Monday, November 15, 2010

Well, THOSE are fun...

(or " Making the Most of a Senior Moment....")
Face it. We all have them. Probably some of us more than others...and they can certainly make life interesting, if not exasperating.

So, I was planting the seed potatoes last Spring, and I got distracted in the middle of the job... (Say it isn't so!!) and put down the bag of fingerlings. Somewhere. After an hour or so of futile searching, I gave up. Figured somebody (the goat) found them and ate them, or they were going to get wet and rot somewhere.

Ta Da!!! Found them in August in my Craft Room next to the Beading Basket. (I have NO idea...) Having a recently emptied spot in the garden, I put them in. What the heck?...

Last week I harvested. The plants did pretty well - never got to flower, but apparently that is not a requirement for taters. The tubers grow in response to day length and plant size. A 1+ pound bag of (slightly) dehydrated seed potatoes yielded over 6 lbs. of crop. Plenty of the usual fingerling size tubers, some seed tubers for next year, and lots of fun, little tater "tots" that we tossed in the fryer, roasted with fall veggies, and fried up as hash browns.

Not going to change farming policy around here, but certainly nice to know there is such a thing as late potatoes...
Not everyone thought they were tasty....but who asked her anyway???

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flurry of FO's

Zippin' off the needles in the last weeks....
Socks for Bill; 2-at-a-time on 2 circulars, toe-up, Dyenamics custom over-dye, Sport weight yarn.
Fingerless mitts for Madison; Periwinkle Sheep worsted weight.
Fingerless mitts for me; Dyenamics Alpaca/Wool blend using a Dyenamics exclusive pattern.
Socks for me; using a Lion Brand Magic Stripes sock yarn (a freebie from a friend's stash) which Madison decided SHE liked, so....

I dove back into my sock yarn stash/ends and found some blue sport weight for the contrast...and VIOLA! Two pairs of socks out of 660 yds. (or so)

Right now, stitching another pair of socks for Madison from a colorway she designed herself. Details soon...

And of course, can't have just ONE WIP, so there's more fingerless mitts at the bottom of the knitting bag...

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Bit O' Honey

We have two hives this year (unofficially "his" and "hers") and we decided NOT to pull honey, since we want to stack the deck in the favor of the hives and help them overwinter. The "hers" hive finished out the season with two full hive bodies and a full honey super (10 frames). The "his" hive finished with two full hive bodies, but only 4 frames of additional honey in the top honey super.

But, truth be told, I have become a honey addict, and I couldn't think of going the whole winter without, so we pulled 2 frames from "my" hive. Crude harvesting of the frames (read: no extractor) gave us a half gallon of honey (more than enough if I don't go crazy) and two very sticky frames for the bees to clean.

We had a particularly warm day (70 degrees) a week or so ago, and that's when I decided to pull. So once finished, I put the sticky frames back outside for the bees to clean. I get a clean frame, they get lots of honey to store. And the two hives could share equally in the honey (therefore giving "his" hive a little boost).

Click to biggify, and notice all the "non-bee" honey helpers...Amazing! Within 15 minutes, they had found the frames, and four or so hours later, everything was squeaky clean!

For Halloween, my daughter's 8th grade class decided on a group costume (trying to strike a balance between "too old for that stuff" and wanting an excuse to wear a costume) for the Halloween parade to the area nursing home. They were a hive of "worker bees" (note the hard hats and tool belts) carrying their Queen (the more than willing Science teacher - who wouldn't want to get carried around and waited on by your students?) and Madison was the beekeeper. (BTW - wearing the gear is as close as she gets to the actual beekeeping; she'll stick to chickens, thank you very much).

(It reads, "All Hail the Queen Bee" for those of you that just have to know...)

We'll see in Spring if the hives survive...keeping our fingers crossed! And feeding them as often as we can!