Our Little Piece Of Earth

Several blogs that I have seen this morning have reminded me that it is Earth Day. In fact it is the 50th year that this day has been celebrated. It is really just a coincidence that I have prepared a post with lots of pictures of our little piece of this earth but I invite you to have a look around.

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Even though we lost all of our bees over the winter we still have two hives that have some honey in them. On the days that are warm and sunny they are being visited by what we assume are wild honey bees. Since there is little available for them to forage this early in the year these bees are eating the honey that remains in the hives. It is good to know there are still honey bees in the area.

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Daffodils are blossoming and the bushes in the background are forsythia just beginning to bud out. We have never had the forsythia blossom so fully. Last year we decided not to prune them but to wait until after they are done blossoming this spring. It seems to have worked.

Yellow is a happy color. πŸ™‚

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It shouldn’t be long before the forsythia is fully blossomed. I think it will be a stunning backdrop for the pond.

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These small daffodils and white hyacinths were planted 5 years ago in memory of my husband’s mother. My husband had bought them for her to brighten up her room when she was in the hospital. After she passed away we brought them home and planted them in the prayer garden. They are the first daffodils to blossom every year.

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The garlic is doing well. I love seeing them come up in neat, orderly rows.

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These small red shoots are a peony bush the I planted last year in memory of my Aunt Shirley. I am so happy to see it coming up.

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I spotted the first dandelions to open. They were growing in the middle of my oregano patch so I will likely dig them out. Personally I love to see dandelions in bloom they just don’t belong in my oregano patch.

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Above are cosmos and below are primrose. Both were added to the prayer garden last year. They were given to my husband by a lady whose home he was working at while he was working the landscaping job.

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The cosmos continued to flower all last summer and were not touched by the deer, but the top growth on the primrose died off after being transplanted. They then formed new leaves but did not flower. I guess I will find out this year if they are deer candy or not.

 

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A cardinal was visiting the chicken yard. This is not unusual. Many birds (and rabbits, and squirrels and even deer) visit that area since there is always food available.

 

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Blue berry bushes are beginning to bud out as are apple trees (below).

IMG_6435We witnessed something we have never seen before on Sunday. Honey bees were foraging in the daffodils.

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We have had daffodils growing since before we began keeping bees and if you have been following my blog for very long you know that I always watch to see where the bees are and what plants they are foraging.

 

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This is the first time in eight years that we have seen the honey bees collecting daffodil pollen. Since I am not skilled enough as a photographer to get a picture of the pollen attached to their bodies you will just have to take my word that they were collecting pollen to take back to their hive.

As I was working at the farm on Monday I noticed this egret land near the pond. He or she quickly swooped up a tasty treat. I’m not sure if it was a frog or a fish.

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It then continued to make it’s way around the edge of the pond.

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It was about 45 minutes later that I saw it fly away so I can only assume it left with a full belly.

Not everything that is happing at the farm is as passive as this appears.

On Sunday I decided it was time to start preparing the ground around the apple trees for the companion plants I am going to put in.

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Since my husband was working in a different area, we put Ranger on a tie near where I was working. When he saw me digging in the dirt he decided to come and help. I have to admit that he was much more efficient digging with his paws than I was with a trowel. Unfortunately after digging for a short bit he sniffed the area and realized there were no mice hiding in that ground, so he was done.

I finished removing the grass and top layer of soil around the base of the tree – only six more to go. I will then be planting chives which are said to ward off insects and prevent apple scab and nasturtiums which are also reported to repel insects. We won’t know until summer if these methods are working but lets all hope that I’ll be posting pictures of beautiful apples later this year.

Now this post is getting long and we’re heading out to work in the asparagus patch (it should be coming up soon) so I’ll save the information about the work we are doing there for another post.

Thanks for visiting and until next time be well.

How are you celebrating earth day?

 

25 thoughts on “Our Little Piece Of Earth

  1. So happy you love trees too. It is hard when they die and we have to chop them down. Where we live in the city there were giant (I don’t know what they were…think some sort of pine) trees all around the street by the hospital close to us but then the city put in a light rail and all these old giant shade trees were chopped down. It is so bright and plain now, like a prison I tell my husband. All cement. They did try to bring in some small bushes or some sort but it still looks so sad now.

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  2. I always love visiting your farm, thank you for that. Looks like everything is coming out to greet you once again. That story about your flowers in memory of pass love ones is so sweet. We have several bees right now in our garden because our tree is filling up with tons of tiny little pollen balls. It is not easy to keep up in the pool but it is so beautiful and the tree stays, the pool would go first, not that tree and not in our home. We always worry about the new owners in case we finally list our place for sale and head out farther from the city so my husband can have more land and goats. We look at all the work we put into planting tree and we know that any city couple will chop down these trees that have sheltered the doves, sparrows and fed the bees year after year. We see it happen all the time in our neighborhood. Young couples move in and chop trees down because they don’t like cleaning up after them

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    1. I always love your visits too. I know how you feel about that tree. When we first bought our farm we planned on putting a house on it. We went to look at modular homes and when we talk to the builder he said “I will be in control of the whole project – just leave it to me.” I envisioned them coming in with bull dozers and knocking down all of our beautiful trees. That was the last time we talked to that builder. While some were dead and had to be cut down there are many trees that are 50+ years old. You just can’t plant those kind of trees. To date very few of the trees we have cut have been live trees and it is always a tough decision to make.

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    1. Thanks. We designed it then had it dug. At it’s deepest it is 20+ feet so will support life during the winter. After they finished digging it we put in a couple of piles of large rocks so the fish would have places to hide. We had the sand brought in for the beach and it extends out into the shallow end. The windmill is used for aerating the pond but we also have a pump that it can connect to in order to pump water out for irrigating our crops. After the pond filled with water we stocked it with minnows, perch, walleye, cat fish and pike. Besides minnows the only ones are breeding in the pond are the perch. The areas with sand on the bottom is where perch will spawn. Last year when we were fishing we discovered that bass and sunfish have made their way to our pond as well. Apparently with the help of visitors like that egret.

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  3. We kept bees years ago when our 5 homeschooled children were little. It was a wonderful project, and the honey was delicious. There are very few wild honeybees here in Virginia. I’m glad you see some wherever your home is. Happy gardening and farming.

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    1. I think our beekeeping over the last 7 years has helped repopulate the wild bees. We use a low management approach and don’t do hive splits so we have had swarms that have set off into the wild. It’s great to see that some are surviving. We are in South East Michigan. Happy farming to you as well. πŸ™‚

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  4. It looks very cheery with all the yellow Ruth. I really liked the egret and I see your garlic is doing well with no “wet feet” – your piece of Earth is doing just fine – keep up the good work.

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    1. I was glad that egret stopped by when I was there (with camera) my husband had seen it there the day before and I was sorry I had missed it. I think that our new location for the garlic is going to work out well. So far so good anyway.

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      1. We were supposed to get all that rain … they said southern and western cities and I saw no rain today. Because of the anticipated rain, I decided to sleep in this morning without using an alarm clock – whenever I trust the weatherman and then we don’t have rain, I wonder why I believe them. I still got out for a walk, but it was later than usual. Last time for me believing them – now I’ll get up my normal early time!

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  5. Beautiful spring pictures of the farm. I think companion planting is fascinating. I have an (unread) book about it, that I need to find when get get back to the house next month.

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