An Overture to Proliferation

Wow! It’s been far too long since my last post; and, for that, I must apologize. As the end of the semester is fast approaching, I’m finding that I have far less time than normal! So, just so you all know, my posting is definitely going to be spotty until May 4, the date of my last final (oddly enough, that’s the same day as the last frost in our area…guess that means that I’ll have a LOT more time for the garden!). Although I really don’t have much time tonight (a modified lesson plan and a batch of white chocolate cranberry cookies that need taken out of the oven are calling my name), I thought I’d catch you up on what’s been happening in the Scholar’s Garden!

First off, I’d like to recommend a book that I’ve just begun reading: “Carrots Love Tomatoes” (truthfully, I’ve had this book for over a week now, but haven’t had the time to really crack it open until recently). If you’re interested in companion gardening, this is THE book you need (if you’re wondering, no, I don’t receive any kickbacks from the publisher). Companion gardening is an excellent way to get the most out of your garden. By placing certain plants near each other, a plethora of beneficial effects can take place. Not only does this book tell you which vegetables, fruits, nuts, and herbs make good garden-mates, but also what wild plants (that look like weeds) to leave in your yard, which weeds and leaves make the best compost, and how to design the ideal companion garden for the veteran gardener or for a yard teaming with children. With this book on hand, along with my very old copy of “The Square Foot Garden,” I’ve been attempting to design this year’s garden in a way that will make both me and my plants happy!

Speaking of making things happy, Eric and I have recently been as busy as, well, bees! In preparation for the bees’ arrival, we’ve been putting the finishing touches on our hive. Because of a scheduling delay, the delivery date of our bees has been pushed back (we were supposed to receive the girls this past Sunday); but, nonetheless, we’ve been hard at work making sure that the bees will enjoy their new home. In fact, I was able to take a few pictures of our final set-up that I thought I would share.

As we set out to put the beeswax foundation in our frames (the individual slots in the hive bodies that you can see in the second picture of the bottom row) we encountered quite a few problems. For future beehive construction projects, I’m going to definitely make an effort to remember to bring all of the screws and tools necessary to put the entire structure together (in lieu of a brad driver, we had to use a pair of needle-nose pliers and a large, flat-head screwdriver to secure our brads)!

And, just as a heads-up to anyone planning on assembling your own hive, make sure you save all of the wood that comes with your kit! Case-in-point: we threw away what appeared to be scraps when we first assembled the frames and boxes, but those flimsy, seemingly useless pieces of wood were actually supposed to hold the beeswax to the frame! So, as you can see in the second picture of the first row, we resorted to using paint stirrers for our supports. Despite these difficulties, the hive is 100% complete and ready for the most important part of this whole project: the bees!

So that’s what’s been going on in our neck of the woods! I do hate to run, but I must pull those cookies out of the oven (if they turn out well, I’ll be sure to post the recipe for you to enjoy…if they aren’t so good, we’ll just forget I ever mentioned them)!

Have a great night, and, as always, happy gardening!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Cool tip, am going to see if my library has that title. Happy gardening.

    Reply

  2. The bees are very exciting. I’ll be watching that closely as I’ve been trying to talk my wife into letting me set up a hive.

    Reply

  3. Nate, I know you’re probably swamped right now, but your description of Carrots Love Tomatoes makes me wonder if you’d like to take part in a quick Earth Day meme, sponsored by The Sage Butterfly. Basically, you list three books that have inspired you to do something sustainable/green, and pass the invitation on to three others. If you’re interested, the link with the specifics is here. If you get a chance, could you let me know whether you’ll participate? Thanks–and good luck with final projects, etc.!

    Reply

    • That sounds like a great idea, and I wish that I had seen your comment earlier! Sadly, my final projects severely limited my ability to check up on the blog, so I’m sure that I have missed this opportunity. I’ll be sure to get involved next time around!

      Reply

  4. Nate the book sounds great and is headed my way as we speak..I have been looking for a good book about companion planting so thx…good luck with the rest of the semester…i still am amazed at all you do what with your school work that takes up so much time…i never had time for anything but studying…oh well yes we did party quite a bit…never mind!!

    Reply

    • You’re quite welcome! It really is a great read.
      Haha, my school work has taken up a lot of my time recently (at the cost of my blog-writing time), but finding time to spend with friends is always a top priority!

      Reply

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