Weather conditions in the Midwest and more specifically here at the TomKat have been rainy, cool, stormy, hot, mild ,cold and foggy. But never-mind that was just yesterday!! Hopefully we are over the spring hump, the rains will slow down and the sun will heat things up and dry out the pastures. No one around here has been able to cut much hay or just brush-hog their fields without risk of bogging out your equipment (gettn' the tractor stuck)
The produce situation on the TomKat for this spring is very slim. Most of the spinach was frosted and a lot of the cold weather veggies did not make it past the mid May freeze. We noted that the temperature up near the houe has been, on several different mornings, 3-5 degrees warmer than in the valley where our southern gardens are located . Elevation, wind, and fog play key factors in the difference. Much like some Vineyards. Two mornings in a row that difference was 34 degrees at the Barn and 39 at the house and enough to do a lot of damage. We considered smudge pots or a small bon-fire but ended up just watching the temp do its thing
The Tomato crop looks strong with several varieties of Heirlooms to offer beginning in mid July. The Herbs look good too although we did not plant many. (Greenhouse not ready). The Blackberries look fantastic, as does the pear/apple tree.
The Spring Honey, we think, is going to be tough for the same reasons as the produce, with the number of below 50 degree days in April and May far outnumbering the ones above 50. A lot of rainy, downright chilly days kept the girls from foraging early when there was plenty of bloom. Despite the weather several of the Colonies have shown significant population growth! Most likely due to a lot of supplemental feeding and being unable to do much other than make bees. We now as of June 6th have only 2 honey supers in place, both here at home. The Colonies at the Everett farm down the road are exceptionally strong and will get hone supers next week. The others scattered about are doing pretty well, just not well enough for those early supers that yield that superb spring honey.
Overall we should have 100-150lbs of Spring Honey. Small to medium amounts of beans, radishes, beets, and red lettuce. With good amounts of zuccini, cucumbers and peppers. all available in Mid July followed by tomatoes and blackberries.