The Time Between

“Taking a break” is not a real thing for a girl who lives on a farm and has animals to feed and a tractor payment to make and and a list eight-feet-wide of things that need to be done this year…


Which is perfectly fine with me because actual breaks drive me crazy. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try to find some time between lists– after I’ve wrapped up my big summer projects, and before I start the mad dash to get things done for winter–to do, ah, other things. Like daydream about building a little mobile “bee shed” to go out on one of the hills behind my house to hold my beekeeping equipment…


Because since when have I ever said something reasonable like, “Oh, two beehives and three gallons of honey, that’s good enough… I should stop here.”

Hahaaaa. Ha.

Of course I’m going to add a few more hives next year. And expand my orchard. And build some arbors for grape vines. And probably build a greenhouse along with my Bee Shed. I’ve also been studying aerials and topographic maps of my property, and trying to decide if I can afford a disc attachment for my tractor, and researching how to cultivate a really good wildflower field.


And in all of the moments I’m not spending trying to figure out why, when you see my property from the top down, it looks like both my garden fence and orchard rows  were staked out by a drunk person (ahem), I’ve been making new friends. Like this poor little guy I found shivering in the bottom of the (mostly empty) water trough…


(I’ve gotten better at getting mice out of buckets without them ending up on top of my head, apparently.)

And there’s this guy…


This little dude literally swam behind my kayak for two miles down the river, but any time I turned around would stop and pretend to be digging at something on the bank…


Very sneaky.

Doc has thoughts about that too …


He and Parker are starting to get their winter coats in (and get jealous when I take pictures of other cute, fuzzy guys… apparently.)

All in all it’s been a nice little break, but this weekend I’ll be jumping back into the work with a few outdoor projects to finish up (I’m looking at you, last unpainted side of the garage), plus a bathroom that needs a floor (and that one damn shower tile), and a kitchen renovation but I may actually admit to starting sometime soon…


10 Responses

  1. Sounds like fun! I’ve seen awesome greenhouses built from recycled Windows. Are you still planning on milk goats? How much honey did you leave for the bees over the winter?

  2. Mobile bee house outstanding! I love to take a break, but the problem is that I spend it thinking of more things to diy!

  3. Damson plums. Best tasting plums ever. If you are USDA Zone 5, you can grow them. : )

    Maybe consider a hexagon bee shed? Hexagon windows… just sayin’ – maybe the Beard can help with this one? It would be worthy of admission, selling honey to the tourists visiting your future B&B. Maybe?

  4. You mean to say you didn’t use a sextant to plot out your garden fence line and fruit tree line but relied more on wine visualization. It’s how things all look from the house/back yard anyway and the yields will not be fung-shway affected in any way.
    Our best ideas come when were on a bit of re-energizing down time, part of the balance thing. Three gallons of honey…that’s quite a bit of honey. The amount of flowers bees feed off of for every pint of honey is more that one could imagine which I’m sure you know and is big motivation for a wild flower plot. There are beautiful wild flower fields on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River one doesn’t very often see, loaded with many butterfly varieties. Actually, my ditch in front of my place was over grown with weeds and a bit of a trickle in it when it rains. I’ve done away with the weeds and want to put Iowa Native wild flowers in it on the house side of the trickle up to my yard, not sure if it’ll get done this fall or not. I be watching for the placement of the last tile and floor completion.

  5. Kit, you don’t want to disk if you’re going to plant wildflowers. You’ll bring weed seeds to the surface that have been suppressed by all the brome grass for years. I work with prairie/native plants for a living. If you’d like some professional insight, let me know and I’ll email you.

    1. I would absolutely LOVE advice Amy. There are actually parts of the field I’m going to disc for planting some wheat and barley (we’ll see how that goes) and considered it to till the ground up where I’m going to plant my grapevines. But I don’t have a plan for the wildflowers, other than I definitely don’t want to spray out there because of the bees. I was thinking I may be able to hand cultivate a couple of areas at a time and that maybe they would self seed…. ???

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