Where is our Winter? 


Took a tour through the garden today, December 30th. In the northern hemisphere it should be winter! Apparently not! 

Asparagus should be sleeping, not! I found 3 lovely stalks poking up through the cover of leaf mulch. They are so sweet and tender.  

  Those young purple stalks are amazing! 

Tomatoes – the variety that hasn’t succumbed to our “winter” is Matt’s Wild Cherry. Picked a couple of handfuls and noticed that there are still blossoms forming! 

I thought the green beans were done but I am finding new blossoms. I have a number of very mature pods that I left on the vines for seed but tucked away in the foliage are new blossoms and some developing pods. 

My sugar snap peas are behaving as if we have the cool spring weather that they thrive in. It is not a surprise to see them doing well at this time of year. 


All photos today from my iPhone. Handy and they do make a decent image. 

Lemons are ready to pick, beets are very slowly gaining ground and the strawberries are blossoming in earnest! The yellow onion sets are looking great. I don’t have high hopes for my blackberries, may have to rely on the wild ones – the wild ones are small, have too many thorns, scratch the heck out your hands but make great jam! 

Last note; my “Garden Hives” are nearly ready. I have put the natural finish on two of the four and then the weather changed. Next week we should be above 60 degrees F, so I can finish the last two. 
Unfinished and then finished. 



Backyard Blackberry Honey Pepper Sauce


This is a sauce that has four ingredients and  75% can be sourced from your backyard. 1. Blackberries, yes I do have blackberry vines in my backyard. 2. L Honey, well I had a hive in my backyard but a neighbor complained and I moved it to a yard nearby. 3. Peppers, I used a poblano pepper from my yard. 4. The tablespoon of sugar – well, it is store bought.

Simple, 16 ounces of blackberries but raspberries would work too. If frozen thaw before cooking.

1/4 to 1/3 cup of local raw honey. I used a 1/4 cup.

Pepper. I used a medium poblano that was from my garden. You can used black pepper, 1 tbsp, or any other peppers depending on your taste and desire for heat.

1 tbsp of sugar

Medium heat and stir often. To speed up the fruit breakdown I use a potato masher.

Run through a strainer once the consistency you want is reached. I am using mine for a pork loin glaze so I will let it thicken. Should also  be good on Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream!

Recipe lifted from;


Simmering on the stove

Simmering on the stove

Added a bit of the pulp and seed back into the sauce for texture. I put it back onto the stove to simmer until it thickened to my liking. The taste and aroma are amazing. I think the pork loin will be a real treat.



From my Yard to Yours


Unpacked the 16 box shipment today  that arrived at the front door on Monday…..while I was traveling. In hindsight, I should have given my bride a heads up but…… Lumps look good on my head! UPS was very helpful.

16 boxes of what you are probably wondering! Even if you aren’t, I am going to tell you!!!!! Once opened they represent four,  8-frame garden hives. I will be adding two supers to each once the nectar flow starts.

I am building a couple more top bar hives and several more Langstroth hives over the winter. I will see how I handle that level of activity before stepping out and adding any more for the 2017 season.

Assembled and ready to finish. I am considering a natural finish but also like the idea of some soft pastel colors that blend with the backyard. I have one and possibly two more spoken for and looking for a home for the fourth. Wish my neighbor was not such a Grinch!

One of my top bar hives I set up to receive bees from a downed tree. The rescue was successful! The cone shaped wire screen outlet was pointed toward the hive opening off the open end of the log. Last inspection showed capped brood and eggs being layed. This one and my other top bar were built with “junk” wood lying about my yard. Will build two more full size top bar hives and two half hives for swarm capture or rescue operations.

A 16 inch wide slab of honeycomb from my top bar hive. So yummy!



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