June was a busy month on Must Bee Kiddin’ Farm. On the cusp of completing our first year of our farming adventure, June had a lot of hard work and a surprise or two in store for us.
This past June saw the arrival of a future herd sire. We had been casually looking for a buck for quite a while, but the search kicked into high gear in May. We did find a nice buckling in Georgia, but before making any “ buck trek” we committed to staying as local as possible with our buying decisions. We believe in trying to support as many other local farms and ventures as possible, and when it comes to livestock, locally adapted is usually a better choice.
In late May and made we visited a local farmer that had some kiko bucklings for sale. Fortunately, we were able to find a good fit for our herd from his current stock selection. This was nice since it saved us from the Georgia “buck trek”.
On June 7th we picked up the kiko buck tagged 608. 608 spent the rest of the month finding his niche in the herd. He’s the ever-present figure lurking the herd fringe among the twisted live oak shadows. 608 is Shadowman.
The bees on the farm have been on quite a ride this year. Several of the nucleus hives that were looking promising in the early spring have crashed. Although this sounds bad, the few that have made it are flourishing and will result in a good foundation for future hive expansion on the farm. Overall, our hives are looking good with our overall hive numbers growing. Early June is the last “easy” period for honey bees in our area. The days become long and hot. Summer’s dog days take over. After the early June honey harvest (not much of one this year) it’s pretty much a waiting game as the summer dearth takes hold. Late June becomes a time of scant blooms, intense heat and waiting, waiting, waiting…
As June turns up the heat and frequent showers drench the afternoons in our area of Florida, the work tends to slow a bit. There’s a solid six hour window where one can get a lot done, but once late morning melts into early afternoon it’s best to play things on the loose side. This time of year Thor welds the skies and uses Florida as his anvil. Making ambitious gains in the larger projects is something that can be hard to come by.
But, with all that being said, we made solid progress on finalizing the driveway into the farm. Several towering pines were felled and the drive’s final shape took hold. Completing the driveway is the primary project on the agenda right now. Once it’s completed we’ll be able to drive right into the middle of the property. This will make things super easy for dropping off any building materials as well as cut down on a lot of the daily leg work.
There’s always a bunch of little things happening and June was no exception. We finally got the bamboo we purchased in late April into the ground. All the varieties chosen are clumping bamboos, not running bamboos. We planted giant timber bamboo (bambusa oldhamii), graceful bamboo (bambusa textilis gracilis), and golden goddess (bambusa multiplex). Bamboo is a foundation planting on Must Bee Kiddin’ Farm which means it will satisfy many roles on the farm. Another good reason to get it in the ground!
The last week of June we were notified by the county tax assessor that the Must Bee Kiddin' Farm property will receive an agricultural designation. This was outstanding news. Obtaining agricultural status for the property was a primary goal for the property in year one. We can now say that goal has been achieved. The agricultural designation was a critical detail that is essential for green-lighting our farm's expansion.
We also purchased an incubator in June and made contact for obtaining hatching eggs. The incubator is a simple table top model, but it's the start of our poultry division plans.
We told ya'll this farming thing was going to get out of hand! //mr
In 2014 a couple of 40-somethings decided to make a change. The purchase of 10 raw, pine scrub acres along Florida's Nature Coast started it all. This is that story.