More nature musings from Barry, our resident Bee Green blogger….
It’s the beginning of September as I write. I’ve begun to notice a chill on my early morning bike ride to Naish Farm. The mist rolling off the fields on September mornings in Dorset is breathtaking.
September marks the beginning of our apple harvest here at Honeybuns. I’ve noticed a few windfalls dropping around the orchard; these little fruits are eagerly snaffled by wasps, thrushes and the Honeybuns team.
The orchard holds a stately resident tree which produces sweet cider apples. It’s our most elderly apple tree and is a beauty through all the seasons. The majority of our fruit trees have been planted in the last five years. We have a mixture of varieties. My peculiar favourite is the Russet; a nutty apple with a thicker skin than most varieties. In Shakespeare’s day he referred to them as leather coats; they get a little mention in Henry IV part 2.
We’re hoping one of the keen bakers will make this Dorset Apple Cake from our first cook book, for the team to enjoy.
Green fingered Graham is busy tending his pride and joy – his vegetable patch is always bountiful.
The team has been treated to pickings from this veg patch all summer. The carrots will be ready to pull up any day now, perhaps we should revive the Honeybuns Carrot Cake recipe-
The poly tunnel is bursting at the seams. The tomatoes are losing their green sheen, I can see some courgettes peeking out and the peppers are nearly ready. We really are lucky peeps here at Honeybuns!
The resident bees are beginning to prepare for winter. The workers are out searching for the last flowering plants of the summer. It’s a bleak month for the colonies drones. They are the few male bees in a hive; their sole job is to mate with the Queen. They live a pampered existence; they do no work and are fed honey by the workers. In September most of the drones have died. The few survivors are driven out by the colonies long suffering workers. Power to the people indeed! September is the peak of the honey harvest for bee keepers. I will keep you updated on Jacqui’s honey bonanza.
The fledgling wood we have established is flourishing. It was planted on our Big Dig day in October 2014 by volunteers and Honeybuns team members. In one day we planted 420 native trees supplied by the Woodland Trust. Many of the saplings were planted in memory of loved ones. We do our best to take care of these young trees. The tall grass is regularly cut back so it doesn’t compete for light or soil nutrients with the trees. Thankfully most of the plantings have survived and are now tall enough to peer above the grasses reach.