Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What do you get when you soak a log? Naming a queen

I came across my stack of shitake logs last week, and noticed that they were very, very dry.  In hopes that I could revive them, I filled a rain barrel half way, then dropped in the logs and left them to soak for about 36 hours.  I pulled them out, and three days later: presto!  Shitake mushrooms for dinner.  They were the most beautiful I have seen, and went very well stir fried with the very, very last of the sugar snap peas.  I expect a few more this week, then will soak the logs again in the fall to try and force another flush of growth.  

By this past weekend hive number three, the new swarm hive, was established and doing well.  It clearly was time to name the queen.  You may recall that the first two hive queens were named for country music stars (Loretta and Dolly), a reflection of their humble beginnings near the ground on a low bush in a trailer park.  Unable to come up with another appealing country music star, and noting that this new swarm had not worked its way up in the same manner anyway, I passed the naming torch on to my spouse.  

Our new queen is now named "Grace."  No, it is not as calm and meaningful as you think.  It's for Grace Slick.  We have moved on to rock and roll.  So now Loretta, Dolly and Grace labor on in the back yard, creating what I hope will be gallons of beautiful honey to harvest mid-month.  On a final note:  green beans are ready to pick this week!