88 Days!

What’s the most exciting thing happening at Prickly Pear Plantation in 2017?  Our wedding, of course!  We can’t believe it but it’s just 88 days until the big day!  The Prickly Pear Plantation Beautification project is in full swing.  We have been working on a back patio off the deck and a front walkway and landscaping around the house.

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A few weeks ago we had a 3 day stretch of very cold weather.  Night time temperatures were in the 20s and one day it didn’t get above freezing until noon! It is very rare that we experience freezing temperatures during daylight hours here, even in January.  Once that cold front moved out, it felt like spring.  We had high temperatures near 80 on multiple days last week.  And nature is confused!  The daffodils out front have bloomed as well as the azaleas near the front gate.  There is new growth on the apple trees and the bees are very busy!

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Speaking of the bees, they waged an epic 2 week battle against yellow jackets, but fortunately the honey bees were victorious!  It’s extremely concerning when yellow jackets discover your bee hives because they are carnivorous little beasts and if they get into the hives they will eat the bee larvae and can take over a hive within a few days, ousting the bees.  So I had to act fast.  First I reduced the entrances on both hives so that bees would only have a small space to guard.  Then for several days in a row I went out there with my fly swatter and murdered as many yellow jackets as I could.  I also bought a yellow jacket trap, but it probably only caught about 15 yellow jackets while I easily slayed hundreds with my fly swatter.  I watched the bees battle the yellow jackets in hand to hand combat.  It was pretty amazing to watch and I am proud of my warrior bees.  I haven’t seen a yellow jacket in about a week now and the bees are happily hauling in pollen in the warm sunshine.

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Two warrior bees guarding the entrance to the hive. 

The golden girls have proven to be prolific egg layers and I would highly recommend golden comets to anyone looking for some backyard chickens! Each of them has laid a beautiful chocolate brown egg every single morning since we got them.  They are egg machines.  We have started to sell the excess eggs to Matt’s coworkers and to date have sold about 7 dozen.  One coworker claimed that they were the best tasting eggs she has ever had in her entire life.  I think my hens are happy and I think happy hens lay beautiful delicious and nutritious eggs!

The other day I noticed that some ginger I had purchased at the grocery store had starting to sprout!  So I decided to plant it in a little pot to see if I can get it to grow.

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Herbs are amazing for flavoring foods and medicinal purposes.  Many herbs do really well in pots which means basically anyone can grow them!  My favorites are parsley, oregano and basil which are all growing in containers on my front porch which makes it convenient to go pick some when I am making pizza or pasta sauce.  I also feed oregano to my chickens to keep them healthy.  And  I used some of my very own basil in my last batch of soap!

Anything interesting going on on eBay you ask? Sure, you remember Big Mouth Billy Bass, don’t you?

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Oh the 90s!

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Welcome 2017!

2016 was quite a year.  We accomplished a lot here on the farm and we think 2017 will be even more productive!  We’ve learned some lessons on growing food and are looking forward to more bountiful harvests this year.  We also have plans to create a farm website and begin selling products this year.  We would also like to tap into our creative side and start producing short videos featuring your favorite furry farm friends.  So don’t stray far! Lots of exciting stuff will be coming your way this year!

Yesterday I placed my order on Southern Exposure Seed Exchange for 31 different varieties of seeds to get us started this spring.  Let’s not forget though, that despite it being January, I still have greenery in the garden!  Yesterday I picked a bunch of Swiss Chard for a side dish for dinner.

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But I guess I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s back up to last week.  My parents came down to visit the day after Christmas.  Lola and my dad quickly picked up where they had left off.

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We also surprised my parents with some rocking chairs for their cabin.

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My parents also brought down some neat gifts for us like an antique butter churn, and a box of ammo for each of us!  The TSA had no problem with the ammo, but that butter churn…

 

Well we had an enjoyable week, lots of work was done on the cabin and the weather was pleasant for the most part.  We rang in the new year right here on the farm.

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Ok, that picture may have been taken at 8pm, did anyone really think I stayed up until midnight?

And here’s the cabin today!

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And here’s Leo with his Prickly Pear toy his auntie Jen made for him:

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Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive 2017!