Our bees are busy in the blackberry rows. The blackberries are in full bloom right now, and are beautiful (photo at right). Hopefully we will have a great crop of blackberries like last year. Our blueberries have finished blooming and have set fruit already. You may not recall, but last year, our blueberry crop was very sparse due to something called Mummy Berry. This spore causes the fruit to dry up and fall off the bush. It apparently continues to be a problem year after year by overwintering in the ground around the bush and re-emerging in Spring. The suggested remedy is to spray, spray, spray… but we’re organic!… After much research on what to do, we finally found some organic farms in the Northwest that had success with extremely heavy mulching in February. Why February? The theory is that by mulching overly heavy it creates a barrier and will keep last years spores from surfacing while the plant is blooming. This is supposed to keep the spores from effecting this years crop. Blueberries bloom rather early in March, so February for mulching was exactly right. So far, things are looking good. I took a photo so you could see all the berries! (below, left)
Mother Nature hasn’t wasted any time bringing Spring to Georgia this year. Lots of Springtime things have been happening, including honey bee swarms. Bees, or rather, bee hives swarm to establish new hives. What happens is that the hive creates a new queen, and the older queen along with many, many more leave to create a new colony somewhere. Most of the swarms that we see here on the farm are from our own hives. If we catch the swarm, then we have another colony with a queen. If we don’t catch it, then we’ve just lost a whole bunch of bees.
With all this Spring rain, the roof on the barn decided it had enough and began to leak. We certainly didn’t think we would have to deal with a roof right now, and who has time? The weather forecast says we should have several dry days in a row, four and a half days exactly, so here we are tearing off the old roof. The brown and silver tarps are supposed to catch all the old shingles and nails. It mostly worked… luckily, we have a huge magnet that’s great to find stray nails.