Summer has arrived in Interior Alaska!

Everyone spent the weekend outside. It made it into the high 70s, and for the first time, it felt like summer had finally arrived.

We drug the brooder out which also serves as our chicken tractor. We attempted to fence the ducklings in, but they quickly escaped. We simply had to keep the jerk big birds north of the house and the babies south of the house. The baby birds were so excited to feel the dirt and eat the greens – like it was a big privilege. The big birds, they are a bit more demanding, and for them, they feel it is a right. When I get home after work, the start yelling at me from the coop to let them out. I don’t mind, I prefer them out foraging especially since summer is simply too short. I’m thrilled when their winter yellow egg yolks turn that dark orange that only happens in the summer.

Shane worked this weekend on the chicken coop since they are quickly outgrowing the garage. Pressure always makes projects happen with us. I can guarantee that even though we were planning on meat birds next summer with the plan of building the coop this summer to prepare, we’d still be building the coop while the birds lived in the garage. Simply the way we roll. And anytime we get an idea and set a date, fast forward it by a year.

Shane also got his mushroom stand dug out and up. Now we wait. Hopefully, mushrooms should start arriving by August though we should start thinking about how we are going to squirrel proof it.

AManAndHisMushrooms.jpg

It took all of the last weekend, some days during the week, and this weekend but all of the garden is in! Well, except for a few rhubarb plants. That’ll happen tomorrow or perhaps the next day. I thought about taking photos, but everything looks so small and pathetic. I’ll wait till they have had time to get going. Though I’m awfully proud since this is the first year I did not purchase any starts and I started the entire garden from seed.

We also did our weekly hive check. The bees are enjoying this heat and the wildflowers that are starting to bloom. The white area on the one frame is honey stores while larva are a lot darker and get laid in the middle of the frames. Hive inspections check to make sure the queen is laying eggs, the bees are content, and there are no queen cells. This is the time of year when hives swarm (we know, we lost one last year). The bees will hatch a new queen. Half the hive will swarm with a queen and leave half the hive. Not good, so weekly hive checks are a must to squash swarming. Last year between my husband’s double hernia surgery and my work conference, the hives got a few hasty checks, and we paid the price. We live, and we learn, getting better at this every year.

 

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