Fighting the Winter Doldrums

The first part of the year always seems to drag on and on. Perhaps it is all of the bouts of false springs, or the lack of significant holiday celebration between New Years and Easter. Either way, I always find it hard to get through January until garden season. I know better than to buy flowers too early at the garden store, but I need them!

This year, I have discovered a few tasks and new hobbies that are intended to be completed in late winter that have helped ease the winter blues!

Bee Keeping

I know all sorts of things about honey bees. They pollinate, they make honey, and they sting as a last resort. Ok, now you know what I know. However, I have really wanted to keep bees for some time now. So, we’re taking the plunge this spring! By we, I mean me and my neighbor. Our spouses have wished us the best of luck in the endeavor.

So. Now is the perfect time to get beekeeping supplies ready for spring hives. From painting new bee boxes, cleaning frames, and reading my new Beekeeping for Dummies book, I have been able to fill quite a few winter hours. So far, it’s basically an arts and crafts project. And who doesn’t love arts and crafts.

Stencils are your friend.

My bees arrive sometime in late April, and I have two hives more or less ready for bees. Stay tuned!

Fruit Trees

What are honey bees without things to pollinate? Of course, I have packs and packs of wildflower seeds for planting this spring, but I’ve intended to plant an orchard since we moved almost three years ago. So we have been prepping an unused part of our property as an apiary (see, that bee book is paying off!) and orchard. Late winter is the perfect time for planting fruit trees.

If you are in western North Carolina, we have discovered a lovely place in Morganton, Lowe’s Nursery where we purchased fruit trees and blueberries at awesome prices! We had to prune the ends of the trees to fit in the truck bed, so trying to be clever, we are also attempting to root the trimmings. So far, so good!

Is it a pear? A plum? Hopefully we soon find out! Like, 3-5 years soon.

Fencing, Fence Clearing, and more Fencing

If you have overgrown fence to clear, hop to it! The vines are dead or dormant right now, and you’re much less likely to run into any creepy crawlies.

We have one run to get wrapped up before spring time pasture rotations. It shouldn’t be too bad, pull the fence, cut some trees, mow, reset posts, and run wire! Except, one of the trees and a metal post have melded and become one.

This one, might get to stay…

Take that, Winter Blues!

And just to make sure we don’t get bored, of course our four legged wonder decided he didn’t want to miss out on the fun. Our youngest horse was more or less diagnosed with wet feet. Too much rain and not enough dry space. So he got his front feet wrapped daily for a week and the vet has given him the all clear. Yay! Now back to working on the api-orchard.

How about that wrap job, eh?
Bonus shot of this big guy.

Good luck and stay warm. We just have to hold it together a few more months…


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