Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wintering Bees

Another early snowstorm in the bee-yard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2009 Harvest Summary

Another growing season gone and Thanksgiving is fast approaching, that means its time to review the year's harvest totals and give thanks for the blessings from our garden. As of Nov 10, most of the 2008 harvest is in(we still have a few carrots remaining). We had some challenges this year with the weather and the bees but we still got plenty to be thankful for.
July in the Garden, before the hail

We didn’t set any new records this year for production but we were above the average yield in several categories. A hail storm ravaged our garden on July 28th destroying a lot of the produce. Despite the damage we were still above average on our garlic, green beans and snow peas. We also added laying hens for fresh eggs this year. We have five layers that are produced as much as 30 eggs per week before the winter set in.

2009 harvest totals:
• Carrots 21.7 lbs (so far), 56% of average yield
• Cucumbers 26.3 lbs, 94% of average yield
• Eggs 25.6 dozen (new category)
• Garlic 5.2 lbs, 128% of average yield
• Green Beans 23.3 lbs, 139% of average yield
• Honey 107.5 lbs, 86% of average yield
• Beeswax 2 lbs
• Lettuce & Salad Greens 5.2 lbs, 86% of average yield
• Onions 1.5 lbs (volunteers)
• Peppers 23.8 lbs, 46% of average yield
• Rhubarb 5.4 lbs, 49% of average yield
• Snow Peas 8.8 lbs, 194% of average yield
• All Squash 83.4 lbs, 52% of average yield
• Tomatoes 172.9 lbs, 98% of average yield

2009 Climate Summary:
This summer's growing season was longer than normal and had an early start. This should have set us up for great harvests, but the hail came. We had our last frost of spring on April 19th and our first frost of the fall on October 2nd giving us a growing season of 166 days this year. We had good consistent rains from April through July this year, which was above average, but 64 days were rainy, which may have kept the bees inside more than normal at least partially accounting for our lower honey production. Our total summer rainfall was above normal with 9.8" from April through October with August being our driest month with only 0.12” for the month. September was also dry, so the late-summer required a lot of extra watering again this year.

It was also a cool summer with average temps peaking at only 69°F in July, and once again with no days above 100 degrees. The maximum temp for the entire summer was only 96°F on July 24th.
Hail stones