Hope you all are well. I wanted to give a quick update on permaculturey happenings here on Normal Street in Ypsilanti. In late August we got six laying chickens. 4 are Hubbard Isas (a cross between Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Island Whites) and they are two years old. 2 are Golden Comets and they are 7 months old. They are a blast and laying quite well (approximately 4 eggs per day). They run the yard about 3 hours a day, and in addition to their lovely a-frame run attached to the cute coop, I built them a little mobile run so I can place them where I want chicken cultivation. I am deep littering using a combo of pine chips and straw. It is working very well and only stinks on rainy days:)
I just did my first solo harvest of honey (without my beekeeping mentor). It went excellent and I pulled five busting frames of honey and left one full honey super for the girls to feed on throughout the winter. I will probably end up with about 2.5 gallons on honey from this late fall harvest. I am very thankful to my lady bees for giving us such sweetness. I cut the honey comb from the frame into a five gallon bucket then mash it up using a bent painter’s scraper on a broom stick. Then I run it through painters cloth/sieve over a five gallon bucket and let the weight press out the honey (takes about 24 hours) Then I scoop it into clean jars…I have to do this in two separate waves cause there is too much mashed comb.
In addition to bees and chickens, I have planted four serviceberries (regent saskatoons), 3 american black currants, and 2 precocious hazelnuts. I still have an American Hybrid Chestnut and two Beach Plums to plant. I had to pull cut down and then tear up stumps and roots of buckthorn, viburnum, and some wild grapes in various places throughout my yard to make spaces for these new trees.
I’m also in process of digging a gigantic hole in my backyard that will function as a root cellar. My basement is too hot (boiler busts out a lot of heat). So, I’ve decided to experiment. The hole is almost done it is approximately 4X4X4. I will sink a big rubbermade tub full up of sand in the hole, stuff straw on the sides and use foam board insulation on top. I plan to fill it with Michigan apples and squash. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
Anyhow thought you might be interested. Hope all of your endeavors are full of joy and “success”.