Summer Solstice.

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Summer Solstice.

Post by wayland on Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:58 am

The wheel turns once more. It has been a mixed year thus far here in Co Wexford. Somethings are suffering for the want of a bit of rain yet surprisingly, others are flourishing. We have created a small wildlife copse on a piece of poor land. The trees we planted have really grown apace. Its becoming a bit too dense to gain easy access. A job for the Autumn as well as building a roundhouse hide in there. In the orchard, fissures have opened up in the ground. Something I have not seen before but the trees seem to be bearing up well with the promise of a future crop in the making. I have given the early spuds as much water as I dare and they are cropping well in the polytunnel. The no-dig main crop experiment is looking very good if top growth is anything to go by. So by and large we are happy with this year thus far. Hows it been with you?
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wayland

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Re: Summer Solstice.

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:10 pm

Pretty good here.  We've actually had plenty of rain so early and maincrop spuds are doing well outside. Also onions which were flattened by the wind have more or less straightened up and are thickening nicely now.  Tomatoes, squashes and broccoli all bearing fruit in the poly and climbing french beans doing very nicely.  Runners outside improving every day as expected.  Apple crop looks like being a bumper one this year and raspberries are on the cusp. The pond is an absolute magnet for birds of all types and dragonflies -four species noted so far!  At one end of the pond there is a plum tree which is host to a limitless supply of aphids and all day long you can see chiffchaffs, willow warblers and goldcrests gorging on them. The place is overrun with young chickens - any hen that goes hatching I just chuck a few eggs under her and let her get on with it.
 Very busy now with the bees, making nuc hives and loading on supers in expectation of a good flow from the clover and blackberry.  No swarm so far, which I put down to running the hives without excluders.  I will put them on around 1st August when the heather starts coming in - not to keep the queen out so much as to keep pollen out which is a nuisance when pressing out the honey and a disaster in comb honey.  
  Ah well, the nights will be getting longer after tomorrow and we'll be able to take a few months well-earned rest. Laughing

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Re: Summer Solstice.

Post by wayland on Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:36 am

Yep. I am running out of steam a bit but still too much to do. Have been chasing me tail a bit trying to get organized so I can have a week off going to this fecking wedding in the UK. Another period of very hot weather does not help matters much, still Gloria is looking forward to the trip so I am trying not to be too much of a mardy bugger over it Smile. My large crop of earlies have matured enough me thinks so will need no more water. The second crop of early peas are in and will take care of themselves for a bit. The outside main crop are a disaster. What is doing well (touches forelock and turns around three times) is my Bees Smile Nothing has taken residence in the catcher hive yet, but my infant apirey is at least under control. Sean do you spinout your honey? You mentioned "Pressing" so I assume you don't. In the UK we got literally tons of rapeseed honey, which if left too long before extraction has to be cut from the frames and pressed. Not the best honey but as it comes early and so much of it, it has its uses.
As to these "Blacks", I can see why the combe was much sort after for church candles, really white compared to the yellow Italian. I am now planning winter projects. Hive making being in the forefront of me mind. I am getting quite hooked on this foundationless idea.
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Re: Summer Solstice.

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:25 am

I spin out most of my honey in a big radial extractor. The exception is the ling honey which is a jelly and has to be crushed and put through a press. It's a pain to process, but it sells at a big price so it's worth the trouble. Also ivy, which, like oilseed rape, granulates in the comb and has to be treated the same way.

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