Heather Ward

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since May 03, 2015
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Recent posts by Heather Ward

I greatly appreciate everyone's input and am reading with great interest about our native bumbles and how to encourage them. I do have one more question while I have the attention of people to know about bees. We have a lot of Carpenter bees in my area, a very large solid black bee that burrows in wood. Most of us here have exposed wood beams and so my neighbors consider the carpenter bees destructive, but they prefer cottonwood to hardwood and I wonder if a stack of cottonwood logs would suit them well enough to leave the house alone. Any thoughts, and are they good pollinators?
3 years ago
Chris Edwards, I greatly appreciate your suggestion regarding bumblebees. I wasn't even aware that they could be purchased, and they would be perfect since they do well in the wild in my area. (I have had poor luck with mason bees, for whatever reason.) I will set about establishing bumbles in my yard. Thanks!
I remain interested in more natural beekeeping, since it seems to me that cracking open hives regularly is pretty unnatural, but since I don't need honey I will leave that to people more expert with bees.
3 years ago
Hi all, I have a question about bees. I want to have a hive, but I do not eat any honey (or other sugars) and I am interested in pollination and the pure pleasure of watching the bees.  I would like to interfere with them as little as possible. If I get a Warre hive, what is the minimum that I can safely do in the way of opening the hive/handling and interfering with the bees?
3 years ago
I never thought of being able to have a butcher come to my place. I'll look into that. I have access to some very good pork belly, and thought of grinding some of the meat half and half with pork belly to make sausage. Does that have possibilities?
I've also come across a Mexican recipe for grilled goat marinated in garlic, cumin, and oil, and that might be worth trying.
Recently I was gifted a Nubian buck kid, 5 months old, to breed my doe. He is very loud and the giver doesn't want him back😉. I was thinking of keeping him with the doe until December and then having him butchered at about 7 months. He doesn't have much bucky scent. Is the meat likely to be good? One local person has told me that no unneutered buck over 3-4 months old is edible.
Perennials that I'm currently eating include a wide assortment of wild and domestic greens including some tree leaves, a few nuts from my baby almond tree, fruits including blackberries, currants of various kinds, serviceberries, plums, peaches, and apples. Perennial/perennializing alliums are a steady thing. I eat a few sunchokes but don't care for them all that much. I am beginning to experiment with a few perennial tubers including groundnuts, but I'm just getting started and haven't tasted them yet. Would love to hear what experience others have had with them. This year I started growing Dioscorea batatas with the idea of using the arial bulbils as a perennial food source. I have no idea yet how it will turn out.
I know you excluded animals, but I'm able to feed my dairy goat largely off coppiced Siberian elms and perennial weeds. Plenty of perennials go to the chickens too.
4 years ago
Thanks Tyler, I do enjoy the green garlic ( or green leek, correctly) that they produce, but won't fool around with the bulb much further. I'm interested by your comments about their drought resistance. I'm in high-desert New Mexico where everything has to be irrigated, but they may not need all that much  extra water. I'll start experimenting with cutting back.
4 years ago
I planted my first patch of elephant garlic last fall, and in late spring I loved it as green garlic sautéed in butter or olive oil. Now the bulbs are maturing, and I am alarmed by the taste, which seems acrid and bitter to me either raw or cooked. They also froth when cooked. I will happily keep it around to eat the greens, but does anybody really like the bulbs? Is it possible that they need to be stored a while before cooking?
4 years ago
I live in high-desert New Mexico, adore shaggymanes, and seldom find them. Is there any reasonable prospect of cultivating them in garden beds, maybe with shadecloth, or in fields? Any advice about this delicious mushroom is appreciated.
4 years ago
Thanks Tony! Although none of us really knows what we're doing😉. If you get a chance, stop by my blog at www.albuquerqueurbanhomestead.com. Your season is probably shorter and cooler than mine, but there might be some similarities.
5 years ago