T-minus 19 days till April 15th. 19 days till our honeybees arrive. 22 days till April 18th, the day we get about 20 to 25 trees removed from the front of our property by BlackHawk Works, a local company that has expertise in taking down trees in tricky locations. The tree removal will help us with our future potential project; solar panels which will allow our house to be a bit more self sufficient as well as get rid of the moss on our roof and reduce the fire danger. Whenever, the daytime temperatures start staying above 50 the birch sap will be flowing and we will then be collecting the sap to be boiled down into syrup. See this article about that.Meanwhile, at just about the same time we will be hiving our brand new Italian honeybees, direct from California. As long as our daytime temperatures stay above 50. If you’re curious about our new beekeeping undertaking, see this article. Within the next weekend or two we also have a large, brand new rabbit hutch to build which will look like a Cadillac when compared to our current rabbit hutch. Our original hutch was built with wood that we scavenged from all the wood piles left behind from the previous owners. This allowed our start up costs to stay down very, very low. Meat up here in Interior Alaska is not inexpensive. Our goal in raising meat rabbits is to produce on our own property a protein source that costs next to nothing. Our daily lives are about to get much busier. Now only if the snow would melt. If you follow the Interior Alaska Beekeeping groups, the groups that enjoy Birch syrup, and the Interior Alaska gardeners, you will get a sense that we are all getting antsy. We want the snow gone, and soon. First snowfall of the seasonWe are all watching the forecast closely. Don’t get me wrong, we in the Interior of Alaska like the snow, some of us even love it! We love our winter time sports! But, this winter has been a bit harsher than our typical winters. A lot more snow, a lot more cold. Sourdoughs have been predicting it for the past couple of Autumns, we have been due a good, hard winter. And it seems like they were finally right. We’ve had several periods of negative 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. We’ve had massive snow falls, that while were not record breakers, managed to dump quite a bit on the Tanana Valley area. And now we have the huge piles of snow everywhere. I know once the snow starts to thaw we will have large, soupy messes…everywhere. In our backyard, part of our firewood pile is covered under a tarp which is then covered by two to three feet worth of snow. Our cinder blocks that we used on our raised beds in Fairbanks are covered by snow as well. We have to dig some of those out to be used as a base of our hives before our honey bees arrive.Yes, we too are antsy. We watch the thermostat daily and whisper “warm up, please, warm up” We have a lot of building projects this summer. The brand new rabbit hutches, the brand new wood shed which will keep our firewood out of the snow, which will allow it to dry more efficiently. More raised beds which will allow us more growing space for vegetables. We have more trees to clear which will net us easily a couple more cords of wood to put aside for the cold winter months. And then add the beekeeping. We have a very short summer to get a lot of work done. I can’t wait to see the progress we make this summer! Can we achieve our goals? Can we start to produce enough during our long summer days to put away for the winter months? Time will only tell, but it’ll be enjoyable to see the results!
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