Friday, August 27, 2010

Farm News

But first, the results of the Heater Hunting Quiz:
2 of you voted for A. Wrong.
5 of you voted for B (shooting from a warm car along Hole in the Wall Road) – and you were CORRECT.
6 of you voted for C, a drinking game at Ralph Heater’s Pub - and I was gratified because I thought it was a very clever game. One suggestion was to use beer soaked spitballs in the straw shooters for extra flavor in the baked potato. BUT WRONG.
1 of you voted for D, which wasn’t even an option.

I thank you all.

And now the Farm News:
The bees are bringing in bright yellow pollen from the super tall sunflowers.
This should come as no surprise.
Even more interesting was to watch the bees (along with yellowjackets, bumble bees and even pollinating flies) collecting nectar from the porcelain berry flowers.
The porcelain berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata )has overgrown much of the field. At first I thought it was Wild Grape (Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris ) but it is not, because in fact Wild Grape looks a lot like a cultivated grape, and also is edible, which porcelain berry is not. Unless you are a bee. Then I thought it might be Jewelweed (a puzzling member of the Impatiens genus of the Balsaminiceae family), which is very good for alleviating the pain and itch of poison ivy. But it is not; jewel berry has a small yellow or orange flower that looks almost orchid-like.
My brain just wasn’t coming up with the right name. Then CSB suggested I Google “invasive vine on the Saw Mill Parkway” and ta-da, the porcelain berry it is. Extremely invasive, and having no merits except this important one: the bees love it in late August.

In Clucker Hall, the chickens are getting plumper and plumber. In order to encourage egg production (any day or week now) someone suggested placing a wooden egg in their nesting box to give them the right idea. I couldn’t find any wooden eggs in the pantry, but I did find three colored marble eggs that my grandmother used for some arcane purpose now forgotten. So I gingerly nestled them in the pine shavings lining the nesting boxes, and we await the big ovarian moment.

The less said about Dodder ( Cuscata and Grammica), the better.

1 comment:

Cris said...

might be Grandma's darning eggs.