pork, bees, and rotational grazing

The following is an exerpt from a family communication.  We are ready to sleep, and can hear one of the cats out tangling with an unknown monster, leaving us no time to reword this update for this site:

   Finally we have gotten a couple of nice days, at least, relatively nice, and today we were stuck — that is, Sh. and I were stuck — taking a half hog into Pitt. to R. M. and ushering for a very profane play at the Public. We got home about 5:10, however, and had a lovely evening. Everyone was home, even S-2, and we had hamburgers and steaks for dinner and then got into the hives to see how the ladies were doing. The queen in hive #1 we thought was getting old — she’s a big girl — but her brood pattern looks really strong, so we won’t disturb her. We are waiting for her to move all her brood out of the bottom hive box so we can take it away — she has three hive bodies right now, and the workers aren’t putting honey in the super. The other two hives have good patterns, have drawn the foundation in the supers, and are putting honey away — maybe we’ll be able to harvest dandelion/apple/cherry/londike honey in a week or so, and set out supers for the black locust (very strong and dark, great for coughs).

      After we closed the hives, we watched the kids swing in the park for a while, and walked down the field to help S-3 change paddocks. Finally the wet spots are beginning to firm up, and areas we haven’t yet pastured on will soon be ready for grazing. It is good to see the forage beginning to grow! The little children had a fire in the park for marshmallows, and then double-whammied with ice cream up at the house. Ah, well, it’s Sunday!

    We had reason to offer up thanks today at Mass. Yesterday when S-3 and S-4 were helping neighor Barry move an organ from Fr. Stabene’s, an idiot going about sixty in a thirty-five mile an hour zone topped a blind hill while S-3 was making a left and totaled the truck. Smashed the door in, glass everywhere, and bent the truck frame, but we have a merciful God, and the boys and Barry were fine. Because S-3 was the one with the stop, the patrolman ticketed him, much to the surprise and chagrin of all, both involved people and onlookers. So, since we only carry liability on the cars, bye-bye truck. We don’t have time to be concerned about it, though, we are all so glad no one was hurt. Take my stuff, Lord, and welcome, since you are so good as to leave me my kids. And two, at least, of my sons will probably be more careful drivers, and more assiduous seat belt fasteners, as a result.

   We are just about through with school, and S-3 and S-2, at least, will start barning tomorrow, weather permitting. They cut a bunch of lumber the other day, and will probably go ahead and cut more, if they aren’t putting in posts. We don’t want to turn the poults out until enough barn is up that they can roost there if they want. Really, we can’t turn them out until they are big enough to escape the affections of the dogs, who sometimes neglect to notice when their attentions are too vigorous. The chickens know to give them a wide berth.

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