Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Winter Greenhouse Lettuce

The Lettuce is growing!  It seems the warmer weather the past few days has helped the lettuce put on a few more inches... although it still seems painfully small compared to the beautiful Spring greens we grow around here.  We have not been heating our greenhouse this winter, but nevertheless the lettuce continues to survive.  We will be selling it this weekend at the Worthington Winter Market, which we attend every other Saturday (2nd and 4th Saturdays Jan-April).  You can find us there between 10:00-1:00, at the Griswold Senior Center at 777 N. High Street in Worthington.  We also will be selling our Pure, Raw Honey (extracted last summer) and our handcrafted soaps. 

We will be firing up the heat in the greenhouse next week so that we can start our herbs, bedding plants, onion sets, and a few other odds and ends, so hopefully this lettuce will take off.  We can't wait till Spring!

A Bit about Honey Extraction

Next, the frames are taken from the hive and the top layer of wax is scraped off using a fine comb or a heated knife.  This allows the honey to come out of the capped off comb when it gets spun inside the extractor.
The final step is to place the frames upright into the extractor, and Isaac spins a crank on the top of the machine, allowing the centripetal force to sling the honey out of the comb.  As the honey hits the sides of the machine it will drip down and flow out of the spout, into a large basin.  We use a wide mesh screen to filter out the beeswax, propolis, and dead bees.  What is left is pure, raw honey... straight into the bottle... direct from flower to you! 
Photo Credits:  Courtney Hergesheimer, Columbus Dispatch

Reflections from Beekeeping in 2008

Looking back on this past year of beekeeping, it seemed to be a successful year!  We had a wonderful Spring bloom with the Black Locust trees providing abundant nectar for the delicate light honey we always anticipate.  We aren't always able to extract Spring honey, so we considered ourselves very fortunate to have enough to "steal" from the bees.  The dry mid-summer allowed the bees to gather enough clover and Canadian thistle to keep them happy and well-fed, and to fill up many of the comb honey boxes that many of our customers anxiously await.  Sadly, we did not get to extract honey in the fall, as the bees did not make enough for us to take the Goldenrod honey away from them.  However, we hope that leaving it for them to eat will allow them to survive this harsh winter!