Monstrous Maple

A great gift from our neighbors, they had it felled by professionals as it was menacing their house. All I had to to was show up and buck it up, which still took a full day.  Several limbs were the same size of the full trees I usually go after. I had to move the main trunk logs with the tractor, splitting them will be a whole other matter.

Without Much Fanfare

A sugarhouse / tool shed / tractor garage / soap making shop, is being born. We’ve had many projects lacking dry space. I’m barely documenting anything, I also have to post some pictures of how incredible the garden is this year. This has all become less than extraordinary: growing awesome gardens, putting together buildings is simply what we do now. A sign of the completeness of the transformation we undertook 8 years ago. In a lot of ways we feel like we don’t need to achieve anything anymore while looking ahead to several large projects for the coming years. Maybe all we had to achieve was making this who we are, everything else follows naturally without fuss.

3 pillars which will be buried to support the lean-to part of the building

Site prep day, truck got stuck

Concrete pouring day, I’ll skip the stresses of dealing with contractors

12′ walls are no joke

He can help more and more but it’s still hard to have him around the site for all the dangers

Not the most conventional framing method but the computer model says it’ll work and I’ve grown accustomed to not questioning what the computer says. I braced the building because there won’t be shearing rated sheathing on the walls and we do get high winds. The roof line will be broken by a sizeable cupola. 20′ rafters also are no joke.

Starting to look good 🙂

I thought that was it for beekeeping

at least for the next few years, until we could shield the hives better during the long winters. We were going to put things on hold until we had a shed or a greenhouse to move hives in. I have to say beekeeping as fascinating as it was is extremely disappointing especially when compared to doing maple syrup. The way we keep bees in the West seems to be full of human dependence. Fumigating with chemicals, feeding refined sugar, neither of which is exactly local or sustainable.

Through the past couple of years I’ve wondered if some bugs would find residence in the hives which have been sitting empty outside.

Today as Nicole & the kids were in the yard, they had the privilege to witness a swarm of bees descend on one of the hives. A swarm sitting in a tree is impressive as it is, a swarm in motion is really something. Everything was buzzing around everywhere around the house.

It’s really quite a spectacle and we feel like we’ve just received a gift from Nature. Or gift from a beekeeping neighbor 🙂 hard to tell.

It’s kind of mind blowing to think of a swarm having a several miles radius to look for a new house, to pick our land, and specifically our hive. It really gets you thinking about the how smart the bees really are. They sent scouts everywhere, found an obviously good house (literally built for them), and somehow it won the popular vote through frenetic dancing. How amazing is this? Pretty fucking amazing if you ask me.

So here we are, bees in our hive, it’s a real pleasure to go see them. They’re already super busy coming in and out of the hive incessantly. We’ll give them a couple of days to acclimate, and we’ll see what we do next.