Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The New Studio

I'm so excited because my daughter has finished the new studio in our cellar.  This is where we will sew and work on our business ventures.  Here is a post on my daughter's blog that I will share so you can see what's new Here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Make Over

We are going through a make over here at Our Little Homestead.  Our shop has been down, unfortunately, longer than we anticipated.  We have some products that we will be updating, I hope, by July.  Perhaps we will be having a Christmas in July special!  At our home we are working on our shop space.  We have had a cellar area that has needed overhauling for some time now.  The children have grown and it's time to move out the old unplayed with toys and books and collections.
My daughter has taken on the BIG job of the cleaning and purging.  It is going really well and pretty quickly too.  When it is all finished we'll have a beautiful work space to spread our shop out into.  With all that said, it will be much easier for us to manage our shop too.  We'll carry new soaps, aprons, candles, knit dish clothes,  hand quilted items and more.  We can't wait to show you what we've been up to!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Little Kitchen Garden

Up until two years ago we have had all of our vegetables planted in a large garden in our back yard.  The garden isn't located very far from our house, but it was far enough away that grabbing a handful of fresh herbs, lettuce, swiss chard or spinach, for a delicious, fresh and quick salad didn't always happen because supper time is busy and we never seemed to think to run to the garden to grab these things at that moment.  It really had to be planned ahead to make that trip out to the garden.  The solution?  A kitchen garden.  A small raised bed garden just near the kitchen door.  This made all the difference for a fresh delicious, easy, quick meal, salad or side dish.  Now I just head out and grab a handful of lettuce, spinach, swiss chard or some fresh herbs, and voila! I don't even have to plan ahead, because it's right nearby.

Here's how we did it.  We built a raised bed frame, filled it with compost on the south side of our house.  This happens to be under our kitchen window.  It's sunny and warm and it was a great place to start lettuce and spinach from seeds very early in the spring.  I purchased some herbs, except for basil which we started from seed, and swiss chard.  Using old windows we built a make shift cold frame.  This worked wonderfully to keep the plants safe from frost and snow.  After a few weeks the plants were sprouting and growing beautifully.  This is by far the most use we have gotten from our salad  vegetables and herbs.  Almost every meal we are enjoying something from this little garden.

Keep picking it and it keeps growing.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hive Inspections #3

Another beautiful day and a great day to inspect the hives to see what their progress is.  We were amazed at all the capped brood and it was beautiful.  We didn't know what to expect.  Last year we only had drone cells so we had yet to see what the capped brood had to look like when the cells cradled worker bees.  To our delight, that's exactly what we found.  Capped worker bee cells.  Nice and smooth and lots of them.  We also found capped honey!  This is for the bees though.  One of the hives was a nursery of new bees and bees yet to hatch and the other hive was full of food.   This is their food; pollen and honey.

It's really interesting having two hives.  They are quite different in how they are working.  One hive is very busy with a queen laying a lot of eggs.  The other hive is gathering their food and has a queen who is laying eggs but not as many.    Also we were happy to see both queens today.  We'll see how the race goes.  For now we're just learning and discovering these amazing creatures that God has created to help us grow our own food.

One of our garden boxes just below the bee yard.

Capped cells.

If you spot the green dot, she's the queen.