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Cold and Snow and Bees

Wow, has it ever been cold here the past several days! Lows in the teens are rare for Texas, but we woke over the weekend to an (almost unheard of) 13*F outside. Brrrrrrr! When the temperature drops below about 55*F, bees will form a cluster in the middle of the hive to stay warm. Temperatures inside the hive need to stay very warm for the bees to function and live, so bees won't "break cluster" until their certain they can live, fly, and the queen can stay warm on her own. As part of our efforts to naturally control pests in the hive, our hives have screened bottoms -- not solid boards-- on the bottom of the hive. It makes...

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Founding Father Kale

Happy New Year, food and farm friends! We are eagerly anticipating the Spring 2017 growing season here at the farm. We have so many families to feed, friends to make, and people to talk to about organic, local food... raw honey... and beekeeping. We're ready to get started! One of our run away growing successes this past fall was our Kale. Beautiful, healthy kale. It's almost a religion now, isn't it... that kale? We're growing an heirloom variety that Thomas Jefferson grew and wrote about in 1777. We love it because it's beyond healthy, versatile, and easy to cook, blend, and juice. Look for it at the market... and in our Farmily CSA boxes... this new year!

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Bee Expansion

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping bees, for instance. -Henry David Thoreau This Fall 2016, we at Balm + Honey Farm were thrilled to expand our apiary by four additional hives, bringing the total in our care this year to 11 hives. There are plans for big expansion in the new year, but the work on a farm, as you may have heard, is never ending, so we expand when we can. It is vital to our sustainable model here at the farm that we raise bees of strong genetics that are inclined to be resistant to pests and...

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Popeye Would Be Proud

We are so pleased with the trial of organic spinach that is growing so quickly and healthy in our gardens. In September, we seeded three non-GMO, heirloom varieties of spinach suitable for our situation here in Texas. One germinated poorly in our still-too-hot soil. One we didn't like the flavor or texture of at all. But this one here? A clear winner. It's called Bloomsdale spinach, and it's substantial enough to freeze but delicate enough to eat raw or juice. Look for it in the 2017 market season!

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