Garden, Bees, Hens, & Thieves

What a crazy-busy fall we have had around here!  Sports, marching band, sick kids, church stuff, and work — whew!  I managed to sneak in a fall update for you on a few other things.  For starters, our garden is all done for the year.  All the food has been picked, plants pulled out, and the ground tilled.  I would like to get some manure put in there soon, but with the snow already falling this week, I’m not sure if we can make that happen.  Say, have you checked out our Garden Harvest Stats?  If we include some of the free/wild food that we harvested, our total harvest amount for the year is around 700 pounds of food!!  To see the stats in detail, click HERE.

Second on the update is the bees.  If I remember correctly, we were able to harvest around 40 pounds of honey from our hives this year.  Woohoo!  It’s time to button up the bees for the winter, so I figured out a way to insulate the tops of the hives and create a winter feeder all in the same box.  I don’t know if anyone else is doing it the way I am, but if they’re not, I’d like to take the liberty of naming this method the Hentschel Hive Feeder.  🙂  More on that later (video and post in the near future).

Third on the list is the chickens.  There isn’t a whole lot we need to do to get them ready for winter.  We have a light on a timer that gives the hens a little extra light in the morning and evening, which will help them lay eggs a little longer.  A week ago the light burned out and it took me a couple days to realize it, so our hens have stopped laying eggs.  I replaced the bulb, so we’ll see if they start laying eggs again soon.  We have the water warmer plugged in so their drinking water doesn’t freeze.  A couple of the hens molted earlier in the fall, but they quickly moved through that, thankfully.

Finally, I am sad to report that our house was broken into recently.  The thief was after spendable cash and took all our kids had (my & my husband’s cash was well-hidden).  Among the cash stolen was a large coin collection that our boys have been working on for several years.  They were absolutely crushed.  They have, however, decided to move on and restart their collection from square one.  Bless their hearts!  Another thing that we’re pretty sure was stolen was our video camera.  I always kept it on our computer desk, and it is no longer there.  I have searched the house at the off chance that I put it in a different spot, but I can not find it.  None of the stolen items will be covered by insurance because our deductible is too high.  We’ll have to replace everything on our own.  So, while we are saving up for a new camera (and coin books for the boys), we’ll be shooting videos with a cheap picture camera that happens to have a video option on it.  The quality isn’t very good, and editing takes longer due to formatting issues, but I will press on and continue doing what I love.

Thank you, everyone, for your continued support and for helping spread the word about our site.  Have a great autumn!