After having a small family Thanksgiving at Rosewood we headed to Oak Moon on Friday morning. It was time to pull out the boxes of Christmas decorations and put away what was still out for the harvest celebrations. Lights on the lamp post, replace the wreath on the front door, mantle changes and such. With the early Thanksgiving this year it’s too early to put natural roping up yet or it will be burned out by the time Christmas gets here so that will be something to do next weekend.
The Christmas tree was another story. I should have gotten it up and decorated but instead worked on blowing the leaves from much of the yard into the field we’ll burn to rid it of buffalo grass and make it ready for apples, pears and persimmons next spring. I’ll still need to spread lime there again before it gets too much like winter but again, that’s another story for another weekend. Anyway, I split the time between inside and outside and that was nice. We have a new swag for the bedroom hearth and it looks great with the lights.
The other priority this weekend was racking the first batch of wine I’ve ever made. Last weekend I started a Pinot Grigio kit (WineExpert World Vineyards) and primary fermentation was complete. Cleaning and sanitizing took longer than I expected, what a surprise, but in the end, I think things worked out as needed. Now I’ve got a couple of weeks to wait until it’s time to start clarifying.
I’m not really sure how the wine will turn out but I need to get the process down so why wait, right? It’s going to be several years before I could have any useable harvest from grapes grown at Oak Moon even if I get a vineyard started in 2019 so by working with kits for a while I’ll be good and ready to make the jump to wine making from fresh grapes. And drinking a wine I made, regardless of where the juice came from, would be pretty nice.
I talked with the Department of Conservation and the USDA and it looks like I should be able to put a pond in somewhere north of the house. So I got in touch with the Wrights and Frank came over and recommended the spot. To do it we’ll need to get additional land but that would be good for the trust as it would provide it some income to pay for taxes and insurance. Too early to know everything for sure but when it’s all done Oak Moon Farm / Trust could look like this.
The pond would be just south and west of the small group of trees to the north. It will probably be a few months before all is worked out but it’s exciting to imagine how this would look sitting in the porch.
Also started making the first bee hive and pulled in what will likely be the end of the herb harvest. Finally getting a freeze so while it’s late, fall is certainly on the way.
After doing some research and talking with the folks at Isabees I figured out where I’ll put my first two hives. While it looks like there’s nothing but pasture there now, I’ve put pine trees (shortleaf and pitch loblolly) to the north of where the hives will go. I cut a path through the tall grass to get there. I’ll put the Washington Hawthorns to the west so some years in the future they will provide a little shade in the afternoon. To the south is part of our leach field so I’ll put clover and goldenrod there. I can’t do much else because of the pipes underground but the area should be naturally fertilized! 🙂
We spun out the frames Chris Bilbrey and I pulled out a few weeks ago. Came out to close to 5 gallons. I put the frames into a container and put them by the hive to get cleaned out. The girls were busy!