HumbleBee Farms Update | Summer is in Full Swing!

Aug 3rd

Things have been pretty quiet around here. No, not because there hasn’t been anything to post about, but because we have been so busy!

During the past few weeks we’ve been tackling home projects, battling gophers and even working on getting my real estate license (I’ll explain shortly).

Earlier this month Todd and I enjoyed Seattle Tilth’s Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour – which was tons of fun and inspiration (including inspiration for Todd’s latest creation – a chicken feeder made from gutter remnants that mounts outside of the coop for ease of feeding/ cleaning – I’ll post instructions soon!).

Chicken demonstrating how to use a chicken tunnel.

Chicken demonstrating how to use a chicken tunnel.

Mini Angora goat shows its stuff strutting the planks in its pen.

Mini Angora goat shows its stuff strutting the planks in its pen.

And about a week ago I spent some time volunteering at Seattle Tilth’s Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetland working with youth to tackle one of the most insidious weeds in Seattle – knotweed. It was really fun watching kids from all over the country learn about our native ecosystem. At one point, a group of kids let out a yelp. I quickly made my way over to investigate the source of the trouble. But instead of a troublesome creature, I found the biggest, slowest bumble bee I’ve ever seen! I explained that here in Seattle, in general, fuzzy = nice when it comes to bees.

Youth from the Mitzvah Corp tackle knotweed in the blueberry patch at Seattle Tilth's Urban Farm and Wetland

Youth from the Mitzvah Corp tackle knotweed in the blueberry patch at Seattle Tilth’s Urban Farm and Wetland

At home in the garden we are already enjoying the fruits of our labor. Kale, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes are cranking out the goods, while Roma tomatoes, onions and beets don’t look too far behind. With all the crazy-warm weather we’ve been experiencing here in Seattle, harvest has come quite early.

But there’s trouble in our little garden paradise. After four months of gopher-free bliss, we now have a resident gopher causing chaos. I do not lie when I say it left a hill two feet tall and three feet across on the bank below the garden. On top of that, the little monster has snaked its way through my carrots and keeps harassing the cucumbers. Good thing the cucs are trellised!

On top of all this I am working on getting my real estate license, taking the two classes required prior to taking the exam in Washington State. Why you may ask? Well, we’ve lived and owned a 4-plex for over a decade. We plan on selling it next year (garden and all). My mother-in-law also plans to sell her Vashon Island home in the near future. And of course, we plan on buying our farm shortly after we sell. Our experience with real estate agents hasn’t been all that great. And at this point, it seems prudent to better understand the buying/ selling process. We had planned on offering our home “for sale by owner” but with my license I can list it through a broker under MLS. The whole experiences has been very informative so far. I would recommend anyone considering buying/ selling property to consider taking the classes – regardless if you get your license or not.

Ok, that’s my over-simplified update.

Check in again later this week for our chicken coop feeder instructions!