Archive for December, 2013

Henny Penny Farmer’s Almanac–Sayings

Author: Meera, December 2, 2013



Honeybees surround their queen in a spring swarm

During a swarm, honeybees surround and protect their queen




Humans could learn a thing or two from the world of honeybees where all endeavor benefits the entire colony, not an individual bee.


A tea made of meadowsweet, chamomile, or peppermint herbs can calm an upset stomach.


To get stronger egg shells, feed your chickens extra calcium.


Producing manure is easy; it’s the moving of it that takes patience and the right shovel.


Sow above-ground plants during a waxing moon and below-ground plants during a waning moon.



honeybees doing the waggle dance around the top of a super

Honeybees do a waggle dance as they accept a new hive as home


The simplest treatment for a bee sting is to get the stinger out.


Move chickens and bees at night; when they awake in the morning, the move is a fait accompli.


If you enjoy listening to songbirds, it might interest you to know the male is generally the singer since he uses song to attract a mate and defend his territory.


Birds don’t just sing; they call, and their calls are how they communicate
with a partner or sound the alarm that a predator is near.


Box and jug wines are fine as long as you never drink or cook with a flawed wine.


Use a dab of raw honey or bee propolis to treat a peck wound on a chicken as honey and propolis have antiseptic, antibacterial properties.



Rescued dogs can make great family pets

Rescued dogs can make great family pets


Each nostril of a dog’s highly sensitive nose can separately track scents—a skill proving useful to humans in finding illegal drugs, locating dead bodies, and even detecting cancer.


Red wine remains drinkable for decades because the tannins act as a natural preservative; however, the wine must be properly bottled and stored.


If you want to lower your cholesterol, decrease your stress level
and improve your blood pressure, adopt a dog.


Pacific oysters can engage in annual sex reversals; male one year, female the next—one of nature’s many surprises.



Chickens need extra calcium to produce eggs with strong shells

Chickens need extra calcium to produce eggs with strong shells



Help your chickens go through the molting process (when they lose feathers and stop egg production) by feeding them 20 percent more protein and limiting their stressors.



The sight of flowers can lift your spirits

Just the sight of flowers can have an uplifting effect on body, mind, and spirit



Time spent in a garden is a lot like yoga; it slows the breath, quiets the mind, and lets you get to  the truth.


To break your dog’s habit of licking you, get up and go into another room
immediately when the licking starts so the animal will associate its licking with your leaving.


If you don’t want to be devoured by insects, wear light colors when gardening.


If you want to strengthen your immune system, consume a teaspoonful of raw buckwheat honey every day.



Queen bee quarters on a frame inside the hive

Queen bee quarters on a frame inside the hive



A honeybee queens live 10 times longer than her worker bee sisters and while they are sterile, the queen remains reproductive throughout her life.


To keep your bee colony strong and robust, feed your honeybees when their food sources become scarce.


To make a fat-free broth, pour the juices of a roasted chicken or turkey into a wide-mouth jar and refrigerate until solidified; then, skim away the fat that has risen to the top.


You can’t shift the status quo if you don’t take action.


When relationships sour like beans and bitter herbs, an hour in a garden
can generate the sweetness of new dreams.


©November 2013 by Meera Lester
Permission is granted for use of individual quotes, provided the quoted material contains the following credit: “Used with permission from Henny Penny Farmers’ Almanac.”



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Early December Farmette Chores

Author: Meera, December 1, 2013


I arose early today as I have for the last few months, eager to greet the rising sun even as the days grow shorter as we head toward the winter solstice. I stand with eyes closed facing east until the light blazes against my lids, almost lighting my being from the inside. Then I say prayers–my way to start the day off right.



Pumpkins show orange and yellow, signalling the arrival of the cool season

Pumpkins have been harvested now and the vines pulled and thrown into the compost pile



The fruit trees have changed leaf color and dropped most of their foliage. I helped them along today, collecting up all the fallen leaves and putting them in the green recycle bin. With the leaves gone, I can use an organic spray to prevent overwintering of fungi and pests. Similarly, I pluck the leaves from the tea roses and cut the canes to a height of between 12-18 inches.



With the spade, I turned the soil around the base of most of the fruit trees to aerate the soil in preparation for adding some amendments like compost. I twisted the remaining pumpkins off the vine and tossed the vines (which were still blooming and setting up fruit) into the compost pile. It’ll be freezing soon, so I’m just getting a head start.



Finches dining on small oily black Nyjer seeds that grow on a foot-tall stalks with a blue bloom

Finches dining on small oily black Nyjer seeds


I put food in all the bird feeders and hung some suet for the woodpeckers. Finally, I raked an area under the pepper tree for the new, smaller hen house that Carlos will build sometime this month since we plan to acquire some new chickens in January. In all, it has been a very productive day . . . one of many scheduled for this month, the last month of the year.



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