Here was a surprise development. Joe and I had joked for some time about the need for a tractor on the farm, with me saying it would be years before we got to that expense. In the spring of 2011, our well guy called us to say he had a 1957 Ford tractor for sale that he’d bought off a local farmer and would we be interested? The next thing we knew we were trying out the tractor on our field. It came with its own brush hog and scraper so we would be able to do our own field maintenance and eliminate the expense and hassle of hiring a farmer to mow down the vegetation every few months.
You’d have no idea how much fun it is to drive a tractor! We both took turns and fell in love with it. Now we are the proud owners of “Timmy the Tractor”. (Joe said if he could keep it, I could name it.) The first time I drove it for about an hour and could hardly bend my legs for the next two days. There is something about balancing myself as I bounce over the fields that uses my thigh muscles in a way they just are not used to.
Another new development on the farm was that we began our first season of beekeeping. In 2010, we had joined a bee club to learn about it and took a class from our friend, Dr. Larry Connor, who is a world-renowned bee expert. The class covered an entire season with us each keeping our own hives at his farm and learning from our own hive and from those of our classmates who also started hives at Larry’s farm. What a great way to learn! Even though all of us were within 100 yards of each other, we saw a wide variety of things happening in each colony. Some were very healthy and vigorous and others sickly from the get-go. All had come from the same source in Georgia so who knows what caused the variation but it helped us all because we could observe all kinds of situations and learn what beekeepers have to do to deal with them.
In the late fall of 2010 we packed up our two hives and a little “nuc” colony and moved them down to our own farm. That’s a whole other story that I may tell later under a different category. Anyway, here we were in the spring of 2011 starting up a new year with our honeybee colonies in their new home. Things were beginning to take form on Bluestem Pond Farm.