Friday, December 18, 2015

Better than a scarecrow

Beautiful Hawk overlooking the garden area

Shortly after arriving at the Bee Farm yesterday I noticed a large bird overlooking the garden from a perch on the power line.  It was a large beautiful Hawk.  When the blueberries start to ripen, it will be convenient to have a Hawk around to keep birds away from the garden.  At least in theory.    Because after a few minutes of observing this Hawk a Blue Jay swooped down to engage the Hawk and they both flew off in a chaotic flight.  Obviously the Blue Jay was a little more agile in flight and able to provoke the Hawk somewhat.  

Our neighbor told a story that last year his wife saw a small Hawk take a baby Blue Jay from a nest.   The baby Blue Jay got away so perhaps this was the now grown up Blue Jay remembering that fateful day and taking it's vengeance out on the Hawk. 
Green Beans

Green Beans are growing like mad and we'll be harvesting some this weekend.  I tasted one yesterday and it was delicious. Eggplants are multiplying and growing fast.  Sugar cane has sprouted and a couple are about 8" already which surprised me.  Little tomatoes are on the vine and a few peppers are growing.  Strawberries doing poorly still and I don't hold much hope for them any longer.   I have enough papayas to supply an army.  What was I thinking?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Good Nature

Despite the fact that I have a cold, working at the Bee Farm was on the agenda for today.  You can be home and sick or outside working and enjoying the wonderful Florida weather.  And it was a beautiful day out at the Bee Farm today.

Just being outside sets you up for living life to the fullest and puts you in a good position to experience Mother Nature.  The last couple times out at the Bee Farm I witnessed thousands of crows flying around the area.  Quite cool.  They were communicating with each other and acting quite social.  I like crows and they are quite intelligent.  Once I read something where somebody wronged a crow and for a long time that crow went out of his way to harass the guy.  On the other hand they also remember acts of kindness.  A little girl in England would feed crows and they gave her little presents; beads, shiny objects, pieces of worn shiny glass, etc.  Read that story here.  I may change my tune when I catch the crows chomping down our strawberries or blueberries but probably not.

About an hour after the crows departed the area I was visited by two Bald Eagles flying around the Bee Farm.  They flew directly over me a few times at only a couple hundred feet.  One was talking to the other ... and one was bigger than the other which made me think they were probably courting.  They circled and flew around our place for about 15 minutes.

And then while watching the bees going in and out of their hives, I caught another Monarch butterfly showing off in front of the bees.  This is something I've seen numerous times.  A Monarch butterfly dips along in front of the hives within the congested landing and take off patterns of the honey bees.  Why do they do that?  I have no idea but I'll stick with my hypothesis that they're showing off.

This is just another benefit of gardening and working outdoors.  You set yourself up for seeing good nature.  That's part of the good stuff in life.  It was the perfect diversion for dealing with a cold.

A great day at the Bee Farm.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Strawberry relocation and Bee Farm has everything including the kitchen sink

For the past couple weeks I've been keeping a close eye on my strawberry plants.  They were really stressed out AND were getting relentlessly chewed on by some hungry bugs.  Since I had no clue how guarantee the future health of these strawberry plants, it was time to switch up their environment.  Maybe it had something to do with the mounds I planted them in. Maybe the soaker hoses weren't delivering enough water, Maybe the plastic on top of the soil was annoying the plants.  I didn't know.
Relocated Strawberries

So digging all of them up and replanting was what I felt needed to be done.  Fortunately after only a few days they seem to be much healthier.  I also sprayed them with an organic insect control to keep the bugs at bay.  It was some work digging them up but better than just watching them perish. 

Plant Stand
With all the potted plants I've been producing plus all the seedlings in line for being potted, it was evident I needed a bigger area where all these potted plants can reside.  I used scrap lumber to produce a fairly good size table that was covered with 1/2" hardware cloth.  It also will be tied into the watering system to automatically water the plants on this table. 

Plants on their new table
And while working on this I decided to do something that has been on my mind for awhile now.  Install a sink.  It will dispense fresh tap water and add convenience when I want to wash my hands after digging in the garden.  Ever try washing your very dirty hands while holding a garden hose?  Try it.   Needless to say, I can't wait for this project to be completed.
Kitchen Sink

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sugar Cane making the Bee Farm sweeter

Growing sugar cane on the Bee Farm just seemed to make sense.  From researching this plant it seems like it grows very well in the tropical climate we have here in Florida.  It's a unique plant and will produce some tasty stalks.  Plus I don't envision it being a plant that will be needing too much attention.

The last time I had real sugar cane was waaaaayyyyy back in 1974 while I was in the Navy.  Our ship stopped in Jamaica and all I remember was a long walk into town passing through sugar cane fields. I was with about a dozen guys and on that walk into town we would break off pieces of sugar cane and chew on the stalks.  They were a delicious pure sugary taste that was quite enjoyable to chew. 
Florida Green Sugar Cane and Florida Sweet Red Sugar Cane about to get planted

You can find just about anything on EBAY nowadays.  Sure enough I entered sugar cane and found a bazillion people selling sugar cane starter stalks to grow.   I received 4-5 stalks of the following varieties:  Rare Asian black, Florida Sweet Red, and Florida Green.  I soaked them in water for a couple hours and then planted all of them in pots which were then filed away in a corner of the yard.  Hopefully by next year there there will be a lot of activity in the pots.
Future Sweet Sugar cane plantation

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A tip for processing Moringa

One of the challenges of processing Moringa up until now has been getting the right texture where there are no stems in the final dried product.  It was extremely time intensive to manually strip out the tiny stems that would end up in our morning smoothie.  Because it's not very pleasant to be drinking a smoothie and pull a thin stem out of your mouth.  The stems don't blend down well.

We tried putting the dried Moringa in a small food processor with little success.  It just did not chop it up very well.  My wife finally just put the moringa in a plastic freezer bag and used a rolling pin to crush it down which worked just ok.

Last week I did some research to see how other people processed their moringa and found that they were using high end food processors like Blend Tec or Vitamix.  The advantage was it turned the moringa into a fine powder but the disadvantage was the expense ($300+) and it would be another gizmo to find a place for in the kitchen.    So after doing a little more research I accidentally stumbled on a website where someone was milling nuts and spices down in their nutri-bullet using the mill blade.  At this point a light bulb came on.  We have a nutri-bullet and it came with a milling blade we stuck in the back of our pantry.

nutri bullet / magic bullet
I grabbed a large nutri-bullet glass and filled it with crushed moringa and attached the milling blade.  In minutes the nutri-bullet pulverized the moringa into a fine powder.  It was amazing and it cost us nothing.  Plus we were able to make use of what we already had.  The powdered moringa was so much more usable than the barbaric crushed moringa.  The next harvest we won't have to be concerned about the small stems any longer.  It will significantly speed up the processing of moringa.
Moringa super food now a nice fine powder

Monday, November 23, 2015

Return of the Monarch's

Just a few days ago I noticed that the milkweed plants that were stripped bare earlier in the year, had grown and sprouted new leaves.  And then, just a couple of days later I walked by and all the milkweed plants were nothing but a bunch of sticks coming out of the ground !
Milkweed stripped down by hungry caterpillars

Sticks with a multitude of hungry caterpillars chomping away.  This is a good sign because it means we'll soon be seeing a bazillion new monarch butterflies on the Bee Farm.  They are good pollinators and will work with our Honey Bees to keep the gardens well pollinated.  Plus they're relaxing and entertaining to watch while they go along on their day to day business.  Good Stuff.
Ravenous caterpillar chomping away on milkweed

Friday, November 20, 2015

Blueberry recovery !!!

What really made my day yesterday was when I walked by the blueberry plants and noticed something different about a couple of the plants.  NEW LEAVES !!!   After being so concerned about the trees dying it now looks more like a natural cycle of the plant as about half of plants were sporting new shiny green leaves.  After working so hard on these blueberry plants,  it's good to know that they will survive and probably thrive. It's also good to know that we'll soon be eating our own delicious blueberries.
New leaves on the blueberry plants !!!!

Everything is growing like mad on the bee farm.  I typically spend about 8 hours a day working in the gardens.  It takes a lot of work to keep up with everything.  But really, it's more fun than work.  Yesterday pigeon peas, spinach, roma tomatoes chives and ginger were planted.   As soon as one set of seedlings graduates and moves out, the greenhouse gets another set of plant seeds started.   At least until we run out of room.

Baby plants
As all the raised beds are filling up with plants it's evident that we'll need to prepare the rear gardening section for new arrivals.  That section was where papaya and plumaria plants were grown in pots.  To make that area ready for vegetable planting, the papayas and plumaria were relocated.  During the move, I discovered a very unique plant I forgot that we had.  It was a shampoo ginger plant or Awapuhi.  We planted this plant earlier in the year and then forgot about it.  When it's mature it produces these beautiful red pine cone shaped flowers.  It is often referred to as “shampoo ginger,” and its most well-known use is that of a shampoo and hair conditioner.  However, the gel from the flowers is also used as a massage lubricant, the root is used for indigestion, toothache, and sprains and as a fragrance to scent clothing, and the leaves can be used as a flavoring for foods.

Awapuhi - Shampoo Ginger
The banana plants are multiplying like mad and there's a couple new banana pups going to town.  Pretty soon I'll be able to call it a banana plantation.
Banana pups

Turning into a banana and papaya plantation

Carrots, onions, tomatoes, cukes and moringa are really growing well.  It seems like I can almost notice the growth difference from day to day.


Cucumbers and beans

Carrots, Onions and Aloe



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lessons, lessons, and more lessons

Gardening in Florida can be challenging and I've been experiencing my share of lessons for sure.  It seems that nothing works right the first and sometimes the second try.  But usually it can be figured out after some experimentation.

I'm proud to say that almost all my vegetable plants have been started from seed which is what I've been struggling with for the past year.  So many mistakes but I'm starting to get the hang of it.  Starting plants from seeds is quite satisfying and will be an economical way to grow vegetables and flowers.  The mistakes I made along the way are common for inexperienced Florida gardeners.  Having to deal with the mildew and bacteria in the soil has been a real eye opener.  And over watering, over fertilizing and over thinking some of the challenges thrown at me has killed quite a few small plants.  Especially the over watering.

By planting 10x as many seedlings as I needed, there ended up being more than enough survivor plants to populate the Bee Farm's garden.  We have plenty of healthy tomato plants, a few giant eggplant plants, green beans, cucumbers , carrots, onions, garlic, mint, peppers, jackfruit, bananas, pineapple, kale, and a few cold weather plants started - cabbage, broccoli and califlower.  The Moringa trees are growing like crazy and even after significantly cutting back one tree, it's still over 20' tall.  More Moringa than we'll ever need which is great.  Now the blueberry plants status is uncertain.  I cleaned the moss from their stems and trunks which was a tedious job.  And then they were sprayed with an anti fungus agent several times.  Finally I think I may have over fertilized them.  They look a bit stressed out and probably won't bear much, if any fruit this year.  But hopefully they'll rebound next year.  They needed work.  The strawberry plants are struggling and I'm not sure why.  Their numbers keep dwindling.  Pineapples are thriving now that they've been moved into a better location.  And the banana trees are going nuts so we'll probably see bananas soon.  Several small eggplants are now showing up also.  Our Papaya "Orchard" is producing a lot of small fruit which I've been trying to keep covered so bugs can't burrow into the fruit and lay their eggs.

It's been over a month since this blog was last updated and too much has changed around the bee farm to write about.  The Bees are doing great and have a lot of fall honey ready to harvest.  However most of it will probably be left for the bees to use over the winter.  The new Italian cordova genetics introduced into the hives with the new queens has been great and the bees are pretty laid back which is nice when working in the gardens.

Last month I found a local horse farm that gave away free composted horse manure and they even loaded my truck and trailer.  And I found some more free fine mulch from an oak tree stump grinder.  Wonderful stuff.  So the compost piles are turning good soil for future plants.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Plant City Strawberries for the Florida Bee Farm

On our last trip to pickup the Blueberry plants we just so happened to be driving by the Parksdale Farm Market and Garden center in Plant City.  They are just outside the gates to Florida's Strawberry festival and are famous for their strawberry shortcake and strawberry products.  Also for a few days in October they carry the strawberry seedlings for sale.  They don't ship them and you sometimes have to reserve these in advance.   I called ahead to make sure they had enough and was able to procure 75 seedlings.  On our way home from the blueberry farm we stopped in to pick up the strawberry seedlings.
Playing tourist at Parksdale Farm Market in Plant City

Parksdale Farm Market is a pretty cool place with plenty of touristy stuff and produce so it was a nice diversion for our trip home.  They also sold the thin plastic cover that is helpful in planting the strawberry plants.  The prices were more than reasonable.  I'll be back every year if these strawberries take.
Preparing the raised beds mounding and making furrows

They also included directions with the strawberry seedlings detailing do's and don't s.  They recommended making rows mounded up and then covering with the plastic cover.  Fertilize between the furrows before covering with plastic.  Then you plant the seedlings being careful to not plant them too deep.  Make sure only the root areas go underground.  The directions said the biggest mistake people make is to plant the seedlings too deep.
Strawberry plants being carefully planted
The Lucky guy

And finally the last step was to customize the irrigation system to precisely deliver water to the roots of the strawberry plants.  To do this the existing irrigation hoses were removed and replaced with soaker hoses.  The strawberry plants were planted a little closer together than the recommendation because we were trying to maximize the space we had.  As it turned out 50 plants fit nicely into the above raised bed.  I'll try to plant another 20 or so into standalone pots for experimentation.  And if we're lucky we should be getting fresh strawberries from December until May. 

Strawberry irrigation system

Monday, October 5, 2015

Blueberries for the Bee Farm

Craigslist has all sorts of interesting things for sale or for free.  This week we drove out to Lithia to get as many mature blueberry plants as we could fit in my truck and trailer.  They were in 25 gallon pots that weighed about 75 lbs each which meant we could only fit 18 in one trip.  And it's a good thing because the spot we had picked out for the blueberries exactly fit 18 plants.  Their Blueberry farm had several thousand plants at one time but they were ready for a change in life and were selling the property and getting out of the blueberry business.

Blueberry farm
Blueberry plants take several years before they produce optimum amounts of fruit.   The 3 small plants I purchased last year only produced a few berries last season so it will be nice to have a good harvest of blueberries this year.  We eat several cups of blueberries almost every day.   Blueberries also need bees for pollination which makes having these at The Bee Farm so convenient.   Another synergistic  benefit of having blueberry plants is the effect on the flavor of our honey.  Blueberry pollen makes absolutely delicious honey !

Ready to unload the Blueberry plants
Blueberry plants in their new home

The plants were placed on weed cloth in a corner of the yard where there's plenty of sun.  They were also added to the irrigation system to automatically be watered every day.  However it's important you don't over water them so a controlled drip system was employed.
Automatic irrigation of the blueberry plants

Friday, October 2, 2015

Making Plumeria plants

One of the easiest plants to grow is what I think of as a classical Hawaiian plant.  One that is used to make the lais that people wear.  The plant's name is Plumaria, also know as a Frangipani.  This plant thrives in subtropical climates and produces a delicious smelling flower.  Absolutely beautiful.  We have many of these plants around our home and they were getting too big so it was time to prune and turn the cuttings into new plants.  I ended up with about 50 cuttings which will soon become a full size Plumaria plants.   Some of the plants I had at home were well over 6 feet tall.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Moringa Harvest

Our Moringa trees have been growing like crazy and we've been harvesting the leaves for their nutritional values.  Every day we add dried moringa to our morning smoothies.  It's not what I would call delicious but more of an earthy taste that's good for you.  Moringa is one of those miracle plants that are very nutritious and widely used in other parts of the world.  I believe the entire plant is edible and very resistant to drought and insects.
Moringa being washed

Drying the Moringa leaves

From Wikipedia: It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree, native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India, and widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas where its young seed pods and leaves are used as vegetables. It can also be used for water purification and hand washing, and is sometimes used in herbal medicine.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 64 kcal (270 kJ)

8.28 g
Dietary fiber 2.0 g

1.40 g

9.40 g

Vitamin A equiv.
378 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.257 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.660 mg
Niacin (B3)
2.220 mg
0.125 mg
Vitamin B6
1.200 mg
Folate (B9)
40 μg
Vitamin C
51.7 mg

185 mg
4.00 mg
147 mg
0.36 mg
112 mg
337 mg
9 mg
0.6 mg

The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a significant source of B vitamins, vitamin C, provitamin A as beta-carotene, vitamin K, manganese, and protein, among other essential nutrients. When compared with common foods particularly high in certain nutrients per 100 g fresh weight, cooked moringa leaves are considerable sources of these same nutrients. Some of the calcium in moringa leaves is bound as crystals of calcium oxalate though at levels 1/25th to 1/45th of that found in spinach, which is a negligible amount.
The leaves are cooked and used like spinach and are commonly dried and crushed into a powder used in soups and sauces.



The immature seed pods, called "drumsticks", are commonly consumed in South Asia. They are prepared by parboiling, and cooked in a curry until soft. The seed pods/fruits, even when cooked by boiling, remain particularly high in vitamin C (which may be degraded variably by cooking) and are also a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Florida Bee Farm ... AND Nursery

Last week a representative from The Florida Department of Agriculture inspected and certified the Florida Bee Farm which means we're officially a legal nursery that can grow plants and legally sell them.   

Not completely sure where this is going but the direction we're heading is interesting and might be fun.  My nephew is also interested in growing things ... especially peppers and he will be working with us too.  It's nice seeing young people passionate about gardening.  The new greenhouse setup seems to be working well which means we should have plenty of healthy seedlings growing into healthy plants soon.   At least that's the plan.

Last week I found an ad on Craigslist from a professional landscape company that was giving away a thousand plant pots of various sizes so I completely loaded the truck bed full of free pots.  It's amazing how many free resources are available.  Yesterday the Bee farm received about 4 yards of free mulch from the county which was loaded by them into my truck.  Unfortunately it wasn't very good quality mulch, especially not the type I would put around my plants.  However it did work well for using in the walkways around the planting areas.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Redoing our Florida Greenhouse

The last hastily constructed Florida Greenhouse that was built did a decent job starting seeds and protecting them during the heavy relentless rainy weather.  However it really wasn't very efficient and didn't get enough sun.  As I'm going to be planting many plants from seed in the future it was time to construct a better structure that will make planting from seed more efficient.
Testing the seedling sprinklers

After considering several designs, my son came out and came up with the best solution.  Working together, we got 90% of the structure up in a little more than an hour.  The final framing and building a plant bench I completed the next day.  Additionally I created an automated irrigation system to control the moisture the seedlings get on a daily basis.  Because it gets pretty warm in the sun and you don't want to skip a day of watering if you can't get to it for some reason.  Automatic watering is the key to successful gardening I'm convinced.  Last year I often spent several hours a day watering and even then it just wasn't consistent enough.  Consistency is important.  You go out of town and skip a few days your garden will look terrible if it doesn't rain.

Last month many seeds were planted and they are all doing very well.  We planted a raised bed cucumber, bean and pumpkin section that was started with seeds and it's being watered daily with an automated watering system.  So far so good.
Florida Greenhouse (Cukes, Pumpkins & Beans on the right)
Seedlings checking out their new temporary home

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pure bliss

The Bee Farm is like a full time job for me.  One that I get a great deal of satisfaction from.  The to do lists are never ending and a lot of triage goes into the mix to determine which tasks get priority.  And of course my attention deficit disorder (ADD) is always kicking in throughout the day to pick off other less important tasks.  Oh and this will be my official excuse why I haven't blogged much lately.  The ole too busy excuse.  Hopefully there will be more time in the future for blogging because it's enjoyable going back in time to see how things progressed.

So the other day when I went out in the late afternoon to get a few things done at the Bee Farm.  Then, I found a nice spot in the shade back by the butterfly and bee garden and just relaxed.  Taking in the butterflies and bees of all types enjoying the garden flowers.  Very relaxing, almost like meditation when your mind is calm and focused on the flowers, butterflies and bees.  And then the most delicious smell in the world started wafting my way.  The fragrance of wild honey / nectar from the hives.  It's my favorite fragrance of all and it's hard to describe.  It's heavenly.  With a slight breeze blowing every so often that wonderful fragrance would put a smile on my face.  So very grateful for all of it.  Living life in gratitude is one of the best ways to achieve happiness and internal peace.  It's so easy yet so many people struggle to find it.

Here are the views from where I took in the Bee Farm in this moment.

View in front of me
View to the left

View to my right

To top it all off, the morning was spent walking the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and swimming with my beautiful wife.  Talk about a perfect day.  Just one of many reasons I often refer to myself as the "lucky guy".

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Black Widow spiders and Honey Bees

Recently while browsing several beekeeper facebook groups I noticed several beekeepers mention finding Black Widow spiders hanging out by their hives.  In particular, underneath the hives.  This caught my attention at the time because several times in the last year I found Black Widows nesting underneath two of our hives.  One of them had a poor unfortunate honeybee wrapped up in it's web.

And then during the last inspection one was discovered above the inner hive cover under the top cover.  Safe in a screened in area protected from the bees but hidden in a sneaky place where it could possibly snare a curious bee that managed to sneak under the hive cover.  Needless to say this spider is no more and the hive is safe again.

But still it's a little disturbing. I don't like spiders to begin with and Black Widows are my least favorite.  Another good reason to wear heavy gloves while handling the hives.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gentle Honey Bees again

Yesterday was hive inspection day and the influence of the new queens was quite apparent.  The bees are once again a joy to be around and are quite patient and gentle. 

Back in July when I opened up the hives it was quite chaotic with my bad attitude bees.  After doing inspections at least 50-100 stingers would be embedded in my gloves.  The bees would follow and harass at quite a distance.  Just working in the garden or even pulling into the bee yard would bring out the bully guard bees looking for trouble.   Thankfully, that has completely changed with the re-queening.

Now I can work in the gardens without concern and opening up the hives is a calming almost spiritual experience once again.  All 5 hives have plenty of new brood and seem to be thriving.  It looks like they've been dipping into their honey and nectar reserves but the fall nectar flow will be starting any day now so the supers should be filling up with honey again.  No stingers in the gloves, no pelting of bees against the veil and guard bees quickly lose interest when you walk away.  This whole cycle of passive to aggressive to passive was quite an informative lesson in understanding bee behavior.  The aggressive behavior was a combination of several factors.  The summer heat, bees protecting their honey, animals trying to breach the hive, and being queenless will ramp up a colony's apprehension level.  But I think the primary reason for (extreme) aggressiveness is when the a queen mates with an africanized drone to start producing brood (baby bees) with those genes.   My hives have experienced all the above mentioned factors which makes the Bee Farm more prepared for the future.   And as in most lessons, experiencing them firsthand is much better than reading about it in a book or online.   The first year of beekeeping is the toughest they say.  And the most educational.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mini Greenhouse

This is the time of year in Florida where you should already have your seeds planted to get ready for the fall growing season.  Last year I tried growing various plants from seeds with mixed success and many lessons were learned the hard way (of course).

What I learned is the seeds need a place to grow where they won't get too much moisture and will get enough sunlight but not so much that it roasts them.  One option that was used put plastic covers over the containers with seedlings.  It worked somewhat ok but turn your back on this setup for a moment and you'll find cooked seedlings or seedlings covered in mold.  What I've been considering for some time is to build a miniature greenhouse type structure.  Something that will allow sunlight and also protect the seedlings from rainstorms.  A structure that's well ventilated but one that can be closed in somewhat during any cold spells that we may get in the winter.  Also the structure had to be made with all the pieces of lumber and scrap wood I had laying around the beefarm.
Mini Greenhouse

Happy seedlings

After considering dozens of designs, I ruled out a free standing structure because I didn't have enough 2x4's for that.  I could have driven to the store and picked up a couple but I wanted to get this project rolling.  And by attaching the structure to the shed, it required less lumber as it was able to use the shed for one side.  Plus the shed sheltered it from wind.  The final greenhouse came out better than I imagined and works great.  The only regret is I didn't make it 3" higher because I keep banging my head when I go in and out.  Oh well.

Greenhouse made from recycled materials
Everything is growing like mad on the BeeFarm.  Seedlings are starting out nice, Okra is over 5' tall and producing quite a bit of okra.  Moringa trees have skyrocketed so we can start harvesting Moringa.  Citrus trees are doing well and a new group of wildflowers are blooming in the Bee and Butterfly Garden. 
Bee and Butterfly Garden


Okra growing like crazy
Papaya trees are starting to settle down after the transplant

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Visitor to the Bee Farm

While working at the Bee Farm the other day we had one of our cool neighbors stop by with her Macaw which was a rescue bird.  This is the lady who rescues animals and owns hedgehogs, flying squirrels (occasionally) and a few other exotic animals as well as the "Magic Cat" who occasionally stops by to inspect the Bee Farm.  The story behind Magic Cat was explained on an earlier blog entry.

I was lucky to hold the Macaw for awhile while visiting with the neighbor.  An interesting bird for sure.
Macaw visits the Bee Farm

A nice diversion from yard work