Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In Our Lovely Deseret

This summer while the chickens snuck into the garden,

and Rainbow Girl and I milked Betty the Goat,

on the milk stand built by The Mister of the House,

where if you kept a watchful eye you would catch frequent summer accidents averted by toddlers-with-initiative;

and even wobbly-headed newborns became bright-eyed infants before your very eyes (although you're not quite sure how),

...well while all of this happened at The Olsen's over this summer, the flowers bloomed and dangled pollen like candy-bait for kids.

Except pollen isn't bait for kids, just bees. And boy did they work!

Out of two hives we set up this spring, we harvested just ONE this week. The other hive swarmed, and we lost the majority of that hive (plus their delicious honey). But how could we be too sad when we pulled in this harvest?

Have a looksie!

We borrowed this honey extractor from a like-minded neighbor. What a blessing to have like-minded neighbors! The Mister of the House donned his special bee jacket, smoked the bees a bit so they would be nice, and pulled out 7 panels of honeycomb.

After shaving the tips off the combs, we placed the panels into this extractor and cranked the heck out of it!

I pulled some nylons off from my fungus-ridden feet and put them over the valve at the bottom of the extractor.

Those were clean, Gomer. What're you thinking?! But see all the waxy crappy that comes out with it? We used clean new stockings to serve as a filter.

We didn't have the specialty bee cutting knife, so for a second we worried that our cuts were so sloppy we would be wasting too much honey. So we set up more filtering over bowls, just to be prudent.

From 2011.FARM PICS

I think people used to chew this wax back in the olden days, which was probably a healthy alternative to chewing tobacco. Look how much there is! In the future we may try to make some candles or chapstick or something, but for now, it was enough of a sticky mess just to process the honey.

We had TWO pitchers that we hoped we could fill with the honey. Here's us happily filling our second pitcher. The progression of the slow but steady fill went like this:

so in the end we filled THREE pitchers full of honey, plus some here and there in extra bowls. All in all, we pulled out about 30 POUNDS of honey! Isn't it absolutely GORGEOUS?

The next morning we put out the sticky spent panels by the hives, and the bees went to work pulling in the wax and leftover gooey. What good little bees.

I totally facebook-bragged about this haul and heard all sorts of ego-inflating comments. In reality, this is truly the work of The Mister of the House. He is an AMAZING farmer guy. I am his biggest cheerleader! Love you dude.


Bridget said...

Wow! Just Wow! That is amazing and oh so cool. I love your little world and am happy to use use for inspiration and dreams of a future for my family living more off the earth and less of well, the other stuff. Now if we could just kick the heat and drought here in TX I could get started. Amber you and your mister and your family are awesome! Love you!

Clay Olsen said...

HOLY MOLY! You guys blow me away! That is so cool! Love those photos. So beautiful. Love you and miss you!

earwaxtasteslikecrayons said...

Again--amazing! And your photos are gorgeous.

Holly said...

A-MA-ZING!!! You guys are my heroes. How much for a jar of your sweeeeet honey?? My allergies would love to buy some from you!

Wade and Marilyn said...

I am so impressed--the jars of honey on the deck are absolutely beautiful! What hard workers you are!!!

LGH said...

Amber, this is just amazing! What an inspiration to all. And, the pictures are beautiful. All I can say is WOWZA!

jenamin1976 said...

Good Job Olsens!! I am SUPER impressed! I would've loved to have been there to help! You have one amazing family Amber ;)

cozy said...

Amber, when you married "the Mister" I knew he was getting a treasure, but I had no idea the value. I can now say you are priceless! What a perfect team you two make for getting off the grid, for making gorgeous children, and for creating a storybook childhood for your little ones. The honey is beautiful and so are you, Honey!

Mrs. Olsen said...

Sheesh, who knew bees would bring in so much love? Thanks for the well wishes all. come visit "the farm" anytime!

jennaloha said...

Seriously. That is idyllic. I have awe.

Lee Family said...

sheesh is right, "amazing, wow, you're my hero, etc." I mean, the bees did all the work.
just kidding - I had to throw that out there just to be a smart alec. I want to see pics of Wade in the outfit pulling out the honeycombs. Where are those pics? Those jars of honey sitting on the balcony are pretty picturesque. Think Baby Boom! cute little label, maybe a ribbon, MILLIONS of dollars. You stick that offspring #4's picture on the jar and you'll make billions. By the way, what is offspring #4's blog name? And #3 peeing in the garden - ha, ha, - I need to spend some time with that character before he gets mature. I need to spend time with ALL of them. too far away. not cool. okay, love ya, Ninn