Considering keeping bees – Africanized bees not as dangerous as portrayed by media

Jose has been talking about keeping bees and since we've had so many bees visiting our cattail bucket / ponds last summer, we're actually considering it.
Neighbors half a mile from us had bees move into their camper and I wish we could have gotten those.  But we're still clueless about how to handle bees and they had the exterminator scheduled for the next morning.
So I recently saw posts by Mike the bee keeper in the organics Yahoo group and I inquired at his Natural Bee Farm site about the danger of Africanized bees.
Mike posted his detailed response and as so often, the media tends to blow dangers out of proportion. I was surprised the bees didn't sting me when I refilled the cattail bucket from the garden hose.  One time it seemed like hundreds of bees were swarming out of the bucket, not exactly happy!   I started watering after sundown when the bees had left.
We bought delicious raw honey from Flagstaff at Grandma's Best in Kingman.

The Mountain Top Honey Company varieties include cat claw, mesquite and wild flowers.  There are no local bee keepers?
Of course we have a lot to learn before we actually get some bees and I'm just so happy that we had so many bees visiting.   There will be more water for them next summer and there should also be many more flowers.

Study: organically grown strawberries taste better and are healthier

I've had no luck with strawberries at all in recent years, but I'm not about to give up. When I actually had berries (at my old place the strawberries did great), the lizards got all the berries.
Next year they'll be mosquito screened, we'll see what happens then.
In the meantime, we've been enjoying the strawberries at Grandma's Best on Stockton Hill in Kingman. I don't know where they get them and they're not sold as organic, but they sure taste better than supermarket strawberries.

A new study found that organic farms produced more flavorful and nutritious berries while leaving the soil healthier and more genetically diverse. (Credit: iStockphoto/Margarita Borodina) Continue reading “Study: organically grown strawberries taste better and are healthier”

Buying club: Frontier Co-op organic wholesale spice and tea order

I have a Frontier wholesale membership and they have GREAT deals on organic and fair trade spices, teas and soaps like Dr. Bronner's. Before I signed up I did lots of reading at their website and at About Frontier is  info about their business practices. I liked what I read.
Frontier carries over 10,000 products and here is their online wholesale catalog: (LARGE file, takes a while to download)
LOTS of resources and monthly sales:
Frontier wholesale prices are usually about 50% off retail.  I've seen some of their products at the health food store on Stockton Hill.
For orders over $250 there are NO shipping charges and that's why we're offering to order for others in the Kingman, AZ, area.  Here is an order we're currently working on: Continue reading “Buying club: Frontier Co-op organic wholesale spice and tea order”

Farmers' Almanac planting by the moon September calendar

I can't believe it's SEPTEMBER!
The last couple nights in August it got down to 55 and we started watering the beds and large containers every 2nd day.
We had several PERFECT days, which I unfortunately spent working in the office all day and half the night.  Sure hope we don't have another October freeze like last year — I'll try to upload some new garden pics this weekend.

Farmers' Almanac: September 2010
2nd-3rd Seeds Planted Now Tend To Rot In Ground.
4th-5th Fine Planting Days For Fall Potatoes, Turnips, Onions, Carrots, Beets, And Other Root Crops. Also Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens.
A Most Barren Period, Best For Killing Plant Pests Or Doing Chores Around The Farm.
Good Days For Planting Peas, Beans, Tomatoes, Peppers, And Other Above Ground Crops In Southern Florida, Texas, And California. Excellent For Sowing Grains, Hay, And Forage Crops. Plant Flowers.
12th-14th Excellent Time For Planting Above Ground Crops That Can Be Planted Now, Including Leafy Vegetables, Which Will Do Well. Start Seedbeds.
15th-16th Clear Fence Rows, Woodlots, And Fields, But Do No Planting.
17th-19th Any Above Ground Crops That Can Be Planted Now Will Do Well.
20th-21st Poor Planting Day. Kill Plant Pests.
22nd-23rd First Day Favorable For Planting Above Ground Crops. Second Day Favorable For Planting Root Crops. Both Days Are Good For Vine Crops.
24th-26th Seeds Planted Now Will Grow Poorly And Yield Little.
27th-28th Good Day For Planting Root Crops.
29th-30th Seeds Planted Now Tend To Rot In Ground.