Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Family Farm

It seems that we are well on the road to turn our home into a modern family farm.

Our garden is just amazing! The first thing anyone says when the see it is "wow!" We just have two 4'x4' boxes and followed the general square foot garden idea. Morgan did a lot of research to determine what plants we could plant next to each other and what plants to keep far apart and the result is a 20ish foot by 7" by 8" jungle of almost a dozen different plants. We are currently rolling in tomatoes and cucumbers.

I think we have finally decided to go with ducks for next year (we had been debating between ducks and chickens.) We still need to design our duck run and watering hole but we still have a bit of time. We will then order our female Campbell Khaki ducks and have them in the spring. Because the water needs to be changed daily, I am planning on using the duck water to flood irrigate the little corn patch that I want to plant. I might even plant it in the duck run area to give the ducks some shade.

Also in the spring, we want to keep bees! I can't believe how excited we are about bees. I have been thinking about this for several months now but just in the past few days really started doing the research for it. I've spoken to almost a dozen people in the city and county trying to find any regulations or ordinances that would prevent us from becoming city beekeepers. A local beekeeper said I could "shadow" him sometime this week and watch/help him harvest the honey. I also spoke to the state agriculture office yesterday and they not only gave their blessing, they also pointed me in the direction of the local beekeeping club.

This is the perfect time to get started BEEcause I don't have to order the bees until around November or December, so there is still lots of time to talk to the other beekeepers in the area and learn everything that I can from them...maybe even find a sponsor.

As I said, there is nothing legally preventing us from beekeeping but we've decided that it would be nice to inform the neighbors...did you know that once a bee leaves the hive, within 15' it can be 100yards in the air and cover a 3mile radius? Our neighbors might not ever even SEE our bees but we still want to let them know so that they can come visit them if they like. We've also learned that once away from the hive, the bees are very gentle.

I am also going to be putting together a gift basket full of honey and bee products for each of the neighbors. I might even make up a little brochure for them as well. Then after we harvest the honey, we will be sure to give the neighbors each some.

So, by this time next year we will hopefully be producing the following: Honey, honeysticks, honeycomb, mead, candles, hand and face cream, duck eggs, pumpkins, fresh veggies, corn (cob and canned), jellies and jams, and worm castings.

I think that we decided to release everything under the name of Fireflyskies Family Farm and keep with Morgan's brand name of Fireflyskies. Now we just need to trademark it and come up with a logo!


HWPetty said...

You may consider following Author Neil Gaiman's blog. He's a beekeeper and puts up pictures and often talks about the process and ideas. (He just did this cool thing with a bell jar on his hive.)

As someone who is allergic to bee stings, that would be my only concern for your neighbors. But that may indicate my ignorance about the whole thing.

Would backyard beekeeping invite more bees into the neighborhood and increase an allergic neighbor's change of getting stung?

Still, it's all really cool!!

Tony R. said...

True, there will be more bees however I don't think it will be a problem. like I mentioned, the bees like to fly around about 100yards up in the air and cover a range of up to 3 miles. I really don't think they will be spending to much time in the neighbors yard, I will defentally be talking to them though!

The only time they do sting people is usually when they are searching for water. They might land in a pool of dog dish and this scares people. The person might then try to kill the bees so the bee reacts to stop this from happening, we are going to make sure our bees have plenty of fresh water.

Thanks for your excitement and concerns!

are you allergic to honey too?