I like giving this to my bees through the winter because it’s not in the hive, I do use patties in the hive some but other things lay eggs in them if the bees don’t eat it fast enough. Sugar water can freeze and chill the bees too much too I think but with this they can get it if they are flying, it has to be under cover so rain and wind doesn’t get to it.

You do need to put things like rocks in with the substitute pollen so the bees can clean themselves off before flight.


If you have livestock make sure you are ready for the winter. I picked up my last load but if it hadn’t been pre arranged I couldn’t have gotten any.

Even though I only got 50 bales all the local hay sellers were out, I’m sure it could be found but would probably cost much more than normal. It is important to have relationships with those that sell hay because they are more likely to sell to you when they are low if they know you.

Apple Trees

I have had several semi dwarf apple trees that were purchased from a major nursery and they all failed.

They normally last a few years and either break off where they were grafted or just fall over, this year they all fell.

Earlier I had them staked with the orange screw in tent stakes but they didn’t work so I cut some 2x4s.

I was going to drive the stakes in then drill the holes to avoid breaking the stakes but it was a day of failure, my cordless drill wouldn’t turn the bit even though it had before and my corded drill wouldn’t let me tighten the chuck even though it turned.

Ended up using a hand drill which was a pain horizontally that close to the ground.

Staking trees generally isn’t very good for them because it doesn’t encourage strong root growth since the tree doesn’t have to hold itself up but if I ever bought Apple trees again I would stake them and just accept that they will always be staked.

I am going to try to grow some trees that aren’t grafted from cuttings and see how they do.


The cold frame is going pretty well. After a week or so below freezing it warmed up quickly to around 60 F, every time we have rapid temperature change it rains a lot. Finally got to some chores with the chickens.

Earlier I mentioned how good it was to have a decent cart, problem is sometimes you pick up hitchhikers.

Cleaning Beds

Last summer the weeds got a bit crazy, I was still trying to get used to having a toddler around, despite the weeds the garden did pretty well.

Now it’s time to start think about next year. I started pulling up the weeds and old crop stubble.

I piled it in rows, hopefully it will dry enough to burn it in the garden and then hopefully it will be covered with plastic in the attempt to kill any weeds coming up. I have never tried this really but have heard it works well, we will see.

Winter Germination

Lettuce started coming up in the cold frame. With winter plants I feel like there is a line to walk, don’t want temperatures to get too high or too cold but when I sow seeds I keep the doors closed because I want the soil temperature to get high enough for the seeds to germinate, after the germinate I will keep the doors open most of the time so it doesn’t get too warm.