Spring Bee Hive Maintenance

One item on our spring time to do list was check on the health of our bee hive. We had let proper care and concern for it slip away a little bit in the fall (we never took the honey super off, tapped it late) and were a little concerned as to what we might find now that spring is here. To our relief, the bees have done well over the winter in spite of our lack of proper care. A few days ago we headed out and did some required maintenance¬†(clean the dead bees out, scrape out the mites etc…) and also tried to start another hive. We’ll see how that goes, but at least the one we have did well over the winter and the bees seem quite happy and content.

Two and a half hours of video footage…gone.

This happened today. What a total flop, and so, so frustrating.

And this is a little video from last week for the boys school presentation.

Greenhouse Project Part 3

Well, with the weather turned colder out, I’m gonna wait a day or two before getting back to building the greenhouse. Or, maybe I’ll just have to grin and bear it, it would be nice to have it done. But, we now have all we need here including equipment, to get started on putting this thing back together.

Getting a greenhouse!

We had plans to head out in the next week or two and pick up all the materials needed to build an Ana White greenhouse. Around here, we could pretty much start planting in a green house right away.

Steph did some searching on Kijiji, mostly looking for anyone selling the corrugated plastic panels that we could use to build with. If we hadn’t found anything on Kijiji, we were simply going to buy new. Well, Steph’s search yielded incredible results int he form of a really well built high-end greenhouse that some folks simply wanted removed. And it was for $100. Basically the gentleman simply wanted to reclaim some of his yard and needed the greenhouse removed to do that. He had it built over 15 years ago.

The long side of the greenhouse
The long side of the greenhouse

So, my Father-in-law was willing to run $100 into the city (as Steph and I both had prior obligations we couldn’t get out of that day) so that we could be the first to put down the deposit, and then we could work out a time to remove it from his yard.

Front of the greenhouse
Front of the greenhouse

Well, yesterday I started the removal. This structure is amazing! Very well built and I guess it was the exterior of an office building for Amaco back in the day. Then it was repurposed as this greenhouse. Kind of cool to see something with such a long and ongoing life cycle, rather than just being taken to the dump.

Comes with a working gas furnace!
Comes with a working gas furnace!

Yesterday I managed to get all of the roof panels, trusses, furnace, blowers, doors all other accoutrements removed and hauled back to the homestead. I’ll be heading back tomorrow with my Father-in-law to pickup the rest of it.

Small porch-style door on the one side.
Small porch-style door on the one side. The other side has a double-sliding patio door, but I forgot to get a picture of that.

I think that I’ll end up putting this on a metal skid (I was originally planning on pouring a concrete foundations) as I would then be able to move it around if needs be. Also, no need to permit a building that is on skids, because then it’s not a permanent structure.

Really a nice looking greenhouse for a hundred bucks.
Really a nice looking greenhouse for a hundred bucks.

Looking forward to getting this little project underway on our land. Hopefully within the next 3 weeks to a month, we’ll have it ready with plants growing in it. Stay tuned:)

Who’s up for a good cup of coffee?


IMG_9187I’m a coffee fanatic. I love coffee. Pretty sure I couldn’t exist without it. Typically I’ll have 3 to 4 cups a day, which is down a lot from what I used to drink, but on a good day I can still handle 10 cups of the black gold. When we lived in our house in Strathmore, I even roasted my own coffee from green beans and if you ever have a chance to do this, jump on it. The difference between really good fresh roasted coffee is the difference between discount wonder bread and a fresh baked loaf out of the oven.

Anyway, I found out about an awesome little coffee maker while doing some film and video work for the Western Canadian Barista championship in conjunction with the Prairie Coffee Project. It was a great time and I had way too many samples of crazy exotic coffee that the competitors were making (I think it was 11 lattes that day). One of the classes that was going on during the weekend event was how to use the Aero Press Coffee maker. I had a brew from this also and was sold. I’ve been using one of these ever since and that was about 4 years ago. Here’s a little video of how to use it. Seriously, if you love coffee, you NEED one of these!