Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday's Highlights

We got the bees transferred to the new hive, pictures coming soon. I didn't get pics when we were done today because I was too busy nursing my stings. I irritated them a bit and wasn't wearing a net so I got stung on my upper lip and on my eyebrow. They're still swollen and super tender to the touch but it could be worse. Q was the one wearing a net and gloves so he escaped unscathed. They had five frames in the original box and we were amazed how much progress they've already made in building comb on them. They've already almost completely filled one of the frames. We're choosing a biodynamic beekeeping route and, rather than giving them foundation we're just giving empty frames and letting them build their own comb. So far, they're doing a great job. We'll have to keep a close eye on them during this major blossom time so they don't run out of room.

We went up to Portland this afternoon to the peerless Portland Nursery to get our grapes. We already missed bare root season and I didn't want them to run out of the potted varieties that we wanted. We got a Concord (for juice and jelly), a Niagara (white table grape), a Muller Thurgau, and a Muscat Ottenel. The last two are wine grapes whose juices apparently work well on their own or blended with each other. We also got a raspberry. It's going to be anticlimactic when the finished product is at first just posts with wire strung between them and sticks planted between them but I'm looking forward to watching them develop. We also picked up a raspberry for the final section of that area, farthest from the street.

They have some great looking apple trees that are grafted M27 rootstock, which only becomes about 4' trees. I think that we'll use the bed at the far side of the driveway and put in a half-dozen to help feed our cider making in the future. We'll have to figure out how we could get them home...

Speaking of cider, we bottled 20 bottles tonight. This batch is the clearest we've made yet and, judging by taste we got from the tail end of the bottle, it's going to mature into our best tasting batch to date.

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