Tag Archives: bees

In the garden before work.

Had an early morning before work today
Got myself to the garden

The honeybees were already absorbed in their work among the buckwheat blossoms

I set out to harvest the dry beans
Because they were beginning to show signs of mold


This is NOT what a healthy bean looks like…

And as I pulled the plants out from the garden, there was this familiar track of thoughts running through my mind…
“Next year, I’m gonna thin the beans better… Be more on top of the weeds… Etc…”

(Squinchy face)

And so began the Thinking dance

Present… Future… Story… Present…
Present… Future… Story… Present….

(Waltz, anyone?)

It was my first go at growing dry beans
And from the mold I did learn that spacing DOES make a difference.
And yes, it has been quite rainy this season…
I’ve got some good information from this one season of trying something new

I love that about gardening
Experiential learning

I have no idea what the yield will be.
Time will tell after drying in the greenhouse

There are two varieties

Vermont Cranberry

And Marfax

One of the landowners was out in their garden and she gifted me one of the small Italian squashes – this one goes by the name Tromboncino

Serious, this is one of the small ones…


Then back out to the garden to pick a few carrots

(Should’ve taken a bucket with me, but a shirt will do in a pinch…)
A few more sunflower portraits, then off to work


Tincture – attempt #1.

Last month, the New Moon was in Cancer, and so it seemed like a veryfine time to give my first go at making a tincture.

I had no idea what I was doing beyond reading part of a book, and reading some posts by herbalists online about how to tincture Propolis.
Propolis is good stuff.
Made by bees from the gathering of resin, mostly from trees in this hemisphere.

This is the same jar about mid-month in after shaking it vigorously once or twice each day.
Today is the New Moon in Virgo – and so it seemed like a veryfine time to harvest the propolis

Doesn’t look all that different from a couple weeks ago, but to make medicine today seemed just so.

Gathering the equipment together
– low tech.


The book I had doesn’t say anything about Propolis in particular, so I just got to it
The aroma was strong, and the lid had Propolis goo stuck to the inside.
Amazing stuff

Thank you bees
Thank you so

It was hard to pour at the same time as taking a photo, but I somehow caught the goo (there’s probably a technical name for the material) sliding out from the jar
It smells really good

It’s very very sticky

I tried squeezing the cotton cheesecloth bundle to remove as much of the goodness as possible

There is probably a better way of doing it, as my hands are now coated with resin (no longer sticky, and smells like Propolis)

I couldn’t bring myself to just compost the goo, figuring it will have some beneficial use, even if I didn’t know what that was in the moment…

The decanting begins!

Superfancy labels…..

Ready to share the goodness!!

Blessings on the mindful keepers of the bees
And for all who plant bee-friendly food (that is, flowers, trees, and plants which offer good food for the bees)

If you gave not already seen the movie Queen of the Sun
I highly recommend it.

What if the commercial growers of fruits and nuts took 30% of their agricultural crops and made it into year round bee sanctuaries?
If swaths of corn, wheat, and soybeans all through the Midwest were made into bee sanctuary corridors?
Just creating and tending these corridors could be a source of employment.
Many people want to work with plants, be outside, be of benefit to the planet, feel their inextricable link to all things…
This could allow for that…

(I know it’s a bumble and not a honeybee… The honeys were all over the buckwheat)


Tending a garden – Late Summer 2014

I really enjoy tending and keeping a vegetable garden.

I’m fortunate to be given a few beds at the place where I farmed back in 2009.
The owners put in a cover crop of buckwheat
which is covered in blossoms ( & therefore honeybees) in the above photo
The hum of the bees & the now constant cricket song are a soothing sound to work by

It’s a lovely place
And while it’s often difficult for me to motivate myself to drive there
(“Jeez I’m using gas again, using the car again, I just got home from work, what if it’s too hot, etcetcetc…)
I never regret going, once I’m there
(Why do I forget this?!?)
It’s tricky for me to find a balance between effort and doing, and impact & nourishment…

Yesterday it was sunny & warm, but not too hot, thankfully
And so I set about weeding the many weeds which are growing quite well with all the rain we’ve had this season
But it’s good soil, and some of the intended, cultivated flowers & vegetables have also thrived


Coreopsis for dye & cut flowers

Strawflower for offerings

And one of the Blue Hubbards has sized up nicely (and has not been munched out by slugs)

Beets & carrots, two varieties each, are doing well
Had a taste test of the carrots with some friends last night
That was fun

Sunflowers for the spirit, bee food, seed, and dye

I love harvesting carrots, because the tops I give to the sheep
O I love the sheep
They are so sweet


It makes sense to me, keeping sheep…
The eat the weeds, they provide poop for a robust compost pile, and wool, and even meat or milk if one wanted.
I enjoy their company, their gentleness.

One day, still, I hope to have my own garden nearby where I live
Just outside, a short walk away.
Till then, I’ll continue to drive to the garden
Tending it is good medicine
And feeds me in many ways, and other beings too.
May I never learn how to garden for one.


Physostegia virginiana


aka: obedient plant

this is a photo taken the following day after a MAJOR torrential rainstorm last week.

i was looking at the image today, and thinking about why i took the photo on my dinky phone in the first place.

so this plant stands tall.  taller than me.  that would be taller than 5′ and almost a couple inches.

Physostegia stands very tall, very erect, very upright.

up up up

the bees love this stuff.  great perennial bee food for late summer, in case there’s no goldenrod in your area, it comes in a variety of colors, AND it’s lovely to boot.

the pummeling rain laid down every stalk growing.

all the way down to the ground… were talking horizontal physostegia.

the next day, this is what was going on…  the flowers began growing towards the sun.

now, i’ve seen this phenomena before in various places.  it’s nothing really new…  trees, plants, etc do this all the time.

they are so smart, plants.

this growing.

such a great reminder.

sometimes i get really sad about things… mostly what’s going on in the world… and sometimes i just get all worked up about things in my mind.

i’m not proud of this, but it does happen, still.

seeing the shift in the flower growth in one cycle of a day really struck me.  so i took a picture.  to remind me.

to do the things i know i need to do to find my ground, or re-balancing, given the nature of the shifting and changing of the world, both inside and out.

this obedient plant reminds me of the strong will that’s in all beings – plants and critters alike – and the true nature of all plants and critters is to grow…  that there’s an inner will, like what’s in a seed, to grow, to change… but in my case, it may take a bit of discipline to guide my way there.

also, the importance of honoring the times of darkness…  i mean, for all i know, the Physostegia needed that time through the night to find its bearings…  that the time through the night was integral to the 90 degree shift towards the sun.

now, don’t get me wrong – i’m not one of those ‘it’s all light’ sort of people.

i’m SO not.

i’m a big fan of the balance of light AND shadow –

anyone who has done the experiment of trying to grow grass in 100% darkness or 100% light will find out pretty soon that plants need a balance of light and dark for health.

this quote i read yesterday may have been the spark of inspiration for taking steps towards practicing yoga, and meditating regularly again.  honestly, i’m not really sure.  i suppose it doesn’t matter.

but i do know, that any steps i take to settle this wild-rabbit-mind, through mind-training & focused body movement will make a beneficial impact on/in the entire world.

it’s a gooder… enjoy:

by Joan Chittister, from Uncommon Gratitude

“Darkness deserves gratitude.  It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.”