Today we got a very large propane tank to power our tiny home! This will be the tank that provides propane to the house eventually, but it’s worth it even now — both for the convenience of having a reliable source of heat and hot water and for the cost savings. We ran out of propane one of those well-below freezing nights over winter break, and we don’t want to make a habit out of that! Getting up in the dark and the cold to drive 10 miles to get a tank of propane is not fun. Well, it wasn’t bad for me as I turned the electric blanket up and waited for hubby to return, but it was no fun for him.
We’ve made other great progress this week. Hubby has leveled the site for the future workshop. He had to take down some trees and scrape off the top soil to get down to clay, so I now have temporary raised beds made from those trees and the soil for this year’s veggie garden. I’ve also planted more grass, clover, and wild-flower seed to reduce erosion along the driveway while providing for the bees. The bees are still very interested in the syrup buckets, so I’m impatient to see some nectar plants start supplying them with what they need.
For some reason, the well filter keeps clogging, and I wonder if the tree clearing across the creek has anything to do with it. We ended up removing the filter after the third after-dark trip to the well house one night, but now silt clogs the sprinklers so they don’t turn off. That made for an interesting shower last night — five sprinklers were running and I got to wash shampoo out of my hair with the left over trickle. After that, walking across the slick clay to turn off all the faucets in the dark was a challenge, but then I looked up at the beautiful night sky and the challenge turned into a blessing. It’s been too long since we walked down the driveway after dark. I love the electric gate opener, but I didn’t realize how much I missed our evening walks to go lock the gate.
The really good news is that most of the bee packages and splits we made are doing well. Bees moved out of one of the hives that took a long time to release the queen, but the rest have eggs and/or brood in various stages and all of the queens are fat and active. The hives in the old location are still battling small hive beetles, so we’re trying beetle traps made of Borax and Crisco paste in CD covers for the first time. We’ll let you know how that goes. The hives in the new, sunnier location have far fewer problems with beetles so far.
More good news is that I received a job offer for next school year, so I’ll be living at the farm full time after June. That moved the workshop up the priority list as we’ll need somewhere to put all the tools from the garage, but at least we’ll no longer be moving carpentry projects up and down I-20! I’m enjoying spring break, so I’m trying very hard to not think about packing up everything else in the house and getting the house on the market. It’s much less stressful to think about being able to monitor the bees on a more consistent basis.