Saturday, April 28, 2012

No Gardening Mistakes

“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.”
~ Janet Kilburn Phillips

The above quote thoroughly captures my sentiment this year (season) as we are in a new location, creating soil, growing new things, trying out new approaches to growing things, more chickens, bees, and there is probably more I am forgetting.
Here is what the lab looks like right about now...

Building Nesting Boxes. Recycled boxes were no longer doing the job. God willing this will work. Forgot to take picture of completed project. This was when I had to stop to let the drill battery recharge. Plenty of other things to do while I waited.

Chickens helping us spread out a fresh layer of straw.

The Boy spreading.

Faith thought she was making a nest but a chicken came and quickly spread it out.

This chicken boldly got in the UNfinished nesting box while I was still working on it. Sheeesh.

We now have bees. Praise God. The wooden block is no longer positioned in front and they seem to be happy in their new space. We plan to check on them in a few days. Hoping to see larvae.

Even the chickens get happy when I go to the Farmers' Market, they usually get treats too.

Lettuce, beets, and carrots. the beets and some of lettuce is still hard to see.

Pole beans

Bush Beans, tomatoes, spinach, pepper, onions, and more lettuce.

Onions, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, basil, african basil, pepper.


Cleaned the eggs
*The photo at very top is of Nasir planting corn. As he said, "We have to plant corn."  He planted seeds and transplants. Inshallah his plot will be very productive. He planted corn and zucchini and will also probably plant green beans. (the three sisters).
The Boy and I planting corn. This photo was intentional, but it was based on a real moment that came and went that I thought would be nice to try to capture.

This is not from today but I had to throw in a picture of our artist who also enjoys the backyard in her way. She found the perfect spot for that table.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Holy Quran: Surah 16: The Bee

Posing after the fact.She was the PERFECT "client" for us.

I am beyond tired but I am so excited about so many of the developments going on in my world my brain will not turn off. I guess I will make the best of it.
One of My Swarm Lures.
There are many stories that can be relayed. I guess I will start with The Boy's swarm capture. I can't start at the beginning for that would be too much to relate. I believe the beginning would be a few years back when I first began to long for bees... not necessarily for honey but for them to help pollinate my plants. Anyway, a few things have transpired since then. I would love to just skip to yesterday but to better understand yesterday at the very least I have to tell you about 3 weeks ago (roughly--haven't been keeping a garden log, although I need to).
About 3 weeks ago I made 2 swarm lures. Let The Bees Come To You 
Another Swarm Lure

I followed the instructions given, set out lures, and begin to doubt if it would work. It is not supposed to be an instant thing. I wasn't doubting because it didn't work after 2-3 weeks, trust me. I could explain why but that is neither here nor there. Nonetheless, I have also began to refocus on making sure I have inner peace and with that you MUST be mindful of the energy you are putting out into the environment.
Now fast forward to yesterday morning.
I was blessed to get out into the backyard to do much need garden work. As I was out there I was praying (pep talks) for Him to help me overcome this feeling of doubt because I realize it is bigger than bees. I chose this method so the least I can do is wholeheartedly believe in it... for a season :) . Put the right energy out there. I was sincere and earnest in trying to overcome what I was feeling and what I know to be true.
Some of the thoughts I had:
Gearing Up
You know with the right mindset if God wants you to catch bees you will catch bees. Be and It is. You are doing the work. Get Your Mind Right. on and on  and on. (While Simultaneously replaying recent events that clearly show that God is intricately involved in my affairs).

The children and I continue to work in garden until 12:45. We were in the house wrapping up our homework session about 3:30ish when the phone rang. I asked Faith to answer the phone. Anyone knows I rarely, if ever, answer it. She does, can't make out what the person is saying and thrusts the phone in my face with frustration. The lady and I dialogue. She has a bunch of bees on her balcony and needs someone (ME) to come remove them. She is frightened but not panicky; just in need of help, ASAP. I explain that I am new but would love to come assess so that I can let her know if I can do the job. We set a time.

bees are in the table

(Stop here and think on what has transpired... you get it? We must be mindful of our thoughts. We all know but reminder is GREAT!) In less than 4 hours God saw it fit to bless me with bees, surrounded by sheer perfection, because I sincerely was trying to get my mind right. I felt like He was saying, "You want bees, here, that is nothing in relation to what awaits you if you continue on this journey of striving hard to be one with Me."
Moving on... The Boy and I assess the situation realize we can do it. He wanted to do it right then and there, but I had another obligation and didn't want to rush it. We rescheduled to return in the evening when it is supposed to be a better time anyway. We drove away excited and replaying the events, research, and game plan, including the prayers I had that very morning. I also called a friend that has been been keeping bees for a few years to get a phone consultation. Soulflowerfarm. This was our first time out so I wanted to be sure, especially since I didn't want to traumatize The Boy in anyway. The way he has responded to all our hands-on sessions and the assessment I knew he was going to be in on this.
As the time approaches to go collect the swarm we say prayers, go over rules, get him ALL geared up and simply talk.
We have been bonding around bees for a few months now. I never knew it would play out like this. Beautiful in so many ways.
We get there, set up our equipment and begin to work. I wish I was able to  take pictures or even video it but our hands were full. The reality is he did most of the work. I trusted in his abilities and knowledge and let him take the lead. We dialogued as partners in this, valuing what we both bring to the table. We were successful in more ways than just catching bees. I thank God for allowing this to happen. And all the people He has placed in our lives to get us to this point. In hindsight, yes, there are definitely things I would have done slightly different but those are minor details. And should we do another one, God willing it will be that much better. Although it will be pretty hard to top this.

The Boy with his box of bees.

spraying sugar water

He wanted to take a piece of honey comb.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I am still processing it all. There is so much more I could tell but this is not the space to write a book. I just wanted to share our joy and inspire others, regardless of age.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Celebrate in Others Their Finest Qualities

Greetings! I write that with a huge smile. It has been a while, yet again, that I have blogged. My intent was/is to blog once a week but stuff and/or so many thoughts and projects are swirling around in my head that I do not stop to make the time to organize them to share. So what I came up with to help me is to maybe just start with a quote that resonated with me from the week and try to apply it to my life, since I can generally be found reading and trying to apply it to my day-to-day anyway.

Here goes, one of the books I am currently reading is 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It is a good simple read. It resonates with a lot of the teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. For instance, the title of this post came from that book which is the same as saying settle on the best part. I like the word celebrate. I would like to think that most times I try to settle on the best part of others but I do not necessarily celebrate. Although the two words are quite similar and for some they may celebrate while settling, I have not reached that level just yet. So, I am publicly putting it out there that you all can help me CELEBRATE the finest qualities in others, and myself! I think that will bring on a much happier existence for all involved.
So what does it mean to celebrate someone?
Feel free to answer this via the comment section because I am not going to try to cover the full scope. But the top 4 things that come to my mind. (Why 4? Foundation)
1. Don't Judge
2. Encourage/Inspire
3. INTENTIONALLY send positive energy their way
4. Accept what they are willing and able to give lovingly and with a smile

I think this is all I want to say for now.
May God continue to bless us all,
Oh, Don't know how to turn image.

Oh every post needs a picture so I decided to add this one. I am celebrating that my chicks are laying eggs...small, but laying. (Party over here). Inshallah, we will be getting those large eggs real soon.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Heaven on Earth

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.
D. Elton Trueblood
One of my goals for this garden is to be able to sit there and enjoy. Not to only focus on all the work that needs to be done but actually use it as a place of rest and relaxation as well as a source of food for our home.

Think I want to just explain photos this go round. Not feeling too wordy but feel like posting something.

The Boy playing with his end of the semester rewards. Found all those planes from an older homeschooler for $10.

I participated in American Lung Association Stair Climb.

My supportive escort

Thinking, "At least we can still read."

Thinking, "I love my mom."

This is it, Bank of America building in San Francisco.

This photo made me realize that my eldest is REALLY taller than me. i was trying to capture a great father-daughter moment but by the time i got the stool to stand on the moment I wanted to capture was gone.

This is in hopes to catch a swarm of bees.

In position.

Another one. I think I am going to move this closer to the pear trees.

My little citrus orchard.

This is a future herb garden... I think.

This should heat things up a little bit.

Chalkboard in hopes to better monitor egg production.

Going to bed. Peace to all!