A walk in the hill

We take pictures of each other a lot but we have very few pictures of us together. Thank you Leslie Liu for these photos. Capturing us in these unguarded moments, when we are most natural. 我們很少有兩人出現在同一個鏡頭的照片。好喜歡這兩張照片,都不知道被拍所以這麼自然。

Photo credit : Leslie Liu 劉芳

Beekeeping 非零農場養蜂班正式成立

By Emma Chen
10/19()~10/20()到農場放置蜂箱, 養蜂班(beekeepig) 正式成立~~實習養蜂人為我和阿德二枚, 養蜂老師為DC, 實際跟過一次才知道養蜂學問大呀~~
Beekeeping experiment in Dulan
Beekeeping experiment in Dulan
第一天下午抵達, 先去買一些需用的五金材料,還好有阿德在地人載著我們直接殺去農用五金行, 一次買齊所有物品, 包含墊高用的箱子, 膠帶, 手套, 遮陽版..哩哩扣扣。
原本預定放蜂箱的地方尚未整理,因此也先放在較平的地方,隔日開箱檢查後再定位
第二天抵達農場時, DC安排流程為:先開箱檢查->整理環境砍草等等->蜂箱定位, 因為如果先做體力活, 身上流了汗再去開箱, 有汗水吸引,蜜蜂會容易來叮咬, 所以也被交代了不能噴香水,塗精油等等有香氣的東西在身上, 尤其也不能使用含有檸檬香茅的防蚊液, 因為其中含有類似蜜蜂之間溝通的費洛蒙, 噴了不會被蚊子咬, 但是蜜蜂會來親你
一一開箱檢查蜜蜂數量, 是否有蜂王及狀態是否良好, 花粉/蜂蜜/蜂子之數量,是否有王台形成與決定要不要留下新王。
DC說買蜂回來開箱檢查就像開寶箱, 因為有些蜂農會把狀態不好的蜜蜂集成一箱賣出, 我們買到的三箱蜜蜂, 隨機編號1~3, 竟然就蜂量由少至中等, 幸好都有蜂王且活動及產子狀態都不錯, 但花粉量都較少, 可能之前的蜂場蜜源較少, DC準備了蜜蜂的蛋糕餵牠們,以度過這段時間, 搬到非零農場後, 附近大花咸豐草正開花, 還有一顆肉桂樹也滿樹的花苞,應該不會餓到蜜蜂;另外也觀察附近虎頭蜂狀態,放置過程中有一隻虎頭蜂一直飛來抓蜜蜂,但是都笨笨的沒成功,聽DC說這種虎頭蜂單獨行動,不會回去通知整群蜂來攻擊的,就讓人放心一些。
DC在照顧蜜蜂就像在照顧自己小孩一樣,包含溫度/氣候/位置,蜜源和天敵,以及蜂蟎防治全都考量進去
*我們的蜂兒要用百里酚百里香精油來防治蜂蟎,不用任何化學藥品。
*天氣漸冷和蜂箱片未滿,就需把出口堵掉一半幫忙保暖。

*蜜源少時要先做好蜜蜂蛋糕帶來餵, 裡面含有花粉,黃豆粉, 蜂蜜等等,試吃了一口還蠻好吃的
*最後還秤了三箱蜜蜂的重量,以供未來參考,如果定期秤重時重量減少太多時,就表示蜜蜂數量大幅減少,要去找出原因。
隔天阿德傳來影片看到蜜蜂成群很有活力的忙碌著,就放心啦~~希望下回開箱就有蜜可吃~~接下來若蜂群適應良好,預計請阿德的哥哥開始製作瓦黑蜂箱“, 11月準備幫蜜蜂換新家~瓦黑蜂箱可層疊上去,就不怕蜜蜂太大會分蜂出去了。

Beans

I planted three kinds of seeds. Snow peas, green beans and red snake beans. The local seeds have germinated but the other two imported seeds showed no action so far.  

Murder Mystery- Who done it?

There are various theories to this whodunit happening every day in my edible garden. Could it be the larvae of a type of moth? Snails? Birds? I think it might be birds because the plants were devoured from the top.

Day 4 morning

Day 3 morning Day 2 morning

Day 1

2018/10/28 Update

Last night we decided to play detective. With the torch light of our iPhones, we found the culprit. Not a bird. Not a moth. Not a rat.  It is the most common  creature in the garden, the snails!

Turns out the cure is really simple. These pellets are called 苦茶粕, the pulp of Camelia tea seeds after the oil is pressed. Snails hate them. 

Getting ready for autumn planting season

After a hectic spring and summer this year, I finally have some time to tend to our edible garden, getting it ready for the autumn planting season. There are four raised planters in the garden.

Naked House Edible Garden with four raised planters.
Naked House Edible Garden with four raised planters.
Planter 1 (left) green leafy vegetables like lettuce, arugula, coriander and cabbage. Planter 2 (right) are the climbers like tomatoes, beans and cucumber.

I got some help this morning making the trellis for the tomatoes. A bunch of bamboo sticks cost NT100. We use a total of two bunches, including the old ones from last year.

Building a trellis is not as difficult as I imagined. The trick is to soften the soil by watering it first before drilling the holes for the bamboo poles.

Done, in less than one hour. Had I done it by myself, given my inexperience, would probably take half a day.

Papa Liu has a green thumb and he brought spring onions (scallions) from his own garden.

Spring onions love the sun but not when they have just been transplanted. They need to be shaded.

Papa Liu came up with this shading system using material we have in the garden.  It is easy, adjustable and does the job!

The arugula and cabbage transplanted yesterday were wilting in the hot direct sun so we built another shading system for Planter 1.

Planter 2. These tomatoes were planted on September 25 and it’s been two weeks. They are growing though not as fast as I expected.

I soaked these beans for 24 hours before planting them. They are beans, snow peas and snake beans (our own crop from earlier this year).

Planter 3 are okra, eggplant, broccoli and broccolini.

Easy Banana Cake recipe

When the bananas are popping out of their skin, it is  time to bake banana cake. This is a simple recipe that is really easy to make. 

Ingredients

• 125 g butter
• 1/2 cup caster sugar (or 80g palm sugar)
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• 2 eggs
• 3 bananas mashed ripe
• 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
• 1/4 cup milk

( Self raising flour = I cup all purpose + 2 teaspoon baking powder + 0.25 teaspoon fine salt )

Directions

 1 . Melt the butter, sugar and vanilla in a medium sized saucepan.
2 . Remove from heat.
3 . Add mashed bananas and stir through until just blended.
4 . Add eggs and mix in well. Stir in flour, add milk and mix lightly.
5 . Bake at 170C for approximately 40 minutes.