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Friday, August 12, 2016

Thoughts for Friday

Hello and welcome!

Let's start right off with what's blooming in the garden! This is a Turtlehead bush; strange name, I know. Apparently it gets it's name because the flower looks like the head of a turtle (no worries, I'm not seeing it either.) This is a perennial plant which is awesome, but even better, it requires very little maintenance and by very little, I mean, damn near none! Once a year in the late Fall, I whack the bush back to the ground and miraculously every spring it grows back. Come mid to late summer it blooms and the bees love it.

Speaking of bees, I'm sure you've heard, our honey bee population is being decimated. Chemicals, drought, air pollution, global warming, and other factors have all taken their toll on the bees.  Easy enough to dismiss as they aren't nearly as exotic as a polar bear or as cute as a harp seal, however these bees...they are IMPORTANT!

Take my pumpkin plant as an example.  See the shriveled little pumpkin?  Apparently this was caused by a lack of pollination.  The female flower bloomed, the male flower bloomed, but no little honey bee was around to spread the male flower's pollen onto the female flower.  What's left is a sad, little, deflated pumpkin that never had a chance to grow into the Great Pumpkin it could have been.

We've taken this situation into our own hands now and we've been performing the duty of the honey bees ourselves.  What that translates to is getting up early to time the opening of the female flower, then using the male flower's stamen (complete with pollen) and rubbing it around the female flower.

Here's a video for a better description:

All this pollinating has left it's mark on me and I'm oddly perusing the male pumpkin flowers of my neighbors wondering if their stamen is bigger or better.  Needless to say, we need to do something about this bee problem and quick!  If you use pesticides in your garden, please stop and if you have some extra space to plant, try planting the Turtlehead bush, the bees love it!

We got some exciting news this week in our fair city.  One of our favorite breweries opened shop here in Portland!  Double Mountain Brewery is now open and serving beer and pizza (the Truffle Shuffle pizza is to DIE FOR!)!  We'll be making our way to check it out soon.

I had a busy weekend last week making soap.  I replenished my stock of Peppermint and Honey Safflower goats' milk soaps.

I made a slight change to the Peppermint soap, I added menthol to it! Prepare yourself for an AWAKENING shower or bath with this bar!  I've also noticed the menthol seems to have brought out the peppermint scent even better.

Both bars will be in the online store soon!

Have a great weekend and get out there and do something good for the honey bees!  Check back Monday, I've got a great drink recipe you'll want to try!

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