Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

The temperature topped out over 80 yesterday, and should hit around 80 today as well.  I'm afraid of what the summer will bring!  After today, it's back to the 60s during the day though.  It's so nice to be outside on a beautiful day, but the pollen is starting to fly, so being outside is a double edged sword for me. 

Our Pearl has been molting, so we haven't received an egg from her in a while, but she's back on her game.  Yesterday she laid, and she rejoiced all through the yard, loudly and proudly I might add.  She's a Black Star and is a wonderful layer.  I was reading a publication on chickens that stated all chickens stop laying during the winter unless you put lights in their coops.  We don't have lights, and ours laid through the winter.  We didn't get as many eggs as we do during the summer, but we did get 1-2 eggs a day.  I know the breed contributes, and we have a RIR, a Buff Orpington, a Black Star, a Barred Rock and a cross breed Brahma.  What is your experience with winter eggs? 

In addition to routine chores around the place, yesterday we started our spring yard redo.  We seem to do this every year as we decide certain plants may do better in another area of the yard.  Yesterday we relocated two lantanas, a rosemary bush, a Japanese maple, a pomegranate, some perennials and we potted a fig tree.  This fig tree was a rooting from some friends, and it just hasn't prospered where we planted it, so in an effort to rescue it from certain death, I decided to pot it for a while.  It's pretty small, and I've read that figs really like their roots kept confined to produce fruit.  I don't know if that's necessarily true, because I'm certain the fig tree across the street has not been confined in any way.  It's huge.  Potting the fig tree will help me keep a closer eye on it and give it some extra attention. 

A few weeks ago, I had a few tree services come over and give me estimates on taking down some of the trees in my neighbor's yard.  I've been going back and forth about spending that money, but we can get it done alot cheaper if they just drop the trees and leave them for us to cut up and dispose of.  It's ALOT of work on our end, but think of the money we save on gym membership.  Plus, one of them is an oak, and we can save it for firewood.  So, this weekend we really watched the sun to see how taking down three trees would benefit us.  I've been complaining about those trees for years, and now given the opportunity to take them down, I think I need to step up to the plate or stop complaining.  Plus, I think it will open up enough yard to start a small espaliered orchard.  If we go this route, we will have to sacrifice our current peach tree, which is another dilemma.  It really is a great tree, but I can espalier so many more fruit trees in the area it takes up.     

We checked on our bee supplies to make sure they were in good shape for our nuc delivery in a week or two.  We didn't find any evidence of wax moths, so I think we're in good shape. 

My ginger ale didn't really carbonate, but I think it's because I had it in the wrong-sized container.  I really need to get a 2-liter bottle and try again.  Either way, it tastes pretty good.  A nice change up from tea and water, for sure.  I think next time I may add a little more sugar because it has a bite to it that we didn't find enjoyable.  A little honey in my glass seemed to take the bite out though.

What did you accomplish over the weekend?

Happy homesteading,




  1. Hi! We had bee school over the weekend. We are getting excited to get started. We are a little late ordering our bees though.

    We tried making rootbeer once and it exploded in our basement. I love gingerale and would really like to try making some.

    Your blog is great!

  2. CLC: We took our bee class last year and learned alot, but it is just the tip of the iceberg in beekeeping. Good luck with your bees! I hope you have a much better first year than we did. Bummer that your rootbeer exploded. I had a soda explode on me at work once, and it went everywhere. I was still cleaning soda off the walls for months. Thanks for the nice comment, and I'm glad you enjoy reading.