Waterfall in local foothills


We received our electric bill last week and were pleased to see the amount was only a couple bucks (for distribution charges). For JAN-MAR we used 200KWH and made 209 KWH (banking 9 kwh!)


We’ve been busy trying to promote some of the events here at PTF. JM and I have been putting up flyers around town — what’s weird is that at Wild Oats every Friday we tack up 15 or so posters and the next week none are left but No (nadda)calls or interest. What’s up with that??? …what a waste of paper…! So frustrating.


SoCal readers — would you like to receive some flyers about our upcoming Soap Workshop to distribute to public places (asking permission first) around your area?

If you’d like to help us spread the word, email me. We’d appreciate it — THANKS!


Guess what JC spotted in the yard on Sunday — could it be that caterpillar – now a butterfly? (See March 28th posting & photo)

Sure looks like it’s a Black Swallowtailfrom this link that Jamie passed along (Thanks!)

Right after, we also spotted aTiger Swallowtail but it didn’t stay in one place long enough from me to snap a photo. (See August 22nd post for a picture of one last year.)



On Friday, while riding in the car doing our deliveries and errands (and right before pulling into the Wild Oats parking lot) JD was discussing about not being able to handle bees this month with all the unfinished projects about the homestead. The thing is with bees, you have to order them now and with all that’s going on … it’s hard to plan for.

Anyhow, we pulled into a parking space at Wild Oats and guess what JD spotted in a tree in front of the car…. a swarm of bees!!!! Some flew into the car and JD went out to see if he could spot the queen – he’s experienced a lot of swarms before.

Our Grandmere sent us a newspaper clipping this week that she had from ’78 about JD and his bee business.

Here’s some excerpts that we enjoyed reading again:

Dervaes, who began keeping bees four years ago, said he rarely wears protective gear, but he’s been stung so often, he added “it’s like a nick after awhile.”

“Some old timers work their hives without their shirts.” Dervaes explained. “It’s just a matter of being at ease with them.  If you are gentle, the bees respond to that.”

…. But the stings, or “nicks” can keep neither Dervaes nor his daughter from the hives.

“She plays with them until she gets stung,” Dervaes said of his daughter, who had been stung twice.

…. The bees zoomed over his head as Dervaes explained why he became a beekeeper four years ago, while he was living in New Zealand.

“I started on a little farm, ” he said, “where there wasn’t too much land. I thought of it was a way to not have land but be a farmer, too.”

After purchasing several hives, he said, “people call you up and say there’s a swarm over here, or a swarm over there. So you run around trying to capture them.”

When Dervaes came back to the states, he had to start from scratch, but he now has approximately 500,000 bees….

… When the bees return, Dervaes said, he robs the hives. “Rob” is the beekeeper’s buzzword for extracting the honey.

“But you always leave some for them, ” he said… “If you are greedy , you’ll kill the hive.”

Dervaes then bottles the honey and sells it to different stores and wholesale packers.

… Dervaes said he enjoys keeping the bees as much as collecting the honey.

“They just make a roar over here, buzzing overhead to get that stuff,” he said. “It’s a happy sound.”

We had a discussion the other day on what paths to take this year. We wondered if there is any open land around here that someone would let us rent as we’d really like to expand our little farm. Then perhaps we can have bees once again, and possibly more ducks, chickens and fresh veggies to sell to our clients.

Presently, there’s still lots to do and be done on the homestead — so we should be busy for awhile! 😉


On Sunday, we picked up 20 gallons of waste veggie oil. Looks to be really good grease, they’ll have to do a titration test to determine how good.

And finally….

Don’t forget to reserve space for ourOpen Homestead — a little gathering (and potluck) for friends and so forth here at the homestead this Sunday (from 2pm-6pm)

Weather Report: WARM.

Post a comment