Lots of Fun Stuff Happening


~ Grassy Roads Farm Life ~

 

March and April promise to be busy months, but they always are. I’m in full production mode for the nursery, I’m going to several events and doing multiple talks, the bees are ramping up, the early spring wildflowers that I love to photograph will be starting to pop soon, the ducks are laying more and more eggs, and it’s just an exciting time to be on the farm and in the nursery. Below are some of the highlights of what has been going on over the last month and what is in the works for the next few weeks.

Nursery

I have an entire 4ft x 8ft table filled with seed plugs and seed trays that are in the process of germinating. It’s always exciting to see the first sprouts poking their little heads above the potting media.

Obviously, it’s very early in the season, but so far I’m really excited by what I’m seeing in the nursery. I currently have a crisper full of seeds undergoing simulated winter treatments in the refrigerator, 16 species of plants that have already germinated and are ranging in size from almost microscopic to good-sized seedlings, and 35 species of seeds that have been planted but haven’t germinated yet. Of course, that crisper full of seeds means I still have many more species to plant over the next several weeks. Needless to say, I’ve been a very “busy bee” and will continue to be for quite some time.

The space I use in my basement for nursery production is filling up fast. I’ll be setting up the low tunnels behind the barn and starting to move plants into there very soon. Oh yeah, I also have multiple species outside that I am overwintering from last fall so that I can offer more mature plants earlier in the year. Most of them seem to be doing well too and many are already showing signs of new growth.

In addition to my table of germinating seeds, I also have most of a 4ft x 8ft table filled with native plant seedlings that I’m growing for the 2020 season.

I am tentatively planning to have my first plants available for sale at the Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green on April 18. However, if you can’t wait to start planting, I may have some early species available a week or two before then. If you want to get plants early, let me know and we can discuss what is ready at that time and when / where we can meet up. (I’ll be in the western end of the state the week before Easter and might be able to bring some plants if anyone over that way wants anything.)

If you want to see which plants I am trying to grow this year, here is a brochure with information about my nursery and a list of the species I am trying to grow. If you visit my website, I have thumbnail pictures of many of those species; clicking on the thumbnail will take you to a description of the plant. I’m only a little over half way through writing the species descriptions, so please don’t think that just because I don’t have a thumbnail up, that I’m not going to have it. It likely means I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

Bees

I lost one hive towards the end of February, but I wasn’t too surprised. I had been having trouble with that hive all summer and was planning to take pretty drastic action this spring if it survived the winter. My other five hives seem to be doing really well. I can’t wait for a warm, sunny day when I can really get into the hives and do a thorough inspection of each one. During the winter, all I can do is open the lid, peak in, and maybe pull one or two of the top frames of honey. If the weather keeps doing what it has been doing, then it won’t be too much longer before I can really start working the bees again.

My supply of 2019 honey is almost gone. If you want some, I suggest getting it soon. I only have around a dozen jars left to sell. After that, it’ll probably be late July or early August before I have more available.

Like I reported last month, my 2019 honey supply is dwindling fast. I have approximately a dozen jars left for sale. After these are gone, it’ll probably be late July or early August before I have more. I’m hoping to manage more of my hives for honey production this year, so hope to harvest more honey this year than I did last year. However, Mother Nature and the bees will have a lot to say about whether my honey harvesting plans work out the way I hope.

Ducks

The number of ducks laying is continuing to increase as the days get longer and warmer. Typically, somewhere between 20 and 30% of my hens are laying each day now. Many of those eggs are smaller, closer to chicken egg sized than duck egg sized, but they’ll get larger as the season progresses. The first eggs a duck lays each year are always smaller than the ones she’ll lay in late spring and summer. However, even after taking out all the small eggs, I still typically have 6-9 full dozens and about that many half dozens to take to the market. So, if you are looking for duck eggs, I should have plenty.

For those of you who have been waiting, I’m back to having a pretty steady supply of duck eggs at the farmers market.

Farmers Market

My plan is to continue going to the Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green every first and third Saturday until April 18. Starting April 18, I should be there every Saturday until sometime in September or October. However, I’m also kind of playing March by ear and am not ruling out the possibility of a few “extra” days at the market this month depending on what the ducks do. Follow my Facebook page, or just email and ask me, to find out if I decide to go on some of the other Saturdays in March.

I currently have duck eggs (half dozens and full dozens), honey, note cards with nature and farm inspired artwork, gift certificates for my native plants, and my books for sale at the market. I’m also working on a couple of other potential new products. I’m hoping to have the new products ready to introduce at the March 7 market, but we’ll see if I can get them done by then.

Speaking Engagements

Although I’m cutting way back on the number of speaking engagements I do this year, I still have a fairly busy March and April planned. I’m looking forward to these events because I really do enjoy getting out and talking to everyone. I’m also in the process of confirming some exciting events for this fall.

Calendar

These are some of the places you can find me over the next few weeks. To see other upcoming events that I’ll be at, take a look at my calendar.

  • March 5: WKU Horticulture Club
    I’ll be giving a talk at their meeting.
  • March 7: Community Farmers Market
    See above for the goodies I’ll have for sale. You’re also welcome to just come by and talk. I may have to interrupt the conversation sometimes to work with another customer, but I always enjoy talking plants and pollinators and wildlife.
  • March 12: SoKY Wild Ones
    This is a new organization that is just starting up in Bowling Green. I’m planning to be part of it and attend most meetings. The meetings are open and everyone is welcome to attend.
  • March 20-21: HONEY Convention
    I’ll be giving multiple talks and will have a vendor’s table.
  • March 21: Community Farmers Market
    Anthony will be running the booth for me since, I’ll be speaking at the HONEY Convention that day. He’ll have all my normal goodies for sale. He also has a wildlife biology degree and helps with the bees, so feel free to stop and chat with him too.
  • March 24: Warren County Beekeepers
    I am a member of the Warren County Beekeepers and try to attend most of their meetings. The meetings are open to the public and everyone interested in honey bees or beekeeping is welcome to attend.
  • April 4: Community Farmers Market
    See above for the goodies I’ll have for sale. You’re also welcome to just come by and talk. I may have to interrupt the conversation sometimes to work with another customer, but I always enjoy talking plants and pollinators and wildlife.
  • April 7: Joint meeting of the Kentucky Pollinators Working Group and Kentucky Monarch Protection Working Group
    I am a member of both these working groups and will be attending their spring meeting.
  • April 9-11: Kent William’s Bee School
    This is an amazing, hands-on, interactive bee school and I encourage anyone who is interested in beekeeping to attend. You don’t have to come for all three days. If you can only come for part of the time, then that’s perfectly fine too. I plan be there to at least for part of the time and probably all three days. There’s also a good chance I’ll be leading a couple of nature hikes around the yard and talking about what’s blooming that the bees are using or will use soon.
  • April 18: Community Farmers Market
    See above for the goodies I’ll have for sale. This will likely be my first day to bring plants back to the market. You’re also welcome to just come by and talk. I may have to interrupt the conversation sometimes to work with another customer, but I always enjoy talking plants and pollinators and wildlife.

 

 



Shannon Trimboli is a beekeeper, farmer, wildlife biologist, and author. She owns Grassy Roads Farm and Busy Bee Nursery & Consulting. Busy Bee Nursery & Consulting specializes in plants and habitat consulting services for honey bees, native pollinators, and wildlife conservation. In 2018, her first book, Plants Honey Bees Use in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, was published. Shannon also writes a weekly blog called Kentucky Pollinators and Backyard Wildlife. The blog features profiles of pollinators and wildlife, tips for attracting pollinators and wildlife, highlights of different plants for pollinators and wildlife, and life on the farm and nursery. You can sign up to have her blog emailed to you.

Leave a Reply