The bee hive is now on a stand

Bee hive stand
Bee hive stand

The bees are now on a stand. Seeing ants in the hive was the driving force for getting the stand. I have the legs in cartons so I can put oil in them to keep the ants out. The ants definitely discovered the sugar water and maybe the honey.

I also read about sprinkling ground cinnamon on the ground around the hive so I did that ad well.

I need to upload the video because I caught my first sting on video. I returned with more layers and done smoke. The bees were a bit upset when I separated the hive. Hopefully they are happier now with a raised hive and new sugar water.

I was told that I can put a honey box on top once the two boxes are full. So I have one but the new top box is not yet full. Reasoning is the bees can only maintain two boxes during the winter and I’ll have to provide some supplemental heat as well.

When I add the honey box I’ll be adding a queen excluder to keep her out of there.

Cover crops on swale including sunflowers

Swale cover crops including sunflowers
Swale cover crops including sunflowers

I will be adding more straw and should have added a thin layer when I seeded the bare ground.

I was wondering what sunflowers would look like out on the windy plains. They are shorter than what I imagine they usually are which makes sense with the high winds.

Sunflower on a food forest swale
Sunflower on a food forest swale

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Goji berry flowers

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In front of my middle finger is a goji berry flower. It had a faint purple color. This plant was bought and planted this year so I’m surprised that it is flowering after the transplant shock. It was a plant that was shipped with fruit on it but the leaves all died after planting.

And a better photo of another flower.

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The plant to the rights has some holes in it from some hale.

Goji berry fruit
And here is the fruit from that first flower. This is the first goji berry. Impressive to have fruit the first year. I’m considering knocking the rest of the flowers off to promote growth over fruit.

July update of Permaculture in Colorado

These photos were taken July 8th mostly from the farm in Watkins.  The cabbage was grown in Denver).

Comfrey Bocking 4 root cuttings the spring after planting, they have really grown the past few weeks.  They are over 6 inches tall at this point.  Coe’s recommended letting them grow one year and then moving them.  I think they recommend planting them somewhere where you can make sure they stay moist.  I smile at that thought because moving them will probably still leave some roots here which will grow into plants again.

Comfrey Bocking 4 root cuttings the spring after planting
Comfrey Bocking 4 root cuttings the spring after planting

 

Sheet Mulched Potato Patch with Flowers.  This was taken July 8th 2014 of this years potato patch.  A few onions were planted with the potatoes as well.  Benefits of planting these on top of cardboard is that the picking of the potatoes should be easy since they should be above the cardboard.

Sheet Mulched Potato Patch with Flowers
Sheet Mulched Potato Patch with Flowers

Cabbage Planted last year that overwintered and came back better than last year since it is bug free.  The aphids really did damage to the cabbage last year.  For some reason there are no aphids this year.  A couple of thoughts for less aphids: the great number of lady bugs I’ve seen every where including the garden in the city, or maybe having Comfrey planted between and around the cabbage.  Good bugs like comfrey like to overwinter in Comfrey so maybe that has helped as well.

Cabbage Planted last year
Cabbage Planted last year

2014 the year of the lady bug in Colorado.  I’ve been seeing lady bugs everywhere this year.  Is it all the rain we’ve had?  I’ve noticed them at all three properties.

2014 year of the lady bug in Colorado
2014 year of the lady bug in Colorado

2014 Food Forest Swale with cover crops including sunflowers, common vetch and clovers. I am going to add quite a bit of straw to help cover the soil. The common vetch has purple flowers and they attracted a larger bumble bee.

food forest swale on the eastern plains of Colorado
food forest swale on the eastern plains of Colorado

Sunflower seed head before bloom July 2014. Sunflowers were planted as a productive cover crop for the new swale. The animals should enjoy them and some will surely reseed for next year.

Sunflower seed head before bloom July 2014
Sunflower seed head before bloom July 2014

Common Vetch with purple flowers which the bumble bee checked out.

Common Vetch with purple flowers
Common Vetch with purple flowers

watered when planted. 2014 has been a great year for rain. Again this week a lot of rain fell. Enough for the neighbors field to have very large ponds again.

Black Locust seedling leafed out in July
Black Locust seedling leafed out in July

I weeded another row of Asparagus today and noticed some with seed pods balls on them. And this plant had an orange bug which looked like a lady bug but it was solid orange.

Asparagus with orange lady bug maybe
Asparagus with orange lady bug maybe

 

Common Comfrey Patch in Colorado

I poked my head inside a stand of scrub oak and what did I find?

Common Comfrey Growing in scrub oak stand in Colorado

This comfrey has larger leaves and looks healthier than the comfrey in direct sunlight.  I think I can make a whole lot of comfrey tea!  Good reason to buy some more buckets.  I’m glad this acreage has the common comfrey that spreads by seed.  It is growing place I would not have planted it and thus is improving the area without labor.

 

Comfrey tea making

Bocking 4 comfrey stems, leaves and flowers blended with a blender to speed up the time it takes to break down for a fertilizer.bocking 4 comfrey blended for tea

The first batch of comfrey tea I started was with the leaves of common comfrey added to a bucket with water. The leaves were not chopped. It only took a few days for the smell and black water to appear.
Common comfrey fertilizer tea