of strawberries and asparagus and rotate in rhubarb, borage, and other companions as desired.

The strawberries are on the north side, and the asparagus will go on the south, with a walking/ harvesting path down the center. Companions will be planted in the staggered gaps between the strawberries.

I believe it will work, and happened upon this article from Mother Earth News that gives me hope.

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