Friday, March 30, 2012

seed starting

Yesterday, I started some tomatoes. I planted romas, brandwines, and another type of beef steak. All the tomaotes that I started are heirlooms. I use peat pellets. I have had the best success using them.

just add water...

and they swell (sorry for the blurriness)

I usually plant three seeds per pellet. And transplant the strongest one of the three.

Towards the beginning of March, I started some peppers. 

I use either my fingers to dig them out of the cells, or a plastic fork.

And once they got their first true leaves, it was time for transplanting. I also try to plant the seedling to the bottom of its lower leaves.

I started these peppers using a mix of peat moss and vermiculite. I also started yesterday, some herbs, petunia wave-which is first for me. So we will see how they grow. Towards the end of April-depending of the moon phase-I want to try and start some pumpkins, and cantaloupe first. I have always planted straight into the garden with minimal success. 

I had an elderly lady a few years back give me her stand with growing lights. Her son made it for her when he was a teenager. Shirley is in her seventies.

So this is a first for me. I have never used grow lights before. 

I have also never started lettuce before. So I did a flat of mix leafy lettuce. I am hoping I can just transplant those straight into the garden and get a jump on it.

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it's a girl

As you all know, my second oldest girl, Cassierae, is having a baby. Baby is due on the 18th of April. Cassierae has been experiencing some contractions for the past few days. I keep telling her quit jumping the gun, you still have three weeks to go. But she is anxious. Not because she is tired of being pregnant. Well there is that. But. Because the ultra-sound a couple of weeks ago told her, she is having a girl!!! Cassierae is super excited. This baby will be my fourth grand-daughter, and my sixth grand-child. Cassierae has a son already. Ben. So this will complete her little family. 

Since finding out that Cassierae and Mike are expecting a daughter, I have been busy sewing a few little outfits for the latest family member. Frank has told me, not to sew any more outfits in case I jinx something.

I just wanted to share with you that news, and show you the tiny little outfits that I have made.

a little dress, and a 2-piece summer top and shorts

a little summer top, with a criss-cross back, and a one piece jump suit

I was making a pair of shorts out of blue jeans to go with the orange top. Just need to finish them. 

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Monday, March 26, 2012

time is drawing closer

I phoned BeeMaid this morning. Carol was very helpful. She is trying to find a beekeeper in my area, who would be willing to pick-up my bees along with his. One hour drive is better than six hours of driving-one way. This gentleman that she is working with is getting 100 hives. She is just trying to coordinate with him which day is convenient for him. The days available are April 12, 16 (which is to early for my area), 22, 30, and May 5. It's getting closer!!

The bees that are available to purchase in Alberta are NZ  bees. The bees are imported from ARATAKI HONEY LTD. Click here to go their website. Make sure you click on their little video on how they package and export bees to Canada. It is quite interesting.

While I was on the phone with Carol, I bit the bullet, screwed up the courage and asked for the damage. For one queen and 2.2 pounds of bees the cost is $150.00.  And I am getting three of these packages.

 I haven't purchased any protection gear yet, or a smoker, or a hive tool. I am not even considering purchasing any honey extractor equipment yet. Although I have been looking. 

Total so far for the hives and bees is just under $1000.00. 

Steep investment, but I think in the long run, and everything goes well (fingers crossed) I think it is going to be well worth it. I think it is a fair trade off. I will be guaranteed pollinators for the hay crops, pasture, and fruit trees, and gardens. The ladies will have food, and next year we will reap some benefits. Honey that is as natural as you can get it.

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