To see how it all began: Getting my boots dirty: Reflections on living simply, sanely, and my new Farmm Blogg
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Posted on May 15, 2012
So now that I’m officially a ‘beekeeper’ – I’m sure my official laminated card is being put in the mail as we speak here today – I feel it necessary to remind everyone else who isn’t a beekeeper that they are in fact mere mortals and probably just slightly less of a human being than I am. I know…sounds harsh. But have you picked up a hive frame just dripping with bees, held it up to the sun and identified the queen bee amongst a pulsing mass of worker bees?
I am now a member of an exclusive brotherhood (the sisterhood of beekeepers is a totally separate, and exclusive organisation…girl beekeepers are so snooty!) that has its own special yearly conferences – just like doctors – magazines, and even a secret handshake. Beekeepers will fight for other beekeepers in the courts and in the streets – who can forget the great beekeepers uprising of ’78 when beekeepers actually managed to set up their own anarchist society on the streets of Warsaw (Nebraska!) before being brutally put down under the shiny jackboots of the local National Guard?! Beekeepers are in fact more like a street gang/professional association than say the bus drivers’ union, who are a pretty orderly bunch by comparison.
Just glad to be(e) on board.
Posted on May 18, 2012
Today’s the big day. Today is the day I test my meddle, measure how truly useful I might be to the planet; today is the day I try my hand at hooking up an electric fence.
With no prior experience or any definite knowledge of electrical theory beyond Grade Nine science, I will see what I can do to build a fence not strong enough to actually deter a bolting pig from running right through it by robustness of build or creativeness of engineering, but rather by relying on a sharp electrical current – pain, in layman’s terms – to ward off any hog escapes.
You know, it’s that go-get ‘em, take-no-prisoners, never-say-die attitude that built this country, and goddammit if I can’t get this done.
I can do this.
(God I hope this works.)
Posted on May 28, 2012
Alright, I seemed to have – at least temporarily – deterred the predator, the ghastly beast of Prince Edward County, from taking any more birds. Two nights now, and no more dead ducks!
I doubled-down on security. Complacency out the window. Where a reasonable person might be satisfied with one layer of wire, I went with two. A mere cage…no way. The cage will be up high, safe behind barbed wire and an electrified moat.
It turns out, strangely, that having a bunch of vulnerable prey animals all gathered together in one place tends to attract animals that are wont to eat them. I wonder what must go through their minds as they happen upon a bunch of chickens in a cage right out there in the open?
“Huh,” they must say to themselves. “How convenient.”
Posted on May 29, 2012
It’s a well-known fact that pigs eat people. Which, seems only fair since we eat them too.
It’s also a well-established fact that if you slip and fall in the pig pen, maybe you hit your head, perhaps you’re drunk or stoned – as many farmers are apt to be – and are slow to rise to your feet, pigs will rush you, just onto your back, and start gnawing on your ears and nose.
All this ran through my head today as I was shoveling pig shit out of the sty and nearly tripped. You see, while pigs are in fact a rather clean animal unlike the duck who wallows away most of the day in his own filth, they prefer a cluttered living environ, full of things for their human keeper to ‘accidentally’ stumble over and trip.
Crafty little buggers.