Creating Solitary Bee Hotels

I used to notice alot of pictures of bee hotels before we got the hive then really didn’t give them another thought. Hives are expensive though and not something everyone can afford, desire or have room for but these are such beautiful, useful additions to a garden. Besides giving homes for bees they encourage them to live in the garden and we benefit from the pollination from the bees – a win/win situation!Take a look at these lovely photos of hotels made from reclaimed materials, just gorgeous and I think we will make some ourselves now 🙂

Urban Overalls

For folks across the country, September heralds the change of season.  Hot summer days are replacing with pleasant temperatures and cooler evenings.  Leaves are showing the first blush of fall color.  Warm season crops such as peppers and tomatoes are still producing.  And the bees foraging in the garden are making a final push to gather nectar and pollen before the weather turns cold.  But with all the buzzing going on, are you noticing other types of bees?

While folks may recognize a honey bee, what about the other insects that seem to be on the plants collecting pollen.  Do you know what they are?  Folks, many of these insects are what as known as native bees (the common honey bee was originally imported from Europe).  These bees were here before the introduction of honey bees.  Another term use for native bees is solitary bees or even pollen bee.

These…

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DIY Beeswax Food Wraps

Sometimes you see an idea that is so brilliant, so simple, so economical and you have to try it… this is one and gleaned from My Healthy green Family. Her post is so much more colourful than mine with alot more info and also some good comments so I urge you, if you are interested in making these, to check our her post 🙂

My husband is a big user of clingfilm for his lunches and other options have not proved successful. He will take his food packages out on the farm to eat through the day putting the wrap in his pocket when finished, it’s easy for him. I don’t know how many containers he has lost over the years (or lids) when I have tried to get him to use other things. Paper “doesn’t keep bread fresh enough” apparently and rips.

I was rapt to see these and made them today. Simple. The beeswax is cheap to buy from bee owners (I bought these for 50c a block and used 2 1/2) but now we have our own if hubby is happy with these it will be very good. When I started making them and told him he could trial them tomorrow he spoke in that lovely tone men use when humouring their ladies but he had to admit when I was finished they look a good, practical, healthier option.

Preheat oven to 150 deg C. Cut clean cotton cloth (old sheeting is fine) into desired sizes. I had 6 old cotton serviettes I used to trial them – the same colour as the beeswax which was an unfortunate choice to photograph.IMG_3842

Place on baking tray and grate the beeswax onto it, sprinkling it to fully cover.IMG_3843

Place tray in cover for just a few minutes, the beeswax will melt into a fine liquid that will seep down into fabric.

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Use a pastry brush to spread onto areas not quite covered enough if it bubbles. Hang to cool and dry on a clothes airer (just takes few minutes)

Done!

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 Wipeable, waterproof, airtight cloths that can be cleaned in hot soapy water by hand and will last a few months.

Footnote: These got a big thumbs up from my husband who declared “They work brilliant!”

13 Simple Ways to Eat Your Yard and Build Food Security

A good article with some good tips.

Survival Sherpa

by Todd Walker

In the March Against Monsanto, millions of people peacefully took to the streets in protest over our unhealthy (being kind here) Industrial Food Machine operated by the little man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. The switches, pulleys, and levers are connected to BigFarma, BigPharma, corrupt politicians, main stream media, and our protected predator class.

Monsanto’s ‘man’ behind the curtain is busy pulling levers that rabidly promote the un-scientific fact that eating GMO’s has little ill effect on human health. What they’re really trying to say is you can pick up a turd by the clean end. Crass but true.

Genetically Modified Organisms should be avoided at all costs. But how can you ensure a safe food supply for your family? You don’t have 40 acres and a mule. You live in a neighborhood with quarter acre lots. You may have never grown a garden in…

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Video

More about The Urban Homestead, “The Path to freedom”

This family shows how, in a family home back yard, they earn an income, eat far better than most, and live sustainably on little cost.

Over 6,000 pounds of food per year, on 1/10 acre located just 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. The Dervaes family grows over 400 species of plants, 4,300 pounds of vegetable food, 900 chicken and 1,000 duck eggs, 25 lbs of honey, plus seasonal fruits throughout the year.

From 1/10th of an acre, four people manage to get over 90% of their daily food and the family reports earnings of $20,000 per year (AFTER they eat from what is produced). This is done without the use of the expensive & destructive synthetic chemicals associated with industrial mono-cropping, while simultaneously improving the fertility and overall condition of the land being used to grow this food on. Scaled up to an acre, that would equal $200,000 per year!

http://tv.greenmedinfo.com/urban-homestead-marvel-6000-lbs-of-organic-food-on-110th-acre/

The Urban Homestead – This family is just so inspiring.

I have been following this family for a few years admiring what they do / have done. Whereas my husband just knows what he wants and just does it I am a reader, thinker, needing inspiration(er)! These guys grow 6000 lb of food annually on 1/10 acre and earn their income off it. We are sheer amateurs, these guys are totally self sufficient off a suburban home in USA.

“Surrounded by urban sprawl and just a short distance from a freeway, the Urban Homestead project is a family operated and highly productive city farm. It is also a successful, real-life working model for sustainable agriculture and eco living in urban areas and has been featured in multiple news medias both nationally and internationally.

Our work in creating Urban Homesteading as a flourishing and self-sufficient lifestyle using minimum resources and land has been referenced as a progressive and forward-thinking example and sourced as the representation of future city planning and reclamation worldwide.

For over a decade, we have proved that growing ones’ own food can be sustainable, practical, successful and beautiful in urban areas. We harvest 3 tons of organic food annually from our 1/10 acre garden while incorporating many back-to-basics practices, solar energy and biodiesel in order to reduce our footprint on the earth’s resources. This website documents the many steps we have taken and hopes to inspire fellow travelers on their own life-changing journey”

http://urbanhomestead.org/