This past week we harvested the garlic at the farm. It is nice when the sandy soil is moist because it makes for an easy harvest. It took 2 of us the better part of 4 hours to harvest it all. Harvest included digging them up and cutting the scapes with bulbils off of them. We placed the bulbils in containers with buckets. The plan is to plant the bulbils and grow them out over the next couple of years. Many people cut the scapes early to help the bulbs grow larger. I hope that actually works that way since these bulbs all look small. Scapes can be sold when they are cut early and sold late with bulbils for people who want to plant. Last fall we could not find any bulbils for sale when we purchased the garlic. Since we have about 1800 scapes maybe we will sell some this year. Each scape has 20 or more bulbils which in a few years will be larger garlic bulbs. That equates to 36,000 bulbs – ahhhh.
A second swarm of bees for 2015 and this one for the farm on the high plains of Colorado. A random great happenstance, I went to buy an old scythe and he also happened to have a wild swarm in the box so I left with bees and a scythe. The scythe works great for knocking out tall weeds, much better than the machete I’ve been using. I happened to have some sugar at the farm so I mixed up some sugar water for them. I used it to try to calm them down a bit as I transferred them to their wooden hive. Since it is getting late in the summer so they are going to get sugar water, plus maybe that will encourage them to stay.
It has been a really wet year with fresh rain in the past day or two and lots of flower of all kinds so I hope the bees will have plenty.
After losing all 5 of the California packages of bees this year we are trying swarms from this area hoping they can handle the weather much better than bees from another climate who were stressed by being transported here.
If you buy package bees and there is cold weather coming you should look at heating the bees to keep from losing them. Maybe using a seed heating map that will add up to 20 degrees of temperature.