January 30th: Apples in the South?

I recently made a post o the farm’s Facebook page about some apple trees we plant as part of our USDA Conservation Stewardship Program. One of the comments was about how nice it would be if we could do fall apple picking, “like they do up north.” Well, folks, it may be that we canContinue reading “January 30th: Apples in the South?”

January 28th: Bird Feeder

If you have a bird feeder you know what I mean when I say it is more entertaining than a TV. And that as a hobby it can easily creep into an expensive obsession. Though small, your ever-hungry avian visitors consume large amounts of food–we now buy it in 40 pound bags. Then there areContinue reading “January 28th: Bird Feeder”

January 15th: A winter reminder

It’s been tees & shorts weather for a week, but two light freezes have reminded us to keep the insulated coveralls at the ready. And we are, ready that is. Pipes are insulated, plants are mulched, and heaters are going in the barn for the chicks and in the greenhouse for the seedlings. Yesterday, theContinue reading “January 15th: A winter reminder”

January 11th: The Planting Calendar

“Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.” ~RUMI It got up to a balmy 72℉ today. On Friday the low is forecast to be 33℉. That is our Gulf Coast winter–schizophrenic–but mild enough still that we are able to grow vegetables year-round. A lotContinue reading “January 11th: The Planting Calendar”

January 9th: A Happy Marriage of Conservation & Commerce

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” ~John James Audubon. Today we are planting trees at the apiary. And if you farm or dream of farming, or know someone who does, you will want to pay attention to this storyContinue reading “January 9th: A Happy Marriage of Conservation & Commerce”

January 6th: The Pri¢e of Egg$

“Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.” ~Sam Ewing Although we initially intended to just raise bees, here at Big Branch Apiary we have four main products that bring in revenue. In order of least to most lucrative, they are:Continue reading “January 6th: The Pri¢e of Egg$”

January 4th: The Trolley Question

“I’m a fun father, but not a good father. The hard decisions always went to my wife.” ~John Lithgow Many of you are probably familiar with the Trolley Question, an ethical quandary first posited in the 1960s regarding right and wrong, and taking action (or not) for the greater good. The scenario goes like this:Continue reading “January 4th: The Trolley Question”

January 3rd: WWOOF

“If I’m ever reborn, I want to be a gardener – there’s too much to do for one lifetime.” ~ Karl Foerster Before Big Branch Apiary we lived in a suburb on the outskirts of New Orleans. It was a lovely house that backed up to the Mississippi River and had a second-story balcony acrossContinue reading “January 3rd: WWOOF”

January 2nd: Hangry and armed with a Stinger

“The bee is domesticated but not tamed.” ~ William Longgood A week and a half ago I put out a feeder to see if the bees were hungry. Also a week and a half ago the Gulf Coast hadn’t plunged into sub-freezing temps. Though a lesser version of their summer splendor, flowers were still bloomingContinue reading “January 2nd: Hangry and armed with a Stinger”

January 1st: Have a Plan

“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.” ~ Abraham Maslow In 2020 my husband and I purchased what would become Big Branch Apiary, roughly 46 acres of dense, ancient forest nestled against a wildlife refuge an hour’s drive north from New Orleans. Within two years of purchasing theContinue reading “January 1st: Have a Plan”