I’m not sure why I haven’t been fired from homesteading. This was my ENTIRE apple harvest from our five apple trees (that actually survived the vole devastation and our sheep who occasionally nibble on their leaves). Not only did I harvest just ONE apple, but it must be the tiniest apple ever to grow. I thought I had accidentally planted a crab apple tree, but the fruit was, in fact, sugary sweet. But then again…when you’ve been waiting this long to sample an apple, it tastes reeeeaaaallly good.
Here’s hoping next year I get at least 3 more (and preferably larger ones) so maybe everyone in our family can enjoy a taste.
We’re totally normal. Everyone harvests honey on their dining room table, right?
I may not have harvested many apples, but we had our best honey harvest to date with over 25 jars of the sweet golden liquid…or should I say “bee vomit” as my 8-year-old son, who knows a little too much about bees and how honey is made, calls it. But, as I explain below, honey is definitely NOT bee barf.
Honey is NOT bee vomit.
I made a parenting faux pas. I explained to my 8-year-old son how honey is made. It ended with him solemnly declaring he would never again eat honey. He still hasn’t changed his mind. Sigh.
So, today I want to redeem myself by dispelling this myth. Here’s how honey is made: Bees collect nectar from flowers using their tongues and then they store the nectar in what is called their second “honey stomach”. This is where I went wrong in my original telling of this story. I should have stuck to the technical name of this second stomach, which is “crop”. The nectar is stored in the bees’ crop where it is mixed with special enzymes and broken down into simple sugars. Now, here is the most important point. The crop is NEVER used to digest food. Its sole purpose is simply to hold nectar. The nectar a bee collects NEVER goes into its digesting stomach. The honey stomach or crop simply carries the undigested nectar in a convenient and separate little sac.
When the forager bee returns to its hive, the nectar from its crop is passed to the other worker bees’ crops until it is finally stored in the honeycomb. The worker’s bees then use their wings to fan away any excess water until the honey is the perfect consistency for safely sealing with beeswax. This superfood lasts forever. It will never spoil or go bad because it is antibacterial, which I can assure you, vomit is not.
So, what do you think? Now that you know how honey is made, will you still eat it? Maybe I shouldn’t get into the honey-selling business.
Saving money on wood
We’ve been experiencing record-high lumber prices here in New Brunswick. Unfortunately, we had to install some flooring. But who wants to pay the exorbitantly high prices? So, we bought rough lumber and my husband spent most of the summer planing it all himself. Was it worth it? We estimate we saved about $4,000.
Eating a year old old – water glassing eggs update
The above egg is a year old and not only does it look fresh, but it tastes great as well. In fact, if I served you a fried egg using one of our fresh eggs and another fried egg using this water glassed egg, I don’t think you’d be able to tell the difference. This summer I’ve been busy preserving our eggs using the water glassing method and it’s amazing how many dozens I’ve been able to pack away for the winter. For more info, check out my water glassing eggs guide.
What do homesteaders do on vacation? Visit farm animals and other homesteads, of course!
I’ll be honest. We spent a lot of time this summer simply goofing off in the sun and not getting much done at all. And since we, like everyone else on the planet, couldn’t go too far due to covid, we took a short trip to northern New Brunswick and visited the picturesque Acadian Historical Village. I think it’s ironic that when we go on vacation, my kids want to play with farm animals. As if they don’t get enough of them at home.
What I’m reading:
The Nature Fix
If you weren’t convinced that spending time in nature is healing, this book will definitely change your mind. As an introverted bookworm, I could easily spend hours every day snuggled in my favourite chair with a book and a stash of chocolate or in the kitchen baking my favourite treats. Although I’m forced outside every day to feed and care for our animals, I think I would benefit from spending even more time outside (especially after reading this book). I’m thinking about joining the 1000 hour outdoor challenge as next year’s New Year’s resolution.
Decorating with Plants
This book is filled with stunning photos showcasing a myriad of ways to literally liven up your space with plants. I love the detailed guides for each plant, which include its care level, light, water, and temperature requirements. A great read heading into winter.
This cookbook is organized by season so you can harvest goodies from your garden and then whip up some of these drool-worthy vegetarian dishes. For example, this season’s section includes autumn-themed recipes such as Golden Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew, Rosemary Roasted Roots, Honey Halva Latte, and Apple Cinnamon Spice Rolls.
And that’s it for this update! Thank you for following along my farming friends!
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