Early spring is always the worst time of year for me. The entire time is a hurry up and wait scenario that about drives me around the bend.
There is always so much to do to get going for the grow year but you are held back waiting on plants to grow, weather to warm up and prep work to be done.
This last year we didnt make it easier on ourselves, we shut everything down in the greenhouse for the winter.
We decided that to look at some new options this summer to cut down more costs of operation over the winter months as well as cut down on the power consumption we use. This took some planning and some saving up to make happen, and will also take some experimentation and engineering for implementation. This has also led us to a lot more start up work this spring than we usually have.
The greenhouse became a winter storage area for just about everything (yes, you can read junk storage area in that) and as a result took a few solid hours of clean up to get back under control and ready for this year.
The storage of the bee hives for the winter in the greenhouse is not one I think we will do again. The humidity and temperature fluctuations made a perfect environment for mold to grow on a few of the hive boxes. Although not devastating, it is going to cause more work in cleaning everything up for the summer months.
The bees themselves wintered well and are loving the warmer weather. The bees have been out for cleansing flights over the winter months where you would see a few darting here and there, but now they are out in full force searching for food and checking out the world around them.
We have been putting out syrup for them and have the feeders going in the nuc (the small hive at the side of the big hive in the pictures) to make sure they have something to keep them going until the dandelions pop up (usually the first food source for the bees).
I am glad they wintered so well and am looking forward to attempting a hive split this year to double out colony count.
We have a bunch of our starters going already (no big surprise there) in the basement ready to be moved out to the greenhouse. (those actually got moved out today). We have the dirt starters for the community growbeds in the front yard and the aeroponic starters for the aquaponic systems in the greenhouse.
We have a few new things we are trying this year including aquaponics sugar pumpkins, dragon breath peppers and arabica coffee (the coffee will be growing in the living room for 3 – 5 years to get a crop from). We shall see how it all goes.
We are going to attempt to change up some if not all of the aquaponic water delivery systems and go from direct feed pumps systems to air driven evacuation pumps.
We have looked at the air lift systems as well and have decided to attempt the evacuation pumps instead due to the higher flow rates and stability in pressure changes.
So far we have gotten our air pumps and I am just waiting on getting one more piece to connect the one way valve complete the first build for our inside basement growbeds.
I am pretty sure you will be seeing a lot more of this build as it goes along and info on how well it works out for us.
So, today I am filling in the wait with doing an update for the site, but now, I am back to the hurry up so I can go out and check on the solar cooked banana bread I have baking in the front yard.