So 2016 started out slow & groggy then suddenly hopped into fast & froggy in no time flat! We are leaping through this season folks! In our house this is truly a wonderful realization. We are a family of sun worshipping goddesses, warm water beach babes & sweat-loving lads & lasses, so spring cannot get here soon enough! The fact that days are growing longer & seedlings will soon be popping in the windowsill is sweet relief to the hearts & minds of the Wildwood Acres brood.
Incredible amounts of awesomeness are on the agenda around here these days! I received an update from Chanda (my devoted poultry partner & friend) last night informing me that all of the chicks have officially hatched and the ducks will likely be cracking their way into the world in another few, short days! That my friends, is absolutely music to my ears! This winter has been terribly quiet around here without any feathered friends to check on over the past month or so. With the exception of echo’s through the woods from our neighbor’s crowing roos, there have been no morning wake-up calls this winter, no fresh eggs to collect or feathers to admire & no little beaks to feed all of my cooking scraps from the kitchen each day. My compost pile has been well fed this winter, but walking out to gaze upon empty coops and a desolate scratch yard is quite depressing. Want to know what else is depressing? Buying eggs. Take it from this greenhorn hobby farmer… Once you grow your own tomatoes or onions, peppers or cucumbers, nourish your own chickens, collect eggs from your own flock, prepare meals with foods you grew and canned yourself, you will simply never shop in the grocery store with the same set of eyes or enthusiasm as you once did. It changes your entire perspective on so many aspects of purchasing, preparing & consuming foods. It’s beautiful, haunting, fulfilling, educational, healthy & addictive!
Speaking of addicted… I’m absolutely head-over-heals, in love & consumed by the idea of establishing a small apiary here at the homestead this spring! Basically, I daydream about the art of beekeeping in the same way a young, fancy-shmancy, girlie-girl might daydream about her future wedding day. It’s ridiculously exciting! I’ve been researching the process, educating myself on even the tiniest of apiary tidbits & making preparatory “to do” lists in the same way a world traveler with wanderlust might meticulously research & plan her next voyage to some far away, unfamiliar, foreign land. I had the pleasure of attending a beekeeping 101 workshop this weekend conducted by the Tidewater Beekeeping Association. What an amazing group of people. I was so impressed. To say it was a worthwhile endeavor is an absolute understatement. Seasoned beekeepers from all over the region shared their vast knowledge and experiences with us regarding the establishment, care & maintenance of hives. Next month we will attend our first beekeeper’s association meeting, order hives, supplies & protective gear (because I’m admittedly wimpy & want to take every precaution necessary to avoid getting annihilated by stinging little buzzballs), then Josh & I are scheduled to visit a local bee yard in March where we will get hands-on experience working with the bees. Learning about the biology of these genuinely exquisite, highly intelligent & invaluable creatures was one of the most interesting aspects of the class. If ever I was teetering in regard to whether or not I should actually embark on this new adventure, my doubts vanished completely after attending this workshop. I have been totally persuaded to believe that beekeeping is so much more than just a really cool hobby & a wonderful means of harvesting a delectable sweet treat for our families. Sure, honey is a wonderful, delicious perk & byproduct of beekeeping itself. But the truth is, apiculture is a responsibility that every single human being who enjoys gardening, eating fresh fruits & vegetables or who simply values the earth as we know it, should feel compelled to explore. Bees are imperative to the well being of our planet & the way we sustain our food supply in this country. It will be a privilege, an honor for me to serve my family, my friends, my neighbors, my EARTH by establishing this new branch of sustainable agriculture here at Wildwood Acres. I can’t wait to take all of you along for the ride via my blog & impending Vlogs!
*SIDE NOTE – All of my beekeeping cousins & buds out there… BEEEEE READY for me to call you up & pick your brain in over this spring & summer! I will have access to a local mentor, but I want to hear your personal stories too!
So clearly I’m buzzing with delight just thinking on the prospects of new projects & happenings around here. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to explore our Wildwoods with me & for celebrating life daily!
In love & light!