Beginning Beekeeping: Obtaining Your Bees

~by Tammy Taylor~

Last week we talked about the beekeeping preparation steps that were necessary before we ever obtained our first bees.  There was lots to do: Educate ourselves on best beekeeping practices, join a local beekeeper’s association, decide where our hives will be located, prepare the location for the hives, obtain the beekeeping protective clothing and the bee hive expansion boxes and frames.  RancherMan even built an elevated stand for the hives, and we used heavy-duty cattle panels to section off the hive pen from the cattle pen.  All of these details are listed on last week’s Preparation Post, so if you haven’t read it be sure to check it out.  But now that we’re all ready, let’s get those bees!

We're new to beekeeping and have learned much, with much yet to learn. See what we did when we brought our first hives of bees home! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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5 Frugal Things To Save Money This Week

by Tammy Taylor~

I think it’s a beautiful thing that when I take steps to save money it almost always also has a positive environmental effect.  But it was a busy week for us and sometimes when life gets hectic I take shortcuts, which can have a negative effect on my environmental awareness as well as our budget.  But I think I did very well staying true to my environmental self as well as to our budget.  C’mon & see 5 things we did to save money (and the environment!) this week.

Sometimes when life gets hectic, shortcuts can have a negative effect on our budget. Come see what we did to save money this week! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Wordless Wednesday: New Resident

by Tammy Taylor~

The increased Mockingbird activity in this tree indicates there is another future generation of our state bird on the way #TaylorMadeHomesteadThe increased Mockingbird activity in this tree close to my garden indicates there is another future generation of our state bird on the way.  Mockingbirds are my favorites.

 

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Beginning Beekeeping: Becoming A NewBee

by Tammy Taylor~

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RancherMan & I love raising cattle, and we added chickens to the mix because they’re so much fun and, you know, EGGS!  But we were wondering what (if anything) we’d like to add to our current barnyard fun.  We’d tried raising goats but that just wasn’t for us, but then RancherMan hit on an idea:  How about BEES?  His thought is that bees will help keep the garden pollinated, and I’ll hopefully finally be able to obtain local honey that includes ragweed pollen to try to treat my allergies naturally.  Sounds like fun – let’s jump in! We’ve never kept bees before so we’re NewBees(groaaaann…)  There’s a lot to do before we actually receive any bees, come see how we prepared.

We've never kept bees before so we're NewBees!  There's a lot to do before we actually receive any bees, come see how we prepared. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Vegetable Garden Update: May

by Tammy Taylor~

Well, well, well – here we are in May.  Now here in NE Texas we’re in planting zone 8A so typically this time of year my garden is really starting to fire up, but this year’s garden has stumbled along due to both circumstances beyond my control as well as a comedy of errors.  Come along and see my successes and my…  well my not-quite-so successes.

Come along and see how our veggie garden here in NE Texas (zone 8A) is growing!  What succeeded?  What failed? #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Keep Wild Birds Away From Chicken Feed

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all already know we split the garden area, about 40% of that area became the chicken ranging area and the other 60% remained my veggie garden, but more efficiently arranged.  I love the symbiotic relationship of chickens/garden – the chickens will keep grass scratched away from the adjoining garden area to help me win the fight against Bermuda grass and they will also eat all the bugs & grasshoppers coming toward my garden from their area.  I can toss over grubs or produce that didn’t make it, and the hens provide me with fresh eggs.  Win/Win!  I recently shared with you a low-waste chicken feeder RancherMan whipped up for me and while I love how much it reduces the chicken’s slinging it to the ground and wasting it, the wild birds were also loving the free open buffet.  We’re feeding organic laying pellets, I certainly didn’t want to be feeding that to the birds! But oh we’ve discovered a secret – check out today’s Homestead Hack.

Check out this Homestead Hack - Sometimes it's true you can use low-tech methods to successfully address a problem. Love it! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Stop Wasting Chicken Feed! MYO Easy, Cheap PVC Chicken Feeder

by Tammy Taylor~

One thing I noticed when we first bought chickens several years ago was how wasteful they were.  They use their beaks & sweep their feed from side to side which ends up slinging their food out of the feeder, and all that feed is wasted.  The first time I cleaned out the coop I started to sweep out the hay bedding and found it was heavy with wasted feed & grain and I was so frustrated.  Hey, we’re feeding these girls organic layer pellets and that’s not chicken feed ya know…  Oh, maybe it *is* chicken feed, but it’s too expensive to be wasteful & sweep it out of the coop & onto the ground!  I’ve tried various ways to make our own lower-waste chicken feeder and although it helped reduce the waste, way too much feed was still being wasted.  Dang girls, were you raised in a barn?  (Oh, yeah right, strike that…)

A low-cost solution for a low-waste chicken feeder is a simple PVC construction that takes only minutes to assemble! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Fall-Back Friday: Baked Jalapeno PopperRolls

by Tammy Taylor~

TGIF!   Howzabout I share with you a Fall-Back Friday post with you today?  I’ll fall back into the archives and bring to the surface a post that’s proved very popular with my readers and today’s post is sharing an invention our youngest daughter & I came up with one day in the Taylor kitchen.  It involves spicy black beans, cheese, jalapenos and eggroll wrappers and we’ve named it Baked Jalapeno PopperRolls.  It’s the slim, trim, tasty baked low-fat cousin of traditional fatty deep-fried poppers and you’re gonna LOVE IT!  Check it out, y’all!

The slim, trim, tasty & baked low-fat cousin of traditional deep-fried poppers and you're gonna LOVE IT! Check it out, y'all! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Cleaner Vegetable Chopping

by Tammy Taylor~

Today I was chopping a fresh tomato to include with my egg salad (oh yeah, those chickens are laying lots of eggs so I’m making homemade egg salad often!)  Anyway as I chopped the tomato it occurred to me:  Although I’ve done this for years, perhaps others would benefit from this little homestead hack.  You know my battle cry: “Use Whatcha Got!”.  This particular hack has a couple of benefits – using something I’ve already got handy and keeping those veggie juices corralled.  Check it out, y’all!

This Homestead Hack has 2 benefits when chopping veggies - using something I've already got & keeping juices corralled.  #TaylorMadeHomestead

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SUGAR FREE No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

by Tammy Taylor

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I used to make chocolate no-bake cookies for our kids all the time when they were growing up – it was one of their faves and they begged me to make them often.  Even our youngest who was not a big chocolate-flavor fan (I know, hard to believe she’s actually my kid, huh??)  Anyway, our guest-poster Ashley recently shared with us her four-week journey of a diet with NO refined sugar at all!  This no-sugar version of chocolate no-bake cookies was shared on her FINAL WEEK’s update.  What a great sugar-free spin on a favorite recipe!  And since it’s no-bake there’s the added bonus of not heating up the house on a hot summer’s day.  You’re gonna want to make these SOON!

SUGAR-FREE Chocolate No-Bake cookies using coconut oil. No oven heating up the house during the summertime plus it's CHOCOLATE #TaylorMadeHomestead

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