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Apr 2017

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The Last Honeyhunter

While I enjoyed the Farmsteaders movie that Mark posted about, my favorite viewing from the recent film festival was The Last Honey Hunter. I went into it expecting a documentary and instead got a visual yet symphony-like experience, as if I'd actually been in Nepal climbing massively high cliffs in search of taboo and at the same time medicinal honey (an overdose of which can easily kill you).

The film is just over half an hour long, and if you get a chance I highly recommend indulging in the experience.

Posted Wed Apr 25 06:00:22 2018 Tags:
Super Winch update.

Did we bring the Super Winch with hitch mount with us on the move North?

We sold it to our neighbor James for a fair price before we left.

He would get more use out of it since our new land is more high and dry.

Posted Tue Apr 24 06:00:44 2018 Tags:
Chatting turtles

Did you know that box turtles are sociable? They sometimes hang out together without any apparent mating or territorial maneuvering going on.

Turtle ranges

Did you know that female box turtles have much larger home ranges than males do? (Up to 50 acres vs. 7 acres or less.) This may be because the females sometimes travel long distances pretty fast when the time comes to lay their eggs. Take a look at that long, skinny red polygon above as an example of beeline-to-the-nest-site behavior.

A male box turtle, on the other hand, might spend his entire summer under the same blackberry bush subsisting on fallen fruit, worms, and bugs. Perhaps this is why male turtles have lower levels of stress hormones in their blood than females do?

Box Turtle hunting dogs

Marcel Weigand discovered all this and more with the help of both human and canine field assistants who found, tagged, then revisited several test subjects over the course of last year. She shared her findings at the Athens Public Library Saturday and, impressively, one of four teenage neighbors willingly sat through the entire hour.

Posted Mon Apr 23 06:00:48 2018 Tags:
Roll out nest tray one year update.

It's been about a year since our first experiment with a roll out nest tray.

One thing I would do differently would be to mount the tray so the angle could be adjusted depending on how the chicken tractor was sitting on uneven ground.

It might be better suited for chicken coops that remain stationary all day.

I really like the idea of keeping eggs clean with the help of gravity and will continue to pursue this concept if we ever decide to get chickens again.

Posted Sun Apr 22 06:00:56 2018 Tags:
Planting asparagus

Rose Nell gave us five Purple Passion asparagus roots to join the 25 Jersey Knight we ordered online. The latter is what grew so wonderfully for us in Virginia, so we'll be very curious to see if this new purple variety is as tasty and productive.

Only after we both ordered and received our roots online did we drop by White's Mill...and find the exact same varieties available there for a lower price before we even factored in shipping. I guess I need to start checking out our local establishments before placing perennial orders from now on!

Posted Sat Apr 21 06:00:46 2018 Tags:
Egyptian Onion leaf close up.

Spring close up of one of the few Egyptian Onions that made the trip North with us.

Posted Fri Apr 20 06:00:55 2018 Tags:
Tomato seedlings

Monday was potting-up day for the nightshade family. Tomatoes, of course...

Baby pepper plants

...our favorite lunchbox peppers...

Eggplant seedling

...and even a few eggplants. I'm not sure I'll be able to prevent flea beetle depredations organically (the reason I usually skip this crop), but I saw a guy selling heirloom seeds at the farmer's market and couldn't resist.

Double decker seed starting station

Aaaand now we need a fourth shop light.

Posted Thu Apr 19 06:00:19 2018 Tags:
Truck mirror image of me and my Mom.

Mirror image of my Mom and me talking about trading a cow for magic beans.

Posted Wed Apr 18 06:00:55 2018 Tags:
Covering up the spring garden

I looked back through the blog and found that I seldom mentioned Redbud Winter in the past. I'm not sure whether that's because I was planting at a more reasonable time back in Virginia or whether we just tended to get cold spells a week or so later (at which point it becomes Dogwood Winter).

Strawberry flower
Whether this is the new Ohio normal or just a fluke, though, we had lots to cover up before the current cold spell hit. Broccoli and peas and lettuce of various ages. Newly transplanted parsley and thyme. And the first few strawberry flowers just beginning to bloom. Here's hoping it doesn't get cold enough to nip the flowers through the row cover!
Posted Tue Apr 17 06:00:23 2018 Tags:
Farmsteaders Documentary.

We watched a sweet and beautiful documentary about a local cheese making family Sunday at the 2018 Athens International Film Festival.

Farmsteaders is a unique glimpse into a small cheese making operation over the course of 5 years.

The cinematography is stellar and you really get drawn into the joy and struggles of what it takes to get the cheese made and sold.

Posted Mon Apr 16 06:00:21 2018 Tags:

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