Wednesday, June 23, 2010

LIving Off the Land . . .

This has to have been the coldest, wettest,
(with short, unexplained bursts of really warm days, just to tease and torture us)
longest spring that I have ever had the pleasure of living through (not!)
I guess our not-too terribly cold, hardly any snow winter had to have a downside, right?
Just when I was thinking the mild winter this year was a pleasant bonus earned by the two or three preceding winters of massive amounts of snow, starting in early November and not all gone til, say, April? 
Uh, no.

But anyway, now that I've gotten all my gripes about the weather out,

I am ready to celebrate the beauty that spring in north Idaho brings (finally)

I have a row of lilac and snowball bushes that separates my garden from my yard, and they are all in bloom!
(It's been a long time coming, because last year, we got a really cold snap just as the blossoms were about to burst, and it wiped out all of the blooms)

But who knew, 11 years ago when we planted them, that they'd be over 10 feet tall!
Yesterday, my hubby and I discovered that the lilac were completely full of:

Honey bees!
I mean, every lilac bloom/bunch had probably half a dozen on each. 
Here you can see only two for sure,
but they were thick on each and every bunch. 
And on each 10' bush - we have three of them - they were just as thick . . .

So, we got to thinking . . . we have 5 acres. 
We live in an area with lots of wide open fields where bees can collect pollen.
We have been trying to eat more natural and unprocessed foods,
and we think it's a good idea to actually use the land
for more than to just separate ourselves from our neighbors
(Not that we'd want to!)

As a child, my dad had several beehives and harvested the honey himself.
I can still recall the scent of the honey being cut off the comb

and the delicious flavor of it slathered on my mom's homemade whole wheat bread
Oh, what memories.
Thanks, Mom and Dad!
So this is what we are thinking of: 
Getting our own hives and harvesting the honey
for our food use/storage and maybe a lil' extra to sell.

This is really not a huge stretch for us. 
We garden, we have beef cattle,  calves, and chickens. 
We are "living off the land" already, at least for these few basic things,
so this is just another step in the progression. 

Never really thought I'd be a country girl.
But now that we're here
and it's all happening,
I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, thanks again, Mom and Dad,
 for raising me (with my brothers) the way you did.
It made me the person that I am,
and I know that living this way makes my hubby happy. 
It's all a win-win situation.

 all photos (other than the ones I obviously took) were found on Google Images....Thanks!


Cherie said...

Loralee I have to agree with you about the weather. I know that overall it is colder and wetter in your part of the state than mine but seriously...I thought we wouldn't see a warm summer day until the middle of July! But we have had a few now - Yayyyy!

5 Acres sounds like alot of work but I love the idea of living off the land - beef and bees - How wonderful!

Victoria said...

Oh man... I love lilacs. My favorite flower, and they really won't grow here where it is so temperate. They need that cold to get them going. The honey sounds like a GREAT idea! It is the food with the longest shelf life... practically forever!

Just ME the MOM said...

What a struggle with the spring weather this year - I'm afraid some of my fruit trees have succombed and will not be bearing fruit this year :( But your homemade bread with the honey looks delightful - I think I may have to make some :)


Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Long ago we lived in a place where our neighbors kept bees. They didn't do a great job apparently and their hive flew away for greener pastures. I didn't know bees would do that.

Good luck with your new bee keeping adventure!

tammy said...

Good idea! And eating honey from the area you live in helps with seasonal allergies.

The lilacs are gorgeous. I miss the ones we had in UT.

M-Cat said...

Splenda's grandfather was a beekeeper! Oh the stories I've heard. Can't wait for your adventures

wendy said...

It has been along hard, awaited spring almost everywhere it seems.
I LOVE lilacs. I climbed over the barbed wire fence into another property and "stole" some lilac off their bush. We don't have any, and I HAD to have some.

Mrs. Organic said...

My aunt keeps two hives in exchange for a share of the honey through the Neighborhood Beekeeper's Association. They love it.

Jen said...

Thanks for stopping by. I often wonder if anyone will ever read the blog. (other than just my kids)
I love reading blogs too and (confession...)I enjoy slide shows too! remember those?
I am sure I will smile bigger now when I see you in the hall at church because now I know you more. (Most of my best friends are those I have had callings with.)
Thanks for sharing your blog. (and I would love to know how you got the pretty signature on the bottom of your post)

Pedaling said...

my hub and I are trying to do more of this kind of living.
I'd buy some honey from you.