September 30, 2005 – Gourds

Here is this year’s gourds drying down own the vine.

We’ve found that the best way to dry the gourds is to leave them outside over the winter. We’ve tried bringing them in the barn or house, but they just seem to rot. So outside they will hang.
See the August 26th entry for the gourds in full spendor.
We’re working on making the gourds into useful items – the obvious one is bowls (maybe we’ll get beyond that this year!).

Here’s a seasonal display using the miniature corn and gourd bowl.

September 28, 2005 – Flat World

I’m almost through with “The World is Flat,” by economist Thomas Friedman. I’ve had people from many disparate jobs and occupations recommend the book, I had to read it. The book looks at the breakneck speed of global economics and the threats and opportunities to worldwide and American ways of life. Although it is hard to distill the book in a short space, one of the most intriguing dealt with science and technical education, a national mission, and energy. Here’s a link to a very short, but good synopsis of this part of the book.

September 27, 2005 – Honey of a Day

Even though it was a town work day, farming work was done today. Today, Joanne extracted the honey from the first-year hives.
Here’s a section of a frame of honey still in the comb.
The frames go in the extractor.
The extractor gets spun around manually to spin the honey out – think a giant salad spinner or a very slow autoclave for the scientists out there.
Finally, the pot of honey – kind of like making something from nothing – like fruits from sunlight.

September 26, 2005 – Simple Things

There’s a million things (ok maybe that’s a slight exaggeration)that are on the list. Many of them are not difficult – it’s just that only one can happen at a time. The last few days, I’ve been working on one of those “I’ll get to it someday” projects – making some more shelving in the machine shed. This section of wall was particularly unkept – so I bought some shelving frames and scrounged the shelves from leftover wood and wood salvaged from torn-down buildings. The result is 14 or so feet of five levels of storage. It is especially useful for all the additional beekeeping equipment joining us this year.