Tag Archives: Spring

5-Minute Beehive Stand Using Cinder Blocks & Posts

by Texas Homesteader ~

RancherMan & I are still New-BEES!  Our apiary started out with two established single-deep beehives back in May of last year.  That first beehive stand was built using repurposed 2″x6″ boards that were 6-ft long from raised beds that we tore out.  We added a deep box to each hive last year & saw those bees safely through the winter.

This spring we split them into four hives.  Now we needed another hive stand so we built another like the first from purchased 2″x6″ boards.  Then we caught not one, not two, but FOUR bee swarms this spring!  (I KNOW, how exciting!!)

But these swarms are being caught & brought to our fledgling apiary faster than we can build stands.  RancherMan decided to change direction.  He wanted to build the next stands using concrete cinder blocks and 4″x4″ 5-ft long wood posts.

Beehive Stands Put Together In 5 Minutes? YES! We're Using Concrete Cinder Blocks & 4x4 Posts. Come See How Easy It Is! #TexasHomesteader

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Vegetable Garden Update: June

by Texas Homesteader ~

Unfortunately our area of NE Texas has slipped into yet another drought this year.  Oh there’s been plenty of rain in surrounding areas but it’s mostly managed to miss our homestead!  What we have gotten is lots of the cloudiness associated with that precious rain.  But so many cloudy days means my garden is really behind where it should be this time of year.  My tomatoes are nowhere near producing yet and my peppers are all still tiny.  But I’ve had some successes too.  C’mon into my garden, y’all.  I’ll give you the tour!

Come with me and walk through our vegetable garden. We're still struggling with the weather but we have some successes! #TexasHomesteader

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How To Line-Dry Sheets On A Windy Day

by Texas Homesteader ~

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We have a gas clothes dryer but we don’t ever use it.  If I weren’t afraid we’d need it in an emergency situation I’d sell it. I could sure use the chunk of real estate it takes up to store my large stock pots & my *9-Tray Excalibur Dehydrator! LOL.

I typically dry our laundry on a *retractable clothesline most of the time.  If the weather is inclement for days on end I’ll pull out my folding clothes *drying racks and dry our clothes in the guest bedroom.  I can close that door in the event of unexpected company.  But what about those windy spring days?

You know the drill, you fight the sheets onto the line.  Then the wind catches them & makes them want to set sail into the next county!

Sometimes it's hard to dry your sheets outside due to the wind. But I've discovered a secret to keeping the sheets on the line! #TexasHomesteader

 

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Beekeeping – Adding A Honey Super Box to the Beehive

by Texas Homesteader ~

Y’all know we bought our very first bees last year & it’s been a blast raising these girls.  But there’s typically no honey harvest that first year as they’re getting established. The honey they make during that first year needs to remain with the hive to see them through the winter.  We overwintered our bees and they came through this spring with flying colors!

So we split the hives about 8 weeks ago.  Bibbidy-bobbedy-boo our 2 hives turned into 4!  After the split we allowed the hives to recover a bit before we inspected them again.  The hives without a queen raised a new queen to take her place, the hives that retained their queen kept on with business as usual.  Our inspection today showed that now we’re ready to add a honey super to the two stronger hives.

It's time to add a honey super box to our beehives. The bees will fill it with the sweet honey we crave! #TexasHomesteader

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Another Great Use For Repurposed Coffee Canisters

by Texas Homesteader ~

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So y’all know RancherMan & I are coffee drinkers. But we don’t want sweetsy, foamy flavored, overly-sugared drinks.  We want coffee.  Strong, black, delicious.

That plastic canister our coffee’s sold in comes in handy for many uses when it’s empty.  We store chicken feed and dog food in them.  And RancherMan uses them in the shop to gather bolts & hardware together.  And I’ve even spray painted them and used them for sharing plants from my garden with friends.  But I still have some I need to put to use.  Our coffee consumption goes on, ya know??

So here’s another simple way those empty canisters still help me out.

Those plastic coffee canisters. You love 'em, but how many can you use? I'm sharing another way I'm able to repurpose coffee canisters. #TexasHomesteader

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How To Get FREE Veggie Plants For Your Garden

by Texas Homesteader ~

My peppers and tomatoes were pretty much a bust this year due to our weird spring.  You see, I planted seeds in my indoor greenhouse and placed that greenhouse at a south-facing window in my home like I always do.

But the constant cloudy weather this spring hampered a good germination.  The few plants that did germinate were hardened off & placed in the garden.  But you know peppers and tomatoes like a little more sun, a little more heat.

All those seeds were just a big, fat bust. I’m disappointed since RancherMan had requested a Pico-De-Gallo garden this year.  Garlic?  Check.  Onions?  Check.  Cilantro?  Check.  Tomatoes?  Hummm… But I was recently able to replenish some of the vacant areas in my garden.  It cost me ZILCH.  “How can you get free veggie plants for your garden?” you might wonder.  I’m so glad you asked!

Tomato planting was a bust in the garden this year, will I do w/o tomatoes? See how I've outfitted my veggie garden with FREE plants #TexasHomesteader

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Wordless Wednesday: Beekeeper’s Delight

by Texas Homesteader ~

A honeybee foraging on blossoms is every beekeeper's delight. We can't wait for our first honey harvest! Stay busy, girl! #TexasHomesteader

Ever since beginning our beekeeping endeavor, I can no longer just merrily bounce across the yard.  Now I’m taking very deliberate steps to assure I don’t accidentally step on one of our honey-makers!

~TxH~

(You can see ALL our posts about beekeeping HERE)

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Vegetable Garden Update: May

by Texas Homesteader ~

Well, it’s been a pretty strange spring so far for us in NE Texas.  Pretty strange indeed!  Many areas all around us have received plenty of spring rains but for some reason it always seems to miss us here on the homestead.  Although May is our rainiest month of the year we have areas in our backyard that are pretty bare where the ground is parched & cracked.  Scary!  Hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come this year.  I’ve been watering with a 2-gallon watering can which takes a lot of time and doesn’t water as thoroughly.  But RancherMan set up the cistern pump for me today so I’ll be able to use that rainwater captured in the 18-ft deep cement cistern from now on.  If we get any rain at all in the coming weeks that cistern will fill back up!  With the cloudy & cooler weather we’ve had, the garden has really been slow in taking off.  But I’ve had some successes too.  C’mon along with me for a stroll through our garden.

With the cloudy & cooler weather we've had, the garden has been slow taking off. C'mon along with me for a stroll through our garden. #TexasHomesteader Continue reading

Homestead Hack: Cute Container For Herb Cuttings

by Texas Homesteader ~

The herbs are going well in my Edible Landscape so I thought I’d take a few cuttings & try to root them in my kitchen window.  I have a repurposed wide-mouth jar that I can use.  So I went to the ‘flower bed’ and trimmed a bit of Stevia, Sage, Oregano, Basil and Rosemary.  I brought them inside and removed the bottom leaves from each of the stems.  I sat those leaves aside so I could use them.

I’ll wash them up & chop all but the Stevia into small pieces & mix them into a bit of olive oil to make my favorite Herb Bombs. Then they’ll be ready & waiting to use this summer in my quick pasta dishes. I’ll pop those leaves into my sun tea jar so they can sweeten RancherMan’s tea as it brews.

But I’ve always heard that when you’re rooting cuttings, the jar should be dark.  A dark jar keeps algae from growing in the water and also helps the roots do their thaaaang.  Some suggestions are to paint the jar or to wrap it in scrapbooking paper or something.  Hummm…  So what did I decide to do?  Say it with me kids: “Use Whatcha Got!”  That’s right. 🙂 Check out this Homestead Hack.

I took some herb cuttings to root in my kitchen window. But the jar needs to be kept dark. Check out this cute Homestead Hack idea! #TexasHomesteader

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Beekeeping: Catching A Bee Swarm In A Tree

by Texas Homesteader ~

Ya know how you start your day with an idea of the tasks at hand? Work on blog stuff, finish honeysuckle jelly, strain the honey from the comb we had to remove from a hive yesterday. You know, that kinda stuff.

Well that’s how my day started, then everything changed. RancherMan came in from the pastures & told me it was time to suit up, we’ve got a bee swarm to catch. Woo-hoo!  Apparently he saw a swarm of bees about 15-ft up in a tree right near our pasture gate.  We’ve never captured a swarm before so here’s yet one more opportunity to learn something exciting about beekeeping!  And maybe get to add a new hive of bees to our group as well.

 

We recently got the opportunity to catch a bee swarm high up in a tree. But we were able to capture it from the ground! #TexasHomesteader

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