Month: November 2015

Knee Deep…

The weather keeps feeling more and more like winter, and we keep thinking more and more about next spring.  Planning for next year on the farm is in full swing around these parts.  We continue to get a mix of “you go, kids!” to “what the hell are you thinking?” regarding our farm dreams, but we’re blazing ahead with our high octane cocktail of supreme confidence and utter fear, shaken not stirred. The beehives are about 90% winterized at this point.  I always wrap them with aluminum bubble wrap that has been spray painted black.  I also put a shim on the top of the hive with a piece of closed-cell insulation, the same stuff used to insulate underneath siding on houses sometimes.  From what I’ve been told, one of the main killers of bees in the winter is condensing water dripping down on them from the top of the hive.  The “cluster” of bees in the winter stays at or above 90 degrees throughout the cold season.  Bees move in and out of the cluster …

Still Growing Up

This past week Audra and I drove to Springfield (on a school night!?!) to attend a party at the UIS Chancellor’s house for honors students from the first three years of the UIS Capital Scholars Program.  I was a student in the first class of Cap Scholars and Audra showed up in the third year on a volleyball scholarship.  To be honest, I really didn’t want to go all that badly.  I graduated almost ten years ago, and some memories are sweeter if they’re kept in the past.  But, the former director of the program/badass Arthurian Literature scholar was going to be there, and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to at least get to say hi to someone who has had such a profound impact on my life.   I’m so glad that we went.  I was able to see and talk to people who I haven’t seen in nearly 10 years.  The conversations were certainly different than they would have been a decade ago.  Most of us have kids now, and …

OOOPS

Remember that time I majored in horticulture and green house production and started a farm? Wait, I did one of those things, but not the other. I actually majored in Communication and minored in visual arts…..nowhere near horticulture, or biology, or anything science-related.  I also made sure to totally steer clear of anything that dealt with math (although, I really loved and was good at Geometry in high school, probably because it was math on a visual level). These two subjects are really important and more girls should major in them. I, unfortunately, wasn’t that girl and I, unfortunately, was reminded of that this week. I totally and completely screwed up my Cafe Au Lait dahlias this week. Dahlia tubers are really expensive. But, once you purchase and grow them, they basically double in size each year, thus doubling your investment. I just very effectively eliminated my investment. Chris and I dug up the tubers a couple of weeks ago and placed them in a bulb crate.  Chris asked if I wanted to take them to the basement, and …

C-Dubs/Gentleman Farmer

Every fall for the past ten years I have directed the fall play at the school where I teach, the same school where I grew up.  The two months of fall play are always hard on both me and Audra, but this year was particularly difficult now that we have so much more to take care of (both farm and child being included in the “more”).  When the show ended its run last weekend, I was quickly reminded of all the things that needed done around here now that I was home before 10:00 PM for the first time in nearly two weeks.  To commemorate our efforts together on and off stage, my students got me a personalized hat with a nickname that many of my play kids have called me for years now.   There is probably a name for this type of hat, but I’m not hip enough to even know that.  I’m not sure I can pull off this look while weeding the fields next year.  My wide-brim straw hat that I …