Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Around the Homesead: Photos and books - December 2013 to Now

I figured I would do a little update of pictures from around the homestead that haven't made it into their own post and books I'm currently reading and using. Here you go! Enjoy!

Photos from around the homestead

Isaac and Noah are enjoying the rebounder.

Joel and my Dad lit up a few brush piles in the heavy snow storm we had recently.

It's pretty gorgeous around here.

Our big pine lost quite a few branches in the wet snow storm.

Remember, I'm counting down to milk in hay bales. In this picture there were 7 wrapped and one unwrapped.

So thankful for the self cleaning metal roof. :-) Except when I have to stand under it to water the cows.

Favorite "smart idea" this winter. It's so easy to refil that bucket with this gutter
(and it won't freeze or hold water like a hose.)

Still working on it. I'm getting better at "pulling shots" that have a little more crema.
I have a new frothing wand that is awesome for cappuchinos, but really tricky to make microfoam...
Hopefully I'll get the hang of it.

I love this little chalk board. 
We went on a date to funspot for bowling, games, and this photobooth fun.
It was probably the best date night ever.

There weren't many things that we wanted in the least. So we went for this
and made sure we got 250 coupons from our $11 worth of games.

What I'm currently reading or read this month

Bees and Gardens are the topics recently. I'm still waiting for those seed catalogs! So here are some bee and garden books I'm enjoying:

Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health I've enjoyed this book and found it has a great deal of information on just about everything I could want. I read a lot of this when I checked it out of the library but was getting bogged down with so much meat that I knew I couldn't absorb all the information in that short time. This was a birthday present from my mom and I can't wait to get back into it and study like crazy. It seems like a no-nonsence, meaty book that I will pull out and reference often. It starts with the complete basics so that you can learn everything even if you know nothing about the difference between drones, worker bees, and queens.

Here are the main categories: Top-Bar Hives, The Supercreature (worker, queen, and drones), Beekeeping Basics, Hive Management, The Seasons (swarming, making divides etc.), Honey Beeswax and Other Products, Evaluating Your Queen, Problem-Solving, Raising Queens, Planting for Bees.

Swarm Traps and Bait Hives This is a short but very easy to use book on catching your own bees. They've made us very excited to build their recommended bait hives and get a few up. This book will make it feel totally doable! Since it's so short, I would get either the kindle or the print book. I always prefer print books for references, but I think this would be easy enough to manage either way.

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year, No Matter Where You Live This give me hope for starting our garden earlier and having success this year and then continuing our harvest in creative ways next winter! This makes me dizzy with how much information and how many different ways I could apply it though. They have a ton of different examples of what could work that I'm having a hard time picking one out. But hopefully, along with a few other books, I'll start to have an idea of what will work best in our situations!

Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening I'll be using this book again! I talked a little about bit here.

The Old Farmer's Almanac 2014 I'm hoping to make good use of this this year. I needed a solid seed starting schedule last year and I'm hoping this will help this year.

The Old Farmer's Almanac 2014 Gardening CalendarOkay, not really a book, but could be very useful to me. It will give me some reminders I might not think about. Example: plant potatoes before March 20th (if possible).

 What books have you been enjoying? Any suggestions?

Michelle Brown is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. - See more at: http://brown-thoughts.blogspot.com/p/come-shop-with-me

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