May 2023

Happy spring, everyone (though it feels more like summer this week, of course). We’ve been so busy prepping for spring that we forgot to send a newsletter in April.

Sweet potatoes

As of Friday afternoon, sweet potatoes have been planted at our plot on Day Rd. It’s been a busy couple weeks of prepping the plot: spreading compost, creating mounds of loose soil for the sweet potatoes to grow in (we’ve been told this will make the harvest easier in the fall!), setting up irrigation and row cover, and then planting all 350 or so of our sweet potato slips. We’re trying five different varieties.


What are the bees up to?

New packages of bees arrived two weeks ago. We’ve added two more hives at home to the one that overwintered, and two by our sweet potato fields. They’ve all gotten straight to work. Maple trees are either blooming or just wrapping up now, so they’ve been feasting on that. It’s nice to have the apiary abuzz again.

Fun bee fact for this month: when you get a new package of bees, you get a single queen, and about 10,000 worker bees. The worker bees didn’t necessarily come from the queen you got though, so if you just put them all together, the workers might decide to kill the queen. So when you “install” the bees, the queen stays in a little cage, protected from the workers. The cage is sealed with a marshmallow. She nibbles at this, and the workers nibble at it from the other end. It takes a day or two for them to free the queen, by which point pheremones have worked their magic, and you hope they accept her as their queen. We cracked the new hives open briefly last week to make sure our new queens were settled - success! We found eggs in all the hives.


Don’t forget the greens

Even in this season of plentiful greens from the garden, we’re still growing and loving microgreens! They’re a great addition to just about anything (we eat them with nearly every meal). We deliver a fresh batch to Bay Hay and Feed every Friday. Keep your eye out for oyster mushrooms too!