Follow the Flowering

Ahhh…. With summer closing in upon us, everything, including the farmer, is well underway making busy with the newfound warmth and daylight. A sure sign that life is about to get a lot more interesting is the arrival of the spring flowers. Pushing forward, reaching out into the world, apple trees, lilacs, strawberries, and plant beings all around our state have begun displaying their fragrant and sightly flowers for the pollinators of the world.

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One of new approx. 12,000 residents helps itself to some dandelion.

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One of my favorite spring time treats: the blooming lilacs. Fragrant and beautiful, they are guaranteed to make any queen in your life buzz.

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The healthy  apple blossoms are always a positive sign that things are going smoothly. Incredibly sensitive to cold, like most fruit trees in our area, apples can sustain tremendous damage from an untimely late frost. Lucky for us, we escaped the last cold snap with only a few damaged flowers.

Honey, I’m home..

The coming of the bees!

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A hive super with some frames in it.

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A hive frame, with wired, wax foundation for the bees to build upon.

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The Smoker: a crucial tool of the beekeeper.

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Making sure the hive is set firmly, level from side to side with a slight pitch forward. You can see my homemade entrance reducer; a rough strip with a one inch notch cut into it. The entrance reducer helps the bees by giving them only a small opening to defend.

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A few puffs of smoke… all of the frames have been successfully transferred from the nuc box to the hive body.

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Dumping in the remaining bees…

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Many bees stayed in the nuc box, I simply set it directly aside the hive and all the bees moved themselves inside.

Rhode Island Red Migration

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The great chicken migration of May has taken place. With 100 of the laying birds transported without incident, we can now sit back and relax and watch our little grazing hens gobble up protein and green grass and produce rich fresh eggs daily.
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A noticeable difference in egg texture and yolk usually accompanies the move outdoors in the spring. Even though the bird are supplied with grasses and hay to nibble on through the winter, we just cant match  the nutrient and protein uptake they get while pastured. Not to mention the rise in chicken moral!

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Around the rolling house we set up and electric chicken fence, which serves just as much to keep the birds in as to keep predators out!
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While enjoying the sun, the birds will scratch and gobble up bugs and grubs but most importantly, especially these days, the birds will eat ticks.

Whats the Buzz at Livewater Farm

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With the hive ready and the pick up date for the bees less than a week away, anticipation is rising for the arrival of our new royalty. Bees, like people are social, caring, productive, driven organisms with an astounding ability to work together. Along side us, the bees will be busy working all summer gathering sweet nectar, pollinating and making honey to feed themselves through the winter.

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An apple blossom opening up.

On top of honey production, bees are crucial to pollination of flowering plants. As we establish fruit crops such as apples, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries bees will be crucial to spreading pollen and fertilizing the fruit flowers.

 

Raw Milk: Have you herd?

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“Raw milk” is the term used to define milk we consume which is not   pasteurized. The Pasteurization process requires that the milk be heated to a minimum of 145°F for at least 30 min. This is done to ensure that any harmful biotic element present in the milk will cease to exist. Milk as it occurs naturally is a rich microbiotic environment the composition of which is heavily influenced by the conditions of the animal along with what they are fed and the environment in which they exist. The majority of these micro organisms present in the milk are beneficial to our human digestion and the overall health of our own bodily flora. Unfortunately the pasteurization of raw milk may not only destroy any harmful elements but will most certainly affect the positive biological elements if not eliminate them entirely.

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In our culture of mass food production and distribution, steps like this are absolutely necessary. Without preventative elements like pasteurization, incidents of contamination, harmful or not, would be widespread. However a lucky few in this country have options. People everywhere are remembering  that raw milk was a part of human diet for thousands of years and are now actively trying to reintroduce it to our daily lives. If you are lucky you may be able to find a farm near you that produces and sells raw milk, or may know someone who does.

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Here at Livewater Farm we are proud to provide some of the highest quality raw milk in our area. 100% grass fed, our dairy heard has been developed over the previous fifteen years to provide us with optimum quality milk: fresh, rich and produced using only the most organic methods. For over two decades we have been providing raw milk to our local community and neighbors. Open daily we welcome new customers and encourage the community to embrace and support local agriculture while providing the very best to yourself and your family.