Foust Family Farms

  (Whitsett, North Carolina)
Hmm, give me a sec.

Thx for the memories

Many thanks to all those who helped us out, once again. We couldn't have done it without you.

And to the newest members of our farm,..four, at last count,...(groundhogs all) - please go away. You've overstayed your welcome [such that it is], now,  go play nice w/someone else. The change of venue will do, you all and me, good.

Deer weren't that bad this year. I grew most of my tomatoes in a high tunnel. Caught one or two birds, but even they didn't make much of an impact. The tunnel worked so well, that I plan on putting up two more..

My single beehive swarmed several times, and I still wasn't able to catch any. But at one point - they completely left the hive. No bees. Hadn't touched that beehive in 10 years...in any way. No chemicals, no intrusions, no harvesting.. So, one day, they just, weren't there anymore..

 I opened the hives. Top two supers were full of honey. The brood chamber was  -  to my surprise, remarkably clean. The inside walls had NO residue - not even bee poop. Looked as clean has the day I set it out. There was about a tablespoon's worth of comb residue on the floor. And absolutely, positively, no evidence of hive beetles or wax moths, in sight. Not even dead ones. 

Now, the wax combs,...all drawn out,...were solid black. Which was not a surprise.

I removed brood chamber [to take out frames/wax] and left the other supers in place. Figured I'd mess with them later. And,....48 hours later,...bees were swarming back in. They're still out there.. 11/25...

I think, maybe next spring, I'll put the brood chamber back.




 
 

varmints

well folks,

Looks like I've been hit again. At one time, all I had to worry about was: owls, squirrels, deer, foxes, coyotes, groundhogs, neighbors' dogs, hawks, snakes, and cats.

The varmints of late? Poachers. They took my pears last month. This season, I had a bumper crop of Chinese chestnuts.  My Dad planted the trees a little over twenty years ago. Even though I don't spray 'em and only fertilize with manure, it seems, I get a good crop [at least] every other year. Got a customer inquiry for some nuts. I'd picked up a couple of pounds the first week of drop. Had held off picking up any, last couple of days; weather's been really nice. Figured on the ground being covered with nuts. Lots of empty pods; but, ground's bare. Not a single nut in sight. Squirrels can account for a fair amount of loss, but not this much.

I'd been holding off on putting in electric fencing around my fruit and nut trees. It seems I've no longer a choice. Now, I just have to figure out how strong a "shock" I want the recipient(s) to receive. One farmer I've talked with, said he'd put in fencing that'll "knock a deer on its ass." And posted, high voltage signs, every 20 feet or so....for legal reasons. Pity the fool who can't read. 

Oh well, we'll see what the new year brings.... 

 
 

Thanks for the memories...d'oh!

Once again, a BIG "thank you" to all who stopped by the farm this year and purchased our deelicious produce....and to those who just dropped by to say "hello?" - please call ahead and please LEAVE those pets at home...or at the very least, in your vehicle.

I thought I'd never see my free range chickens again, after that one kid's black lab chased my flock into the woods. Me and that boy spent 1/2 hr.  searching, w/nary a sign of them. You'd figure a red-colored hen would "stand out." Nope. Fortunately, they showed up later that evening at the coop. None seemed harmed - though, no eggs for a couple of days.

This past month was first time I've seen wild turkeys wandering about in field back of the house. Counted 20, one day. And one afternoon, they even "sauntered" through my backyard. However, since deer hunting season started I've only seen one Tom. He was standing out in heavy rain near the chicken pen. I threw him a handful of feed, but he was too skittish and walked away. Wish I could have gotten photos of all of them. But, they always seemed to appear when I was busy and no camera at hand.

Bees looked to have enuff supplies for upcoming winter, but I think I'll feed during any warm spells, just to be sure. 

 
 

I've got Hives...

You know you're getting old when you can't read the fine print anymore...which is how "they" stick it to you.

I actually did get the hives, a couple of years ago. Most unpleasant - especially when the welts appeared on the soles of my feet. It was like walking on hot coals. Fortunately, for me, I was only plagued with the Hives for 24 hours.

But, I keep bees, and so, a different kind of Hives. Last year, agriculture wasn't much fun. Mother Nature did her best to do me in, and at one point I was ready to "throw in the towel"...yet here I am once again.

I like being outdoors, being my own boss, setting my own hours.

I'm done with the employee lifestyle of working under abysmal conditions. The  loud noise. Chemicals, dust and fumes  on my skin, in my hair. my lungs. The long hours. The heat - the cold.  The...?  Could have sworn, I wasn't talking about farming, here....hmm...

Oh yes,... business owners, who seem to revel in breaking as many OSHA rules, as they can get away with.

...but, back to bees. Caught two swarms last year, making it five hives. But lost three this winter. Put one hive in the shed. Thought it'd be warmer in there; wish I had packed hay bales around it. Queen was still laying eggs. Food was just an inch away. Hope I catch this year's swarms.

 
 
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