Saturday, March 22, 2014

FreeBEE Honeybee BEE

25 beekeeping enthusiasts BUZZED over to the Taghhannuck Grange Hall to Motherhouse's first FREE-BEE honeybee BEE. BEEginner, experienced, and wanna-BEE beekeepers shared their stuff!
Todd Shearer brought in and showed us a top bar hive designed by the Barefoot Beekeeper, He chose this style BEEcause he could build it himself and the bees are usually calmer to work. His family is dedicated to working with nature to create a permiculture, bio- and educationally diverse yard... I call it "Shearer Heaven."
Wyatt Whiteman showed us his elegantly simple homemade solar wax cleaning system. Using all recycled materials; wooden box with scrap lumber props, black plastic paint tray, food tray, hardware cloth, and window frame painted with leftover paint,
Wyatt lays wax scraps on the hardware cloth, closes the window; the sun melts the wax; it drips onto the paint tray, runs down into the lower edge, thru the small center opening, into the smaller food tray; leaving debris behind.

To make candles, he pours the wax from the food tray directly into a mold. He threads the mold with a long length of wicking, and winds it around the mold to keep it closed. When removing the candle, he pulls just enough wick through the mold to set it up for the next candle.
Joe Benete showed us the "tools of the the trade." Then a panel of  backyard beekeepers waxed enthusiastically about their experiences.

Fair-trade, organic coffee and chai tea made with local B&B honey and Thorncrest Dairy milk was generously provided by Coffee, Tea, Etc.
To deter bears, panelists recommended Sonpal's Power Fence (860 491-2290) and/or keeping goats, and a cow, and many active children in the yard.
After a honey of a potluck lunch, local herbalist Alicia North of North Star Botanicals , gave a BEEutiful presentation of foraging honeybees and BEEnificial plants.

Visit the Motherhouse website for a fellow beekeeper's poem about beekeeping and life.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

SPINspiring WoolWorks Workshop

We had our arms full as nearly 40 people RAMbled by the Taghhannuck Grange Hall for the EWEnique Motherhouse Old Style Life-Skills Series workshop; WoolsWorth.
Joe Benete brought 4 young lambs for us to meet. He feeds the smallest with a nipple pail.
Dody and her pet sheep, Rose, taught crocheting.

Young Darwin taught finger weaving... well that we all could do it.

Tal of New Twist showed us how to use a drum carder to comb the wool fibers in one direction to make for easy spinning...

...and then how to use a wooden spindle to spin the fibers into yarn.

Vera let us take a spin at her wheel... and showed us some of her naturally dyed homespun yarn. With alum as her mordant, these three colors are from goldenrod blossoms, black walnut husks, and spruce cones.

Dr Hayden stopped by to visit his former patient.

With Rachel's guidance, some of us put a new spin on old CDs...
...and used them to make our own spindles.

...and Margaret provided the icing on the cake for our pot-luck lunch.
All in all, it was a WOOLy good shEWE!!!
To learn about raising your own sheep and goats, come to our OSLSS workshop Get Your Goat and Sheep on May 10.