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Are you a “Safe” place for bees?

Listening to my husband teach the beekeeping class for our local 4h group and hearing him sharing about bees at our farmers market location, I gained some insight  about bees . I know and admire his knowledge and I admit that i am still learning allot about bees and their behaviors. But, what i am learning, is that everyone needs to take a little responsibility to keep these valuable creatures safe…and if that means in their own gardens..then so bee it…Ha!

Bees have  basic requirements: food, shelter and water..much like us ..we need those things too , but there are so many obstacles for bees !..like the fact that when they swarm, especially now in the spring, people tend to want to spray them with pesticide. Really!!!???. People, understand , that this is the gentlest they are going to bee..they will likely leave that location in about 3-4 days…just bee calm, we need these little guys ..please dont spray them! Did you know that about 1/3 or more of the food we eat is the result of pollination???..examples are :alfalfa, apple, avocado (like here in De Luz), coffee (really?..we need coffee!!!!!!!), sunflower, cotton, plus many more…

Give them a great mix of plants that bloom different times of the year..like: mint, rose, sunflower…and place several of the same plants together..some bees even prefer size, flower color, shapes etc…Bees do collect nectar and pollen from flowers for their food…

Another basic need for bees.. is water…they need water..often see them in your pool ? well they need an alternative place to drink..think about a bird bath with stones or low places so they wont drown…did you know that  bees collect water in the summer to cool their  hive, much like a swamp cooler?

Bees need shelter: pavers, rocks and stumps provide good shelters when its really hot or they need to rest..

We have gotten calls from locals asking us to get rid of the buzzing in their blooming trees from bees…we say..rejoice!..the bees are no threat to you, allow them to do what they are born to do …Did you know that a honey bee has to travel the equivalent of 2 times around the earth to gather enough nectar for a pound of honey??

So ..please keep our little bees in mind when you are spraying your plants or garden or are tempted to spray that swarm…please consider calling a beekeeper! ..we are available to answer questions at the Temecula farmers market or by email : jer733@yahoo.com

Jen

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Valentines Day is coming…

Some of us are getting excited for the day and night going out, to romantic movies, restaurants, getting expensive flowers, chocolates (and the lucky ones..diamonds..ahhh!) But, those few, precious few of us that have worked all week , dealt with kids, business matters, taxes(yuck),etc, etc..really want to stay home and relax   and have it all!…

Who says you cant?..You, society?, what? If you have a special someone that you want to make something (or you want this) a little special at home…you can. It takes a little preparing, but you can do this. Go to your local grocery store and get a bottle of your or their favorite wine (or their best suggestion), a nice block of cheese, some fancy crackers..set this aside for the big night. Next, go to your favorite farmers market…theres bound to be soap maker there that makes soap from scratch (like us), get a nice bar of soap, and some bath salts (natural ones)..the last thing you need to do is cover you or your special loved one in chemicals and preservatives. Then walk around and pick up some fruits and veggies, flowers too..you can find some awesome deals right before a holiday …

With some special dishes and towels, you can have a basket that is worth more than any other that you could find at a store…now, you have all the ingredients for a relaxing, night for you or your special somebody…why not make this a monthly event?..look forward to it , plan the night, mark it off on your calendar…get excited about going to the store and picking up a little something now and again, not just for holidays..no!..But for you and your special person, or just yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it can be a fun adventure

Join me on the relaxing and fun goal to have  “me” day or a together day, once a month!

Happy Day!

 

 

 

 

 

Kids: involving kids …in Life

Involving kids in your life? are you kidding ..??? Ha Ha!  As you laugh because , everything you do is about your kids right? You feed them, you take them to school, you get them to practice, you buy them the latest game ..etc etc…but is it preparing them for life on their own? I am sure you are thinking that you are trying to give them the best in life..but are you really doing them a favor?

Think about it …what if they were the ones in charge?, what if they had to be the ones to make their own life decisions and not you? Did you prepare them enough?..or are you living  through them?…

 

I know I am not perfect, but letting my kids try things that I think are beyond them  and seeing what they they can do , has opened my eyes to how much they are capable of. We recently gave our son a 1970 GMC truck, that doesn’t run (he is 11 years od age) and told him that this is his truck..if he wants to drive it , own it etc, he can. But he needs to learn how to work on it , and earn the money to fix it by the time he gets his license. Well, he saved up for a Chiltons book on his truck, studied on how to work on it and what was wrong with it based on his findings. He really surprised us by accurately diagnosing and trying to fix the problems with the engine and the truck body himself..plus , he was able to diagnose a problem with my truck , by himself..he even had a birthday party and told the guests that he wanted tools so he can work on it!

This , is just an example of what things kids can and are able to do ..if we give them the chance and allow them. We have to step back and let them fall or rise to the challenge. In the picture, our son on his own, decided to go out and dig a trench to allow the water to drain away from the house. And you know what? It worked, and it was perfect….if we did not allow him to try new things and fail or succeed, and guide him gently..he would never have rose to challenge  like this at his age. So, let them try…you may be surprised!!!

Jen

Yes , yes you can raise meat chickens!

Yes, I know..there’s allot of controversy about where our food comes these days. Is it organic? Is it natural? Free range..and what does this all mean anyway? You know , I have noticed, more and more non farm people are asking about raising their own meat..and a good place to start is a meat chicken.

What is a meat chicken? It is typically a Cornish cross hybrid..( a Cornish breed bred to a white Rock ) ..creating a fast growing, meaty chicken that can be processed in as little as 6 to 8 weeks of age. No, they are not genetically modified, hormone pumped..it is just a mix of meaty , fast growing cornish, mixed with a larger production breed… Not allot of time commitment,  not allot of space needed, and you can order these chicks either through your local feed store..or better yet , yourself and they willbe delivered to your local postoffice! 

A little research about what your county regulations allow and your local HOA, but most people that can handle a small flock of chickens( or are able to) can have a few meat chickens ( broilers). You will need a brood er box ( a small enclosed pen, with a heat lamp  , a feeder and waterer).When the chicks get big enough,,a grow pen to let them “finish” growing. Remember, it only takes between 6 to 8 weeks total, so once your new chicks arrive, be aware that the processing day will be here faster than you think!

Think about knowing where your food came from, where and how they were raised..and that you raised it! You can do this…

Worried about processing? Best bet would be to find a local farmer to watch processing , or there’s lots of you tube videos, references, etc..remember..relax, you can do it..think about how awesome it is to have done this yourself!

Farmers Market: Getting the best EGGS

Going to a farmers market does not always guarantee that you are going to get good quality eggs, produce, etc…but , it is a slight step better than the commercial grocery store.

You want, no I mean , NEED to have a relationship with the farmers. Go ahead, talk to them , ask them questions!..We sell eggs and are certified, and are always available to answer questions about our eggs, hens, feed , etc…and so should the other farmers. At first glance, are the eggs clean?

There should be no, I mean no fecal matter on the eggs…why?..Fecal matter provides a means for things to grow: parasites, bacteria, and its just plain gross!..The hens nest boxes and areas should be clean, and that will keep the eggs clean and in better condition..this goes for the hens too . Hens kept in dirty areas, with dirty nest boxes, can be subject to diseases and parasites too ..you dont want that!

The farmer should be open about how the hens are housed. Are they really free range..or are they caged? ( we are not saying that you will get bad eggs if they are caged, we are saying that the farm selling these eggs should be informed enough to be able to tell you where the eggs come from, and how)..kept in crowded cages or open pens?..Does the farmer know what breeds the chickens are (yes, you will be surprised about how little some of the farmers really know..and that my friend should be another deciding factor about purchasing products from them)..is this a front for a commercial operation?…Certified does not mean organic, just means that they have chickens that can lay eggs, and the inspector has seen the chickens. Ask questions, most of us pride ourselves in our animals, our products and you really cant shut us up about it..but if they clam up or dont know the answer…best not to buy from them.

Are the eggs out in the sun? Direct sunlight can have a devastating effect on egg quality. The sun can enable bacteria to grow, it can deplete the vitamins and minerals in the egg, and can effect the shelf life of the egg. Again, use your observation…does it look good?..

When you get the eggs home. Does the yolk “stand up”?..Does it have a orangish or dark yellow color?  does the “whites” of the egg stay near the yolk  or do they appear liquidy?..All of these things will determine great egg quality..and keep you coming back!

Jen

 

 

 

 

 

Milk…the goat…

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Milking can be a rewarding experience and delishous one as well.Plus your girls will enjoy it .
Getting that great creamy milk every day is an easy task..but it takes a little time and building good routine helps too. We start by always offering good food and fresh water… next,making sure hooves are trimmed..worming is on time and goats are comfy…we use skin so soft to help keep fly’s away ..
Next,using sanitized stainless steel buckets…is a must. We have the milk bucket and we have a wash bucket filled with warm water and a drop of dish soap.
Get all set up..then we put our goat in the milking station….we do a quick inspection ..then use a light mist of udder wash and wipe off with our damp clean cloth from the wash bucket…hands are clean…we spray out the first squeeze from the teat..position our milk bucket..and away we go…
After we milk …we put the bucket in ice water to cool the milk….spray the udders with a chlorhex udder spray… and you are now ready to process your milk….

Hello from Land of Milk and Honey

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Hello..from The Land of Milk and Honey Soap!
We are a family farm business that works together to produce natural products from our Land.We formulate and hand make soaps,balms and scrubs..plus eggs…and other products from our farm. We are involved in 4-h and will be helping with creating a new bee club this Fall…hope you continue to follow us for farm information,recipes,events,and whatever adventures we have!http://www.thelandofmilkandhoneysoap.com

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