What I've Learned After 3 Months of Beekeeping.

More often than not I get this little itch in my soul, and the only way to scratch it is to go 'balls to the walls' and get crazy obsessed.

For example, three years ago I was re-reading my favorite book and upon mention of backyard chickens, I thought "I can do that. If I child can take care of yard birds, I can." So, then I spent four months working with the City Council to pass a backyard chicken ordinance in our city.

About a year and a half ago I wanted to cut down on my refined sugar consumption and freaked out when I saw the price of local, raw honey. So I convinced my dad that he should get bees on his farm, and he was kind enough to share a little over a quart honey with me.

Of course, the whole idea of getting honey from my dad wasn't quite satisfying enough. I wanted to be immersed in the process. There was this itch that needed to be scratched. I signed up for a beekeeping series and the rest is history.

I am the proud owner of 6 pounds of bees and 2 queens, living in 2 home-built top bar beehives. 

Because of course buying the hives would have been too easy.

Week of 6/27 - Urban Homestead Meal Plan

Notice something missing from the blog yesterday? 

If not, I'll fill you in: Sarah (Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity), Aubrey (Homegrown & Healthy) and I decided to discontinue our Mostly Homemade Mondays link up until further notice. For the last couple months we simply haven't had as much participation in the link up as in previous months. While many of you enjoyed reading all of the different posts, we simply couldn't justify continuing it while only bringing in 15-20 posts for you to read. 

However, I will continue to bring you our weekly Urban Homestead Meal Plan! This will be a fun weekly installment, especially this time of year as we are eating from our backyard a lot. I will also include little life updates during these weekly meal plan posts. You know, because it's always fun to see chicken selfies. 

In this week's meal plan (which is sometimes a photo of our menu board in our kitchen, sometimes a screenshot of my Real Plans), you'll find several homegrown or local item from our urban homestead. Of course, there will be a few repeats throughout the week since we try to eat in-season and lots of leftovers for lunch. Breakfast is usually a smoothie or steel cut oats; something that can be prepared quickly in the morning. 

It might seem complicating to eat locally and in season, but we actually get the bulk of our meal plan ideas from Real Plans. You can go here to learn more!

Planting A #FeedIowaFirst Garden.

In my years as an educator, I have done a lot of volunteering. It's simply an unspoken requirement for the occupation. John and I also spent a considerable amount of time volunteering at a local animal shelter for a couple years. For the last two years we've been involved with Feed Iowa First, an organization that fights hunger in our area of Iowa by providing fresh produce to the food insecure.

(Last year we grew green onions in our front yard, and this year we grew radishes.)

Our church asked Sonia Kendrick, the woman with the vision and power behind Feed Iowa First, to speak with our congregation about creating a farm on some of the land on church property.

The rest is history, because our church is now home to a massive onion farm. In fact, we have twenty-five 100-foot rows full of a variety of onions and leeks.

Sonia and Feed Iowa First provided the seedlings and sets, and families from our congregation adopted a row (or two). We are responsible for planting, maintaining, and then harvesting the onions.

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