Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tomato ToMAto

I have a problem. Too many tomato plants. Its a huge problem.

Actually, I was trying to be clever. Years ago, before we had the farm, I had a garden. In my garden, I raised 18 tomato plants. I thought this would be enough to feed 4 adults and two vegetarian teenagers. Well, just so we’re clear: the cherry tomatoes never made it into the house because the teenagers would swipe them right off the bush. And the big boys made it to the table daily. Whatever was ripe that day went right onto the table, so there were never any left for turning into sauce or salsa. It turns out, my people eat a lot of tomatoes. I mean, they eat A LOT of tomatoes.

So, because I now have a farm, and I now have crazy loads of space, I went a little nutto. I bought about 12 variety of tomato seeds. And to ensure I would have plenty of starts, I planted 6 seeds of each variety, thinking the germination levels might be off.  Hmm.

Everything came up. I have approximately 80 tomato plants, even after having culled the herd. Whats more, my six people is now two people most of the time. We still love tomatoes, but there’s a limit to how many two people can eat. Thank goodness the vegetarian teenagers (Stubborn Girls) will come to our rescue for a few weeks in summer.

So I’ve been giving away a few tomato plants to close friends of mine. I’ve even offered some for DONATION basis on craigslist. But even with all of these crazy tomato starts there is a part of me that zealously guards them. I worked so hard, for so long, to get them to where they are. And they are gorgeous!  And they smell amazing.  You will just have to visualize the aroma of tomato vine wafting up to your nostrils right now, that fresh green smell that makes your mouth salivate just a little as you can almost taste the sweet acid of its delicious fruits on your tongue…

Did I mention, I really REALLY like tomatoes!

We were planted on April 11th, born April 15th, 2013!

We were planted on April 11th, born April 15th, 2013!

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Bee not afraid to attempt something new…

Yesterday was my last bee class before the little buggers come on Saturday.

And suddenly, I find myself terrified.

I’ve been so excited for the bees to come. The hives are all painted. The frames are mid-assembly. I love to pick up the paper wrapped packages of wax foundation and inhale deeply. They smell of beeswax; the scent is intoxicating.

Yet here I am, two days away from bee-a-palooza, and I’m completely terrified. A little scared about being stung, but that’s not really whats going on here. I’m more scared that I’m going to love these little bugs, and then something is going to go wrong and there will be a mass die-off, and it will be all my fault. I am their G~U~A~R~D~I~A~N!  I now will have responsibilities to keep them safe. To make sure there’s food. To help them fight viruses and diseases and bacteria and fungi.

The course I’ve been taking has spent loads and loads of time talking about diseases and what can be done for bees, and how to treat and recognize all of the things that could go wrong. But the problem is, they’ve spent so much time talking about all of the things that could go wrong, that now I’m convinced that something CERTAINLY WILL go wrong.

Oh, and the preparations I’ve been making for the bees? Now I feel like I’m completely not ready. I mean, I don’t even have the frames completely assembled yet! We’re arriving at the farmhouse tomorrow evening around 5 pm, and I’ve got to assemble 24 frames, and a base, and move the hives out to the garden and secure them, all by 8 am Saturday morning? We’re not even going to fence them this first week, which I think is a disaster waiting to happen, but the Stubborn Boy has to work on the roof because he got rained out last weekend and it’s a priority.  My bugs may die but god forbid we tick off the people who oversee our mortgage…

I must feel how all new parents feel. It’s a mixture of excitement and sheer terror. Of course my only remedy is to take deep breaths and keep repeating to myself,

They’re only bugs. And they’ll keep on keeping on, so be cool.

It’s nature, nature has a handle on this, let mama nature do her thing.

Be cool.

Bees are coming!

I am picking up the bees on Saturday! Tonight is my last class before the little bugs arrive.
Thanks so much to the NYC BEEKEEPING ORG for the free classes!

I would recommend the group to anyone. It’s a really great resource for anyone who ESPECIALLY wants to raise honey bees in an urban environment.

My bees will be country bees. Different challenges, of course, but the things I learned from the classes were essential to building my confidence on this new adventure!