Spring Week 6: Rosy May Comes in With Flowers

The maple trees are in full bloom, but I have seen more bumble bees and mason bees interested in the flowers than my honeybees.

• Rapini
• Sprouty Siberian Kale
• Sprouty Red Russian Kale
• Leeks
• Baby Turnips with Greens
• Quelites

Pea Shoots
Beet Greens
Miners’ Lettuce

All in all, it wasn’t a bad week. Cold, wet. We’re getting used to it.

A wonderful surprise arrived Wednesday as we were finishing up the new barn. Juniper was due on the 30th, so we were laying down stall mats on the concrete and painting the inside. After Mike and I wrestled the first mat into the barn, I glanced up and looked outside. “What is that?” I asked Mike. Down by the blackberry hedge, there was a small brown thing standing next to Juniper. All of our cows are black, but Beauty carries the color dun, and she’s had two dun calves. Juniper was bred to a black bull, and Beauty to a dun bull. My first thought was, “Why did Beauty have her calf 6 weeks early?”, followed by “That’s not good.” Well, it turns out Beauty was at the other end of the pasture, and Juniper (being Beauty’s daughter) carries dun as well.

The Golden Calf.

As much as I love to be involved in births and watch the birth unfold, what a relief to have everything happen simply and easily. Calf and mother well. No issues whatsoever! They are still well and the little golden boy got his first halter put on tonight. He is naked no more.

We picked up another package of bees and installed them in the second hive Friday. Cosmo assisted. Luckily his bee suit arrived Thursday. We were excited to see the bees busy building comb and raising brood in the first hive.

Cosmo helps check on Charlotte's hive.

Saturday afternoon the sun came out, and I spent a little time looking for my busy bees. They were bringing home a lot of dark golden pollen, but I couldn’t figure out what it was from. The maple trees and mustard flowers have light yellow pollen. Turns out, it must be dandelions. T&M Berry Farm next door has a beautiful dandelion field right now.

This week we will be planting out the onions, and the first plantings of broccoli and cabbages, and lettuces. We’re hoping to get some carrots and beets planted outside by the end of the week, and hopefully more greens.

The Japanese turnips we planted in the greenhouse back in March are finally ready for harvest. Enjoy the greens too. I just chop up the turnips with the leaves and sauté them quickly. A squeeze of orange juice is yummy with them.

Quelites are actually a weed, growing in amongst the turnips and carrots in the greenhouse. We call it “Lambsquarter” and it is in the Chenopodium family, with Quinoa. But we eat the leaves, not the seeds. Cook it like spinach, either raw, steamed, or sautéed.

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