Farm Update | Farmers Market | VertiGro Class | Honey and the Bees

 

Farmers Market at Pelican Preserve

Farmers Market at Pelican Preserve

 


 Vertigro Class

Vertigro Class (Tim and Tim)

 

 Vertigro Class

Vertigro Class

Vertigro Class

 

 

 

Vertigro Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Honey and the Unhappy Bees

Our hives were getting honey bound, so we pulled a couple frames of honey today. Leaving the hives a bit unhappy and confused. Lucky for us, they gladly make more.

Full Frame of Honey

Full Frame of Honey

 

Unhappy Bees

Unhappy Bees

Unhappy Bees

Unhappy Bees

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Farm update | Microgreens are here | Winter Beekeeping Workshop

Radish Microgreens

Radish Microgreens

So nutritious…if you haven’t tried them yet, please stop by one of our farmers markets for a tasting. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing if you don’t at least give them a try. Since they haven’t expended all their energy on building leaves and roots, all the nutritional benefits are packed into their tiny stem and cotyledons. You can eat just a few and get the benefits of it’s full size counterpart. Recent studies have shown positive results that they are nutritional powerhouses. Spinkle a few on your salad and sandwich and you will be amazed at their great fresh taste.

Sunflower Microgreens

Sunflower Microgreens

 

We generally have sunflower, china rose radish, broccoli, kale and wheat grass along with others that we rotate out like onion, fenugreek, red clover, alfalfa, buckwheat, barley, pea tendrils, and more. All chemical-free from organic, pathogen tested seeds.

Click here to order

Young Wheatgrass

Young Wheatgrass


 

The Lee County Beekeepers Association held a free workshop at our farm for members of the FSBA (Florida State Beekeepers Association) on how to prepare your hives for the winter and store you gear without being invaded by the wax moths that can do 100s of dollars of damage to your boxes, frames and foundations.

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Robert Hartman, president of the Lee County Beekeepers Association

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Florida State Beekeepers Conference | West Palm Beach

This weekend was all about the european honey bees at the 94th Annual Florida State Beekeepers Association Conference hosted by the Palm Beach Beekeepers Assoc in West Palm Beach, FL, who did a fabulous job.

Highlights included Dr. Jamie Ellis kicking off the conference on Friday morning with a presentation on the Honeybee Research at the University of Florida and later going through hives on the roof top apiary.

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On Sunday, Michael Bush of Bush Farms finished things off with his Queen Rearing presentation as well as lunch presentation on Natural Beekeeping. IMG_5719


 

In between we had lots of commercial beekeepers presenting on pollination (Dave Hackenberg, David Mendes, and Bob Harvey) and queen rearing (Dave Miska),  Dr. Wardell on nutrition, some backyarders on Top Bar Hives, Florida bee plants, and so much more.  FDACS was well-represented with most of the apiary division there, incl David Westervelt. So much to see and hear, so little time 🙂

Can’t wait to go again next year and I hear it will be hosted by Palm Beach Beekeepers again….keep up the good work!

Farm Update | Organic Beekeeping | Endwalls | Paraglider

 

IPM Organic Beekeeping

IPM Organic Beekeeping

Organic Beekeeping is using natural and organic practices without the synthetic chemicals as feed and pesticides. Above Tim is using integrated pest management by adding a mixture of apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil and a drop of dish soap to control the hive beetles from becoming a nuisance to the bees in the hive. Although it is marketed as such, there is no such thing as organic honey because the bees can forage for pollen and nectar up to 3 miles away, which may or may not be organic. So if you see it on a honey jar, be aware it’s either ignorance or a marketing ploy. Know your local beekeeper, talk to them and find out what they use (and more importantly don’t use) to keep their bee colonies healthy and strong, in particular during honey flows. 


 

17 foot ladder was needed to get to the top of the center posts for 6’2″ Farmer Tim for installing the endwalls to the structure.

 

Endwalls

Endwalls

 

Paraglider

Paraglider

2nd Endwall done

2nd Endwall done

GreenView Aquaponics Double Rainbow

GreenView Aquaponics Double Rainbow

Farm Update | Day in the life of a farmer

Check on the honey bees. Rained the past three days. They are VERY happy it is sunny again.

Check on the honey bees. Rained the past three days. They are VERY happy it is sunny again as they try to dry out their hives.

Harvest celery and three kinds of basil

Harvest Celery and three kinds of Basil – genovese, citrus and dark opal – lots and lots! May have to dry some for the upcoming markets.

Plant more lettuce to start the fall rotations. Just waiting for the cooler weather!

Plant four kinds of lettuce and some other heirlooms to start the fall rotations. Just waiting for the cooler weather!

 


 

Feed and water the chickens, then collect the eggs. Beautiful!

Feed & water the chickens, then collect eggs.  What beautiful colors – brown, blue, and green eggs!

 


 

Feed the hungry blue nile tilapia

Feed the hungry blue nile tilapia and check the water by testing it’s parameters.

Feed the hungry red nile tilapia

Feed the red nile tilapia, check the water flow rate and time the auto siphon.

 


 

Watch the Black Soldier Fly lay her eggs for the next explosion of larvae in the biocomposter

Watch the Black Soldier Fly lay her eggs for the next explosion of larvae in the biocomposter

Farm Update| Hive Inspections by FDACS Apiary Inspector

In Florida, a beekeeper is required to register their colonies with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer, Division of Plant Industry in order to be protected by the apiary laws of the state and comply with the BMPs (Best Management Practices). Part of this registration process includes the inspection of your hives for pests and unwanted races of honeybees by a state apiary inspector. Our inspector, Freddy, was one of the nicest people you will meet and full of love for the European honeybees.

Click here for more information about beekeeping in FL, including classes, BMPs, state forms & requirements and professional associations.

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GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary gets a clean honeybee bill of health.

Thank you Freddy! IMG_6059

Farm update| Honey Bees transferred to their new Hives

This week it was time to transfer the European Honey Bees from the 5-frame NUCs to their permanent homes, the 10-frame Langstroth Hive. We were able to see lots of eggs and larvae , brood and even one of the Italian Queens, can you find her?

5-frame NUCs

5-frame NUCs

 

Tranferring the frames

Tranferring the frames

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Inspecting the Frames

Inspecting the Frames

Frame with the Italian Queen

Frame with the Italian Queen…do you see her?

Everyone's busy working

Everyone’s busy working

Closing the hive

Closing the hive

Happy New Home for the season

Happy New Home for the season

 

Farm Update | New Honey Bees and How-To Pages

We had a new Honey Bee ( Apis mellifera ) delivery in the early part of the week from the Bees Choice.  Yay!  There were some minor delays in getting queens this year due to the massive pesticide incident in California during the end of the pollination of the almond crops. Someone “accidentally” killed 80,000 colonies by tank-mixing pesticides and spraying during the daytime hours while the bees were out foraging. That’s a LOT of bees when you multiply that by 40,000-80,000 per hive. So sad. 1,300 beekeepers suffered losses. This also started the initiatives from the White House to Save the Bees!  Without these wonderful pollinators, the United States would be out of food in less that four years!

This brings me back to our little story…in Florida, we have an africanized honey bee drone population for queens to mate with (a no-no), so we have to buy queens from areas that are not yet infiltrated or ones that were artificially inseminated to help dilute this current drone population. The goal is that the more beekeepers we have in Florida that follow the best management practices, the more we can dilute the undesirable traits of the africanized drone population. The beekeepers in most of the southern states have to order queens, in addition to the 1,300 beekeepers that lost their colonies in California, which caused an unexpected high demand and therefore, low supplies and delays. Our queens made a long journey from Hawaii to be with us.

Our two 5-frame NUCs should be ready to be transferred to their new lavender 10-frame Langstroth hives very soon.

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary NUCs GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary NUCs GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary NUCs


This week, we were at Mote Marine’s Aquaculture Park (sturgeon facility) and ECHO where we made some new friends and met up with the Phil and the crew from Morningstar Fishermen.

The remainder of the week was a clean up week since it’s a holiday weekend – Happy Birthday America!

  • Lots of mowing and weedeating since the grass, pastures and weeds grow REALLY fast down here in Florida with our hot, rainy summers. By the time you finish, you have to start all over again if you don’t get rained out in the process. 😉
  • Getting materials for next weeks projects – end wall posts to be installed. Yay!
  • Procured a walk-in cooler that we disassembled and transported most of last week that needs a new home in the Quonset. Still trying to figure out exactly where.

We’ve added some Resource pages under HOW-TO link in the menu above. Pages that have links are completed, those that do not are planned and we hope to keep adding to these as we go along. Those following us on this blog and Facebook will be the first to know! So, don’t forget to follow us and LIKE us, if you haven’t already.

Currently, we have:

Florida Gardening – planting calendars, guide for herbs, guide for vegetables/fruits, integrated pest identification and options and other useful online resources that we have come across. More coming soon

Florida Beekeeping – calendar of blooming plants, FL BMPs, diseases and pest of the honey bees, beekeeping associations, and other useful online resources that we have come across.

Aquaponics – here we plan to add Q&A type info from the questions we tend to be asked more frequently. Got ?s, let us know.  The most specific information on aquaponics will be in the DIY Projects section for those that have attended our classes.

Recipes – here we plan to add recipes for many of the items as we get ready to harvest to  allow everyone to see the versatility that heirloom vegetables and fruits can have.

DIY Projects – here we plan to put all the handouts and materials from our various classes. It will be a members-only section, log-in information will be provided at each class.


Still planting and harvesting microgreens (sunflower, radish, broccoli, wheat grass available) and our 3 foot basils (genovese, citrus and thai available). The citrus basil knocks our socks off. It’s really flavorful. Let us know if you want to pop by for an order.

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm Genovese Basil

Genovese Basil

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm Citrus Basil and Thai Basil

Thai Basil and Citrus Basil

Mother Earth News Fair | Asheville NC

The first annual Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC was just held and what a great turnout they had. Over 15,000 attendees to see workshops and presentations from Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, who showed how to dress a chicken and Sylvia Bernstein of the Aquaponics Source, who talked about the basics of aquaponics.

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Along with lots of booths proudly representing their innovative and sustainable products and services.

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Let’s not forget the livestock.

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As executive board members of the Aquaponics Association, Meg and Astrid manned a booth for the Aquaponics Association handing out lots of brochures as well as explaining aquaponics with the representative mini aquaponics system on display. The response was phenomenal.

For more information on the remaining Mother Earth News Fairs this year in other parts of the country, see their website. Next is Puyallup WA 5/31-6/1, then Seven Springs, PA 9/12-14