So it begins... July 14, 2015 13:07 1 Comment
I've titled this blog "So it begins..." but really it began about 3 1/2 years ago. At about that time Brent decided that he wanted to start keeping bees, after my initial shock (and his first honey harvest), I realized that I needed to get involved in this venture. Part of my motivation had to do with the fact that I discovered something new about my kind and brilliant husband, namely, he is a honey hog. One of his reasons for hoarding the liquid gold, "What if all of the bees die and this is the only honey left in the world?" Your face probably looks exactly like mine did when he said that to me. I couldn't make this stuff up. Oh how I love that man! I needed my own bees. I decided to let the girls go crazy painting my hive boxes and therefore, mine is funky and cute and his is calm and classy. His honey is stored up for later use, and mine is given away pretty much freely (behind his back). Here is what I have learned: we are a good balance.
Somehow beekeeping lead us to lavender farming (I really can't remember how). I researched and read about how fabulous the stuff was and decided to give it a try. We planted our baby lavenders a year ago spring and I am amazed at how happy those babies are. I will fill you in another time about some of the hiccups encountered (wind, moles, etc.)
Here are a few more things I have learned lately:
1. I have learned that harvesting lavender is best done using a scythe (aka: grim reaper) and a back that is younger than mine. Thank the good Lord for Faith Elgersma, Katie Beld, Colby Beld, and Samantha Douge.
2. I have learned that 1,600 lavender plants is a whole heck of a lot.
3. I have learned that a dog run can be converted into a lavender drying area with lawn tarps (brilliant husband's idea again). It ain't pretty, but it works! "We need a barn" is a quote I hear come out of one of our mouths daily.
4. I have learned that steam distillation is fun, but gives the appearance of a whisky factory in your front yard (should warn neighbors).
5. I have learned that listening to audiobooks on my phone is awesome while working in the field. My neighbors probably think I am crazy when they see me out there wiping away tears, or standing up to laugh out loud apparently all by myself, when really I've just heard a great part in a book.
6. I have learned (much to their chagrin) that my children can be responsible for their own breakfast during busy harvest time. They also made cupcakes from scratch last week when I was out there working...amazing!!!!
7. I have learned (even more) how to love even the smallest living things. Sometimes when harvesting, I just stop and sit in the field of lavender surrounded by thousands (really and truly) of bees working their magic. They joyfully bury their little heads in a lavender blossom and gorge. It reminds me of me at Menchies. Anyways...I just sit there and love them. I love the beautiful and useful lavender, I love the different species of honey bees, and bumble bees that come to drink. I love the sound they make. I have yet to be stung while harvesting which is something of a miracle since I am essentially robbing them of their favorite treat. Once when I was out there working and listening to a book on my phone I heard this quote (yes...it was one of the times I cried). “Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
OK...I have officially over rambled on my first blog post. I'll sign out...