Welcome to Abundantly Green

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tomatoes, Eggs, Fruit.
TUESDAY FARM STORE 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. We will have eggs, tomatoes, zucchini, kale, mint, a few baby beets, and Gravenstein and King apples (only about 40 lbs). We also have about 15 pounds each of pluots, nectarines, and peaches. All certified organic. 1146 NE Madison Road, Poulsbo WA. We're about 7 miles north of Bremerton and about 3 miles east of Silverdale between the Brownsville Keyport Highway and Central Valley Road. — at Abundantly Green Certified Organic Produce.
This is a picture of the first fall zucchini of the year, a Cocozelle.
First Fall Zucchini is a cocozelle 
1:57 pm pdt

Monday, August 11, 2014

Today would have been my mother Mable Walker Holt's 99th birthday.  She died in the first days of 1982 at 66.  She was a heavy (three to four packs a day) smoker, and died from the cumulative result.  She started in high school, where men handed out cigarettes to high school kids walking to the ferry, at the age of 15.  She was an accountant before I came along.  In 1960, she became a farmer.

Straight out from the south side of the gateway to the garden from the yard where people park, now, there was a crab apple tree.  My mother and I sat beneath that tree in the afternoon one summer  as we rested from haying, and read Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, to each other.  It was the year the book first appeared as a paperback.  In another publication, Hoard's Dairyman, we read about urea (CO(NH2)2 made from cattle urine being introduced into cattle food.  I remember her telling me on many occasions that making an animal a cannibal is wrong. 

Under that tree and at the dining table over Hoard's Dairyman and other cattle magazines, she would tell me that what was being done was immoral and that my generation would pay the price.

I think that she was wise in her analysis of the situation.

11:27 pm pdt

Why are we an organic farm? Part 2: Less ADHD

Being Certified Organic by the National Organic Program (NOP) is a recordkeeping pain, especially since no one at Abundantly Green likes to do it.  However, we want to let people know that we take our commitment to organic agriculture very seriously.  I am asked often by other farmers why we spend the money and endure the recordkeeping to be NOP certified.  There are lots of reasons, and one is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  While it does not directly affect us, it has become a major problem for our society and it is linked to nerve gas, AKA organophosphates.

Organophosphates are a byproduct of war munitions.  While World War I is known for Mustard Gas, scientists were working on nerve gases.  These were used twenty years later in World War II.  After the war there was a lot of this stockpiled.  While it wasn’t exactly taken from the military warehouses and spread on the crops, the transition was speedy and without testing of the long-term effects on humans.

There are several studies on the link between organophosphates and ADHD.  Organophosphate toxicity is a greater risk for children because their “developing brain [sic] are more susceptible to neurotoxicants,” and when ingested in food, they receive a larger dose based on their body weight.  Children 6 to 11 years old have markers of organophosphate exposure in their urinary tract, and that is what was studied.  Children can also be exposed before birth. 

Children with higher urinary levels of organophosphate metabolites are more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

This study concludes: “The present study adds to the accumulating evidence linking higher levels of pesticide exposure to adverse developmental outcomes. Our findings support the hypothesis that current levels of organophosphate pesticide exposure might contribute to the childhood burden of ADHD.” 

The study is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides, published in Pediatrics, the Official Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics, in 2010.  Published online May 17, 2010 Pediatrics Vol. 125 No. 6 June 1, 2010 pp. e1270 -e1277 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-3058).

Read this for yourself. You can read the study at http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/content/125/6/e1270.full.  The study has an excellent bibliography

9:51 am pdt

Sunday, August 3, 2014

We are in the middle of the Dog Days of Summer.  It’s hot.  The grass is dying.  Apples and blackberries are ripening fast, and the bees are working hard.

However, one hive is laying up scads of honey while they are queenless, and they are not making a queens.  I wonder for whom they are making this honey.  These are summer bees with the shortest lifespan of any of the bees.  Summer bees live 6 to 7 weeks.  The winter bees that will be eating these stores live 4 to 6 months.  Without a queen, the hive will die.  So I will get a local queen from Jason, a member of our local bee club West Sound Beekeepers Association (http://www.westsoundbees.org/) the first part of the week. 

We know that there is no queen because there is no brood.  This is the hive that started to swarm, then didn’t swarm then likely swarmed.  I had taken the second box off the hive and put it on top of a partially drawn out box with 10 frames.  I use Langstroth deeps.  That hive made a queen.  My friend Mary and I inspected the hives Thursday and we found a small amount of capped brood, and a small amount of larvae.  I don’t like her coverage of the frames, but this could be all done within the past 8 days, which makes sense given when I split them from the other hive and forced them to make a queen.  I need to keep an eye on how they are laying up honey, because the queen is laying in the top box.  Lesson learned.  Put the split on the bottom.

For the now queenless hive I probably should have left more brood in the box I left behind and assumed that the queen would leave.  But I thought she would stay in the new spacious digs, since I put a drawn out but empty box on it to replace the one I removed.  The new queen should begin laying as soon as she is accepted, which is another issue.  I’m going to have to move the honey frames out of the bottom box and into the top box, and perhaps put in a queen excluder to keep her out of the honey. 

None of my hives survived last winter, so I am determined to winter over these hives successfully this year.  Mary sent me a link to a bee blog by someone named Rusty who lives in the central Puget Sound area, where I live.  I don’t know who this is.  From Rusty I learned that I need two things: a mountain camp feeder, and a ventilated inner cover that can double as a moisture quilt in the winter.  I’m quite interested in the slatted rack or brood rack, but I need to know more about it even though Rusty is very positive about it. 

I’m quite unsure how a mountain camp feed works with only newspaper to hold the dry sugar blocks and pollen patties off the frames.  The ventilated inner cover will need a piece of canvas or a screen stapled onto it.  I am thinking of using screen material, because in the winter it gets turned into the moisture quilt by adding the same type of wood shavings that we use for the chicken brooders.

The inspirational bee blog is Honey Bee Suite   (http://www.honeybeesuite.com/).  The article on overwintering bees, How-I-Overwintered-Ten-Out-Of-Ten,  can be found at http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-i-overwintered-ten-out-of-ten/.

11:26 am pdt

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Save $0.66 a pound with our chicken shares.
The best chicken you ever ate is easy to cook and healthy to eat. Fresh or frozen, no hormones and naturally juicy.
CHICKEN SHARES AG_Pix/WSDAProducer-Paths.jpg
Buy a chicken share and save.
8 whole chickens for $154.88.
Dressed chickens average 4 lbs. with no giblets
Pick them all up at one time, or spread them out over the summer.  It's what is convenient for you.
12:21 pm pdt

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