Hap-Bee Thanksgiving: The veggie list for Nov. 19/20, 2011.

The above picture is of the four new hives I purchased from Derek.  This picture was taken around 7 a.m. still too cold for the bees to venture out of the hive.  Around 10 a.m. these boxes will be buzzing with thousands of worker bees.  Now, on the farm plots of okra, squash and beans are blooming giving the bees a lot to do.

Sometime last week I received a phone call from a young man that was looking for work.  While I was conducting a phone interview I found out he is a bee keeper.  His name is Derek.  He’s 24 years old.  I was so impressed with his knowledge of bees.  Nine months ago I began bee keeping so we had many things to talk about.  I thought I knew a lot about bees and maybe I do but certainly not as much as the “bee whisperer”.

Derek’s side jobs involve operating heavy farm machinery whether it’s driving a combine, hauling loads of cotton or plowing up farm land in a state of the art John Deere tractor.  His main income is from bee farming.  He began his internship in his mid teenage years.  Now, 10 years later, his hobby has grown to 500 hives.  He raises his own queens, hundreds and hundreds of queen bees.  Splitting hives in half by dividing worker bees, pulling frames of bee eggs and caging newly hatched queens into different hives have netted him five hundred individual bee colonies until last year.

This past  winter was hard and disastrous for many of us in the food production business.  Derek lost around 250 of his colonies to bad weather.  I was flabbergasted by the loss he experienced. 250  hives dead, gone, never again will they ever produce honey.  It was very sad news.  And to think of the income he lost………thousands of dollars he depended on never happened.  Now what, Derek?  I mean, I know you start over and rebuild but what can you do to prevent such a huge loss?  “Nothing”, he said. Shaking his head and shrugging his shoulders, “I just start over and rebuild. I take my loss and hope this year the weather is less of a problem.”

While talking with Derek on the phone I asked him if he had any hives for sale.  He did.  I bought four of his hives to replace some of the nine hives I lost this past summer.  If it wasn’t the heat, it was fire ant invasions that killed my colonies.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the new hives will winter over and do just fine.

Below is the veggie list:

  • Watermelon Radishes
  • Plum Purple Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Sweet Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Eggplant
  • Yellow Beans
  • Fresh Eggs
  • Assorted Peppers like Bull Horn Peppers, Sweet Bells, Jalapenos and fresh roasted peppers at the farm stand.
  • Turnips
  • Green Garlic
  • Sprigs of Rosemary
  • Onions
  • Salad Sweeties
  • Tonopah Salad Mix-my favorite spicy salad greens all mixed together.
  • Mustard Greens
  • Dates
  • maybe a few surprises

Also, there will be a few other products at the farm stand this weekend before Thanksgiving: Bread; Apple Crisp, Cinnamon Swirl, Sour Dough and a few more varieties great for making your own stuffing.  I make my own dressing from scratch.  I take one sour dough and one white loaf at least five days before Thanksgiving and tear it up into bite size pieces, place in a deep dish pan and let it completely dry out.  Then add shredded carrots, celery and onions the day of the cooking along with your herbs and butter. Stuff the bird and cook.

This is also a good time to have your knives sharpened.  Don’s Cutting edge will be at the Stock Shop this weekend sharpening basically anything that has a blade.  Anything from hair cutting equipment, scissors to shovels.  Check out the times of the markets by clicking onto the above tab directions to the markets. 

Next weekend all locations will be closed in observance for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving!

The Arizona Traditions Farmers’ Market in Surprise, AZ has been canceled, due to a contract dispute.