Ellora's Garden

Ellora's Garden This is a place for my family to share our progress towards a regenerative homesteading lifestyle. Sharing our successes and failures our love and passion.

05/12/2018
Science Channel

Honey can be very healing.

Here's why honey is being used by zookeepers to treat wounded sea turtles. (via Seeker)

Today we celebrate the life of our beautiful angel Ellora. She didn't get to stay very long but she sure had impact. She...
05/18/2017

Today we celebrate the life of our beautiful angel Ellora. She didn't get to stay very long but she sure had impact. She was is and continues to be my inspiration. We love you baby girl happy birthday β€πŸ’”πŸ’—πŸ‘£πŸ‘Ό

Bees and blossoms it is most certainly spring!
05/12/2017

Bees and blossoms it is most certainly spring!

Picked up a mite mauler and ankle biter queen πŸ‘‘ here to diversifying my apiarys genetics!
05/07/2017

Picked up a mite mauler and ankle biter queen πŸ‘‘ here to diversifying my apiarys genetics!

05/04/2017

These girls got a new queen. I pulled the old queen in the morning and put a new queen in. If you notice how they are fanning their wings with their bums up this is to draw the queens scent through the hive πŸπŸπŸπŸ‘‘πŸ‘‘πŸ‘‘ long live the queen!

And the nectar is flowing! These are locusts blossoms they smell amazing taste delish and the bees love the nectar good ...
05/03/2017

And the nectar is flowing! These are locusts blossoms they smell amazing taste delish and the bees love the nectar good times ahead. On another note allergy sufferers honey can help relieve some pollen allerge symptomes but be sure you are truly getting local raw honey and the best way to do that is to support your local beekeeper directly! Shop local support small business and your community whenever possible. Happy spring!

There may be some bees in this hive lol 1 deep and two medium boxes and they all look like this. Took forever to go thro...
03/23/2017

There may be some bees in this hive lol 1 deep and two medium boxes and they all look like this. Took forever to go through because I couldn't see the frames through the bees lol

Ellora's Garden
03/16/2017

Ellora's Garden

03/03/2017

A look between the frames of a hive. The paper at the bottom is where Theo hives were combined and the paper separated them until they had a chance to get used to each other.

Can you find the queen?
03/02/2017

Can you find the queen?

5 Things You Didn't Know About Honey
03/02/2017
5 Things You Didn't Know About Honey

5 Things You Didn't Know About Honey

Honey isn't just a sweet treat; it has powerful medicinal uses so make sure you choose raw, unfiltered honey.

02/09/2017

I need feedback! Please take a moment to comment. I am gathering information to launch our plant nursery business (hopefully for 2018.) I do not plan on doing annual garden plants (tomatoes, peppers etc) more of the herbal/edible/unique types. What kind of plants do you/ would you like to buy? Edible landscaping bushes and trees, Annual flowers, Perennial flowers, shade trees, house plants. Would you buy online and have them shipped or do you prefer plant fairs and farmers markets? Final question - would you be more interested in young inexpensive plants (5-15$) or more mature fruit bearing plants/trees? Thanks in advance!

02/08/2017

Went out today and all the bees are buzzing right along. So far so good.

01/23/2017
Geezer Ridge Farm

Geezer Ridge Farm

Unfortunately with this evenings weather after-school activities have been cancelled with our school system. That means for us the facility we use for our lecture series is no longer available. We will be pushing tonight's lecture with the University of Maryland to next month. If anyone has any questions feel free to give us a call and drive safe on your way home tonight. Will post a date when confirmed, what we posted late this afternoon looks like a wash due to the holiday .

01/15/2017
Geezer Ridge Farm

Great local resource :-)

JAN 23RD 7PM GEEZER RIDGE FARM BEEKEEPING LECTURE SERIES WILL BE HOSTING THE DIRECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND VANENGFELSDORP BEE LABORATORY.

JAN 23RD 7PM HEDGESVILLE WV

The University of Maryland vanENGELSDORP Bee Laboratory is in the process of developing a new way to examine management survey data on their website. The new version will be easy to navigate and will include all of the management data (like mite treatments, feeding type, etc). The director or the Lab, Karen Rennich will be rolling out the the new program at our January meeting. We will be meeting on the 4th Monday this month Jan 23rd due to the holiday on the 16th
As always the lecture is FREE AND OPEN TO ALL regardless of club affiliation or state or residence. The Geezer Ridge Bee Group is affiliated with and supports the West Virgina Beekeepers Association.
if you have any questions please call 304-702-3848 or email [email protected]
James Rumsey Technical Institute is located at 3274 Hedgesville Rd Martinsburg WV

01/14/2017

I would like to put some feelers out to my Facebook friends and family to see if there are any local berkeley springs folks that would like to have some of my hives on their property. We would write up a contract, I would do the inspections maintenance etc... you get the pollination and if you want to learn beekeeping you can help with inspections and feeding etc... then if you want to take over we can work something out (discounted price for the hive, portions of the honey production etc...) Let me know :-)

Ellora's Garden's cover photo
01/13/2017

Ellora's Garden's cover photo

It's been a wild summer and fall. The bees are doing amazing! We went from 2 packages to 5 hives! We started volunteerin...
11/11/2016

It's been a wild summer and fall. The bees are doing amazing! We went from 2 packages to 5 hives! We started volunteering at the community garden and have met some wonderful people and harvested delicious produce. We picked up some end of season produce sales to stock up for winter. I apologize for the lack of updates I have focused on action vs records this year. I will be posting much more regularly starting January because I have filed the paperwork to be a legit business and we will start ramping up next year for 2018 to me our first "all in" year :-) these are exciting times! I'll post again soon -love Ellora's Garden

Bee hive? You mean this isn't a perch?
08/15/2016

Bee hive? You mean this isn't a perch?

07/26/2016

Calling all tech minded friends. I need info on Raspberry Pi, here is my idea- I want to be able to record the humidity and temp. inside my Beehives, once I can do that I would like to expand to recording weight information and possibly put a motion sensor at entrance. With this Data I can record trends and identify problems earlier this will hopefully put me more in tune with my Bee girls and help me to develop better local real time management for me. Here is the catch- I am not tech savvy, I can run windows and navigate the internet but I know very little about writing code. So tips to sources or suggestions on the model to use or if you are local and can do this with me for a fee let me know. If you are already doing this and have advice please let me know how it is working for you. I am not real confident I can learn this on my own just from you tube so any help would be greatly appreciated. Everything I do will be open source Feel free to share - Thank you!

You know how hard it is to take a pic of these girls with a pen in your teeth phone in one hand and frame in another lol...
07/21/2016

You know how hard it is to take a pic of these girls with a pen in your teeth phone in one hand and frame in another lol. They are doing so well I had to split them so now there are 4woohoo!

Let's talk bread mix. Make your own and bread baking gets much easier! One day of being flour covered can lead to many d...
07/20/2016

Let's talk bread mix. Make your own and bread baking gets much easier! One day of being flour covered can lead to many days of delicious bread even when you are busy and tired. All you need is a tried and true recipe, jars, measuring tools, labels and your dry ingredients.

07/17/2016

I couldn't find the original post, I think it might have been on my own page however I wanted to give an update on fermenting chicken feed.

Fermenting chicken feed works extremely well. But it does have one an unintended consequence. Now I can't get the birds back in their tractor because they're not hungry they ignore all the treats. I let them go without feed for a whole day hoping to call them in tonight and it's worse then herding cats. Now let's rewind to before fermenting feed. I used to Feed an area blend of seeds and grains "scratch" type feed if you will. The girls loved it but it had corn and soy gmo so we switched to nongmo pellets. The girls eat it but aren't in love with it. Oddly the feed also seemed to make them hungrier. Then I began fermenting. The pellets turn to slop. I have to admit that I felt bad feeding it to the birds. Although they seem to love it and I like how it gives them extra water in their feed so I know they're well hydrated in heat. Now I mix my own scratch grain with some pellets thrown in for good measure. So let's talk numbers so my flock is two sets of 18 birds so that's 36 Birds Total 1 set is almost 3 months old the other is adult laying hens. Now depending on whether you go with the school thought of one quarter pound of feed per bird or a third pound of feed per bird how many birds should eat about between 9 and 12 pounds of feed a day. Which to be honest my Birds free range and so they are probably on the lower end of that number I can say that I have been experimenting with four to 5 pounds of my own seed blend fermented and it's too much food it is looking like my summer number may be very low indeed. I think that summer is skewing the numbers in favor of fermenting due to supplemental bugs and plants. However I am not complaining less feed is less feed. The maintenance- figuring out how much food I need to feed per day is going to go a long way into setting up a system that can be maintained easily unfortunately figuring this out means experimenting with different numbers I'll let you know how it works out. TTFN

Sorry so long without any pictures had a little bit of photo technical difficulties here are a few with a promise of mor...
07/16/2016

Sorry so long without any pictures had a little bit of photo technical difficulties here are a few with a promise of more to come

Photos from Ellora's Garden's post
06/09/2016

Photos from Ellora's Garden's post

Photos from Ellora's Garden's post
06/01/2016

Photos from Ellora's Garden's post

Photos from Ellora's Garden's post
05/03/2016

Photos from Ellora's Garden's post

Here's a quick update
04/15/2016

Here's a quick update

Trying my hand at hardwood cuttings. Fingers crossed I have mulberry, elderberry, hazelnut, forsythia, and butterfly bus...
03/05/2016

Trying my hand at hardwood cuttings. Fingers crossed I have mulberry, elderberry, hazelnut, forsythia, and butterfly bushes started. Getting some goji cuttings and white mullberries cuttings in the mail any day now:-) Gary had to cut down and old pear out front. I got a pair of grafting cutters for Christmas so I grafted on to the suckers for practice and to experiment. Stared some plum wine from last year's harvest. Also trying to sprout black locusts, red bud, apple, blue elderberry, seaberry, and hazelnuts. The plan is to plant all of these as a kind of harvest living fence/food forest will be adding lemon balm, mint, Echinacea, strawberries, clover, diakon radish, peas, and anything else I can get ahold of. Will be mass planting and supporting what thrives in each zone. Really wish I had a PDC under my belt...

Made laundry soap today. I have played with various hard soaps Castile is my favorite but also the most expensive and yo...
01/21/2016

Made laundry soap today. I have played with various hard soaps Castile is my favorite but also the most expensive and you have to use multiple bars. I haven't used the zote soap to be honest only because it's so ginormous and I usually I'm too lazy to actually grate the whole thing. Today I'm using the good old fels naptha. Some day I will probably look at the ingredients and decide on castile but hopefully by then I won't be as terrified of lye and I'll be able to save on the cost by making it myself. I have made the super washing soda before (baking soda on a sheet pan cooked until it's the right consistency) however it off gasses and gives me a headache so that can't be good. If you care a lot about your clothes go easy on the borax it can fade your colors, our water has some much iron delicate clothes can't be washers here so it's more important that what I was come clean then it stay bright.

01/21/2016

Ok got the laundry soap done made 2 loaves of bread. Stored yesterdays chocolate chip zucchini bread. Pulled out and ate some pretzel bites that I froze to see if it would work. And started some beans for soaking for chilli. Going to change how I post to make things easier. Basically I will post a string of related pics with instructions on how to do what I did .

01/20/2016

Can you say ccccccold. Time to do some baking, now I have been slacking on the picture taking lately. To be honest I just forgot soooo I'll try to take some today to update. To let you know what I have been up to... I moved my apple banana wine from the fermentation bucket to a glass carboy. Found out the best way (for me) to make pizza dough. Made English muffins and figured out it is better to bake them a few min then pan fry, made loaf bread started setting up the fodder system. You know it's cold out when the eggs in the coop are frozen :-/ on today's agenda is baking bread, making pizza dough, and whipping up another batch of laundry soap :-) Oh and follow up on the infused vodka, it was delish as a mixed drink with OJ mmm mm however next time I infuse I am going to use edible forms of fruits so I can eat them too. Raw cranberry just isn't tasty. I will try to tinker with the fodder system too trying to get it automated to make watering easy peasy

I took a break for the holidays :-) I made some gifts from scratch. Bottled up some tincture. Chowed down on homemade sa...
01/01/2016

I took a break for the holidays :-) I made some gifts from scratch. Bottled up some tincture. Chowed down on homemade sauerkraut, and many other fun things :-).

Decided to do some baking this week went a bit crazy with the pretzel dough lol will update the comments in a few :-) th...
11/22/2015

Decided to do some baking this week went a bit crazy with the pretzel dough lol will update the comments in a few :-) the sauerkraut is fermenting the tinctures are coming along will start crafting as it gets colder :-)

Busy day. Watched a YouTube video about tincture making and decided I need some lol. Made lemon balm, apple mint, chocol...
11/13/2015

Busy day. Watched a YouTube video about tincture making and decided I need some lol. Made lemon balm, apple mint, chocolate mint, sage, thyme, oregano and elderberry. I will use my tinctures is about a month to evolve into syrups and throat sprays and of course straight. Used vodka as my carrier. Also got more leaves together. Hard to believe that it's November. The garlic has started growing so I planted another round just because. Collected so bio char and added it to the chicken coop. Made some blackened tuna for dinner to reward myself for a hard days work :-).

Leaves are the name of the game still. Trying to get as many leaves together as I possibly can they make such good leaf ...
11/12/2015

Leaves are the name of the game still. Trying to get as many leaves together as I possibly can they make such good leaf mold I have mulch, munched most of the trees and the majority of the garden. I still need to get more. Starting to research tinctures to make. came across an article apparently you can eat forsythia fruit as a medicinal... who knew:-) added that to the list of things to harvest. We cleaned out the chicken coop down to bare dirt tried another round of sauerkraut the last one got Gnats in it so this time Gary made me a top I could connect a bubbler in other than that its just prepping for winter Christmas.

This week my schedule if off I apologize. Instead of 3 days home in a row I have 2 consecutive days home but get home ea...
10/28/2015

This week my schedule if off I apologize. Instead of 3 days home in a row I have 2 consecutive days home but get home earlier.... so what we've been up to... I didn't take pics of everything however I will get pics of somethings further along. So things not pictured. We cleaned the inexpensive greenhouse up and the trays to get the fodder going into the bathroom through winter. The cover has deteriorated but the frame is good. I purchased a little pump to automate the watering process to make it a bit lower maintenance. Just need to pick up the hose tomorrow. Gary cleaned The chicken coop I raked more leaves and we've been eating up all of the sprouts a dear friend gave us a barrel composter so we're going to start using that instead of just mounds. Harvested some worm castings and added them to some indoor plants we'll use more when we plant the elephant garlic. All the tomatoes and summer crops has been pulled. We harvested the buckwheat seed for next year. There is a plan forming on how to repair the chicken area by using a tractor and electric net fence to get the chickens out of the area and intensely plant the area. Also working on /making better compost/ researching goji, seaberry, bamboo,

Sorry a bit lacking in the updates. Didn't take as many pics this round . I planted garlic rings around the apple trees....
10/23/2015

Sorry a bit lacking in the updates. Didn't take as many pics this round . I planted garlic rings around the apple trees. Just what we had in the fridge I figured it was better than nothing... bought a bunch of organic bananas and sliced and froze them to make smoothies or icecream. Raked more leaves. Running them over with the lawn mower doesn't chop them as much have as I'd hoped. I think I will as comfrey in the spring and red wheelers from the worm farm. Need to redesign a good worm farm I bought a plastic stacking kind an fit looks nice but is difficult to rotate. It's so heavy and the edges are a thin brittle plastic. Lots of research to do this winter. I am not good delegating my time perhaps I should make a schedule. The sprouts are done and were moved into the fridge. The sourkrout got gnats in it so it will go to the chickens. Gary found all the parts to make a fermentation cap I hope it works :-)

I'm a day late a updating these what more can I say I'm a slacker. I didn't take pics of the plant watering or sprouts b...
10/17/2015

I'm a day late a updating these what more can I say I'm a slacker. I didn't take pics of the plant watering or sprouts but I took lots of the soup.

Hustling in plants before the frost. It's a jungle in here!
10/17/2015

Hustling in plants before the frost. It's a jungle in here!

Pictures of what I did yesterday :-)
10/15/2015

Pictures of what I did yesterday :-)

10/15/2015

Ok so I added a bunch of pictures yesterday and I'll try to add one post every day I have off so that's about 3 days a week and I'll add the pictures from that day into the comments going to be anything terribly exciting just what I do on a typical day off things I get into how to do them and of course pictures along the way trying to categorize the pictures into plants chickens bee keeping pets cooking harvest that kind of stuff so yesterday was kind of crazy the baby didn't sleep well so I had to get up really early which anyone who knows me knows I love my sleep it started to get cold here so we need to get firewood in and we need to get our plants and I have a lot of cold sensitive plants I have to bring in for the winter I watered all the plants thoroughly while they're still outside and gave them today to drain I transplanted my seedlings into the yard things that will live through the winter hopefully (oregano, Echinacea, beebalm, etc...) and transplanted a bunch of herbs to companion plant some in my potted trees like the grapefruit, banana, etc. Mama was an amazing help as she always is and has cleared a lot of space to move things in already. I dug some bulbs to store inside for the winter and let them dry on my potting table. Fed the chickens. I raked several piles of leaves and ran one over with the lawn mower to try to make leaf compost. I saw some recently at the community garden and it was amazing thank you Lee for showing me just in time! I than woke the baby with the lawn mower ooppss paid for that the rest of the day. Checked my sauerkraut and topped it off with salt water (my first try with lactofermentation.) Started some alfalfa sprouts in the window. Roasted tomatillos peppers and garlic for salsa Verde (another win from the garden market thank you Joyce for the recipe and tonsillitis!) I started some black beans to make soup and bean burgers he next day. Made some Brown sugar (molasses and sugar in the food processor) dried some herbs and pulled the bread ends out of the freezer to make seasoned bread crumbs (need them for the burgers) gave the stinky dog a bath cleaned the bathroom and took a shower in rainwater (our water has a lot of iron if anyone has a fix for that let me know I am leaning towards installing a cistern.) Made some mummy pizzas for the boys for dinner and then it was book report time with Dylan yay screech owls. Dylan made pudding for desert and Gary and I ran off to check on a fire wood contact came home ordered the wood installed new pans on the electric stove and researched Geothermal vs ductless heat pump with space heaters vs rocket mass heaters vs boilers or a combination. Then blissful sleep :-)

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Berkeley Springs, WV
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