I attended another wonderful open house by Kirk Webster. His approach to treatment free commercial beekeeping is great to see and offers many tips to help the hobby beekeeper as well. His system includes overwinter nucleous colonies to support his production hives that provide genetics to produce queen bees to put in the nucleous colonies, creating a self organizing system. Unfortunately my blog app doesn't allow hyperlinks but if you search Kirk Webster you'll find is site.
The tips and bottom leaves have begun to yellow so I have started harvesting the garlic. My Silver White softeneck did not do well but that was more likely the result of a weird winter rather than wet summer, in my opinion. The Silver White and German Red hardneck varieties tried to grow all winter because of the mild temperatures. The Northern White variety did well in spite of the mild winter days and wet summer. They'll cure for a couple weeks in the garage then ready to use or store. I will ferment a batch again this year. This is my favorite way to store garlic. More on that later...
I picked up the first batch of turkeys last evening from NEPPA hatchery in Fort Plain. They are broadbreasted bronze turkeys, however, one looks like a Spanish black turkey, a heritage breed. Jill at the hatchery said the light colored ones are a variation of the bronze. Let me know if you would like to reserve one for Thanksgiving.
Brian's Chicken Stock Recipe
The following is how I make chicken stock. I've researched a few recipes but they seem too complicated. So this is just a simple stock I use for everything from soup to rice.
Place bones, skin, and neck in an 8 qt pot. These can be left-overs from roasting a bird or parts from deboning. Add water to within a couple inches of the top.
Add salt and pepper. I usually use about a tablespoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Bring to a boil then turn heat down to a bit above simmer.
Skim the foam off. This will help keep the stock clear.
Simmer a few hours.
I then strain the stock through a mesh strainer.
I typically freeze the stock in 1qt ziplock freezer bags or mason jars. If I'm ambitious I'll can it in a pressure canner.
The longer you simmer the more yummy goodness comes out.
I was called by a logger in Putnam last week to rescue a bee hive in a tree. When he cut it down it "exploded" with bees. A large portion of the tree broke off exposing the hive.
Luckily I was able to find the queen! That is critical because the rest of the bees will follow her.
As I carefully removed the comb I tied it to frames to put in the hive box. This one has some capped brood ready to hatch and also young larva. The bees will eventually fill in the rest of the frame with comb and then cut and remove the strings.
I started incubating eggs two weeks ago. I like to candle them weekly to check the progress and remove those that are not progressing because they can become rotten quickly and potentially jeopardize the whole clutch. So far I removed one today. All in all one out of 22 so far is not too bad. Below is a picture of one of the eggs.
Update to the update... I only had 4 poults hatch from this batch. Some how the egg turner stopped working and I believe that's is what caused the low hatching rate. The second batch is in so let's hope for some more. 🤞
I collected 22 turkey eggs over two weeks and kept them in our cool basement until last Wednesday (see my previous post). I put the date on the eggs to keep track of how old they are. After prepping the incubator for a couple days to make sure the temp was right at 99.5 degrees.
The incubator is a Brower Top Hatch T130 that automatically turns the eggs. I have hatched about a dozen clutches over the years and have had pretty good success. I candled the eggs today to check on the progress. All showed signs of blood vessels which is great news for fertility of the birds. However do not count your chicks (or poults) before they hatch.
I will candle them again next week to check the progress.
A wild hen came to visit this afternoon. She chilled with our turkeys for about an hour until I when out to finish chores. First time we had a wild turkey this close.
Sun is out and it's a balmy 50 degrees out. My honey bees are buzzing like crazy to get a cleansing flight in. The large bee above is a drone. Seems a bit early for the queen to be making drones. Maybe she knows something we don't...
The onions have sprouted. With a forecast of 5+ inches of snow today I wonder when I'll be able to put them in the ground.