Beau Toby was acting restless in the heat, so we took him to lie in the grass...and sit in the pond.
Some Mulching Benefits:
1. Keeps weeds from getting out of control.
2. Brightens things up.
3. Provides shelter for beneficial bugs and they add nutrients to the garden.
4. Will break down and become compost over time.
These are the Diva variety from Johnny's Seeds -- a greenhouse cuke -- and mentioned in Janisse Ray's book on seed saving. I've been cutting off the skins to give to Beau Toby who really loves them with carrots and softened alfalfa cubes. The magazine Holistic Horse has an article on whole foods in season, so in moderation, we're putting some goodies in the mix.
Saturday we picked up this package of 12,000 bees with a Queen from Wilbanks Apiaries in Claxton.
The Queen was in a tiny separate box...here's Shanny creating a tiny opening.
Blowing smoke helps them go into their hive.
Sandor got stung once, but I didn't. Just a few stragglers were flying around, but they really want to go into the box to be with the Queen.
By early evening, all the bees had gone into the box!
Now, they'll get busy building up the hive. It'll take a year before we can harvest any honey.
We'll need to add another box in a few months, because this is a small hive.
My two favorite things in one (horses & chocolate) -- a Chocolate Palomino!
A walk to get grass...
The other precious, Lulu.
Dried green lace....that's how mustard greens look after they've been devoured by harlequin bugs. This crop is lost, so I'll cut it back and see if it returns....
I found this article on harlequin bugs and stink bugs from Toxic Free NC.
As the article recommends, I've been picking off the harlequin bugs (mustard greens) and the stink bugs (potatoes) -- they're so funny-looking, I hate to squish them.
Sandor bought this and we've sprayed it in isolated areas. Spinosad is a biological pesticide, not synthetic. But now I read it's toxic to bees.
We are collecting our Queen and bees on Saturday. One tip I picked up, is to spray when they go into their hive, since it's less toxic when dried than wet. More research on this is needed -- and any input from other growers is welcome....
All images (c) Molly & Sandor
Kiss My Grits Blog (Walk for Farm Sanctuary)