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Adventures in Honey Extraction

Oy.  What a day…

Remember our recent attempt at harvesting the honey supers from the hives?  I think I forgot to mention that a certain someone *cough*Steve*cough* had, um, misplaced the bee brush and hive tool the time before that.  So, even if the honey had been capped, we’d have had a rather difficult time getting the frames out.  We did try, with a butter knife and a goose (or turkey?) feather.  The feather wasn’t so bad but the butter knife just wasn’t doing the trick.

And did I tell you that, at the last MVBA meeting, the club bought an extractor to loan out to those of us without one?  And that I got to bring it home with me that night?

This week, I was reading Chris’ blog, Show Me The Honey, and he mentioned that the bees don’t always cap the honey in the fall.  Hrm.  So I was determined to get back out there today and just pull those suckers while we had one or two last good days before fall turns too cold.

Um, wait.  What about the still-missing hive tool and bee brush?

Off we went to Dadant — Josie, Charlie, and me.  (And so much for much in the way of school done today…)

$46 later (plus $30 in gas)…

I bought two each of the hive tools and brushes — and hid one set for the next time someone *cough*Steve*cough* loses them.  I also bought a couple of filters while I was at it — a 600 and 400, per the bee dude’s advice.  Those white things just sit on top of a five-gallon bucket and do their thing, easy peasy.

Once we got home, Charlie and I suited up and headed to the hives.  (Okay, so maybe we spent a half hour trying to get the @#*&^#% smoker going first but we’re not going to talk about that.)  We’d decided that, unless we saw some massive improvement in the Hans Hubermann hive, we’d combine it with one of the other two.  Sure enough, it was still just… so-so.  A beautifully perfect bottom brood box but the second one was next to nothing.

We pulled a half dozen decent frames off of the yard-swarm hive but there wasn’t much in the Fred McMurray hive super.  Phhbbt.  We managed to get few odds & ends of wax & bits of honey to add to the pile, at least.  Then we took five frames, bees & all, out of the Hans Hubermann brood box and added it to the top of Fred McMurray and did the same with the remaining five frames, adding them to the top of the yard-swarm hive.  (We layered some newspaper, poked a couple of slits, and sprayed with sugar water, between the two sets of bees.  They’ll gradually eat through the newspaper and, by that time, will be used to each other and combine nicely into one.  Or so the people who know these things say.)

Of course, halfway through this process, the @^%!(# smoker went out.  All was peachy keen until I started moving the frames from Hans Hubermann.  Man, were they ever cheesed off.  Charlie and I had to walk away to catch our breath.  Whew.  Charlie only got stung once, lightly on the ankle.  I got hit four times on the hands.  Stupid smoker.  I’m sure the cheesed off bees had nothing to do with the fact that, by then, my gloves were coated in honey and propolis, making me stick to everything in Creation, and killing bees left & right like some big, clumsy buffoon.  We’ll just blame the smoker because it’s an easy scapegoat.  And I hate it.

But looky!  We got some honey to extract and some extra wax!  Definitely not a record breaker but, hey, we’ll take what we can get.

We took apart the extractor to wash it out and Steve did a little Mr. Fix It (it was a scratch & dent clearance buy), and…  Boy, what a pain in the butt that thing is to get put together.  There’s a little doohickey on the inside that has to seat just right for the inner part.  I had to go call Steve in to help because, by then, he was back outside getting ready to butcher some ducks.  He got nearly as cheesed off as the bees before he finally got it seated correctly.

Nah, he didn’t really beat it with a hammer.  He just really, really wanted to.

The kids and I managed to get the frames extracted, after “forking” the cappings off.  Oh what a mess.  I was getting so tired, I FUBARed the frames and ended up with  a pile of wax chunks to crush & strain tomorrow.  One had foundation but the others were all foundationless.  I had planned on saving them back so the bees would have pre-built come for next year but I’m sure they’ll live without it.  Besides, that means more wax for me, right?  ;-)

I’ve got the extracted filtering into a bucket overnight and will deal with the other sticky comb mess chunks tomorrow.  I’m pooped for today.

Hay shortage, chick penthouse, and the funky chicken.

Due to the drought, we had to scramble to find hay to find hay for the goats’ winter stash.  Big, round bales would have been easier to find but the small square bales are just so much easier for us to deal with.  Luckily, a friend knew someone with some small-bale alfalfa left so we jumped on it.  Now our back room addition has become our hay barn for 20 bales of alfalfa.

Then a fella who lives down the road from us offered to hay our field, the couple of acres on the other side of the treeline.  It was cornfield for years and we’ve just let it do its own thing since we bought the place so it was all weeds.  Still, it’ll be handy for extra roughage (“weeds” have all sorts of minerals and other goodies in them) as well as free bedding.  71 bales later….  The back room addition is now full as can be and we’ve stacked the rest in the goat shed, figuring we’ll call it “insulation”.  ;-)

After our massive poultry losses this summer and me sick to death of chick cages on my dining room table, Steve built an amazing double-roomed chick penthouse — in the chicken house.  Woot!  We hatched batch after batch of the suckers this summer.  They’d spend their first few days in a huge aquarium — the Chiquarium — and then move out to one side of the penthouse.  Once they’re big enough, the move down to the ground floor of the chicken house and a new batch of chicks moves into the empty side of the Penthouse.  Very nice system!

This year’s hatches gave us some funky looking chickens!  Most of them are pretty good looking.  This one following looks like an owl in person.  We have another that looks sort of like an eagle.  This has been the year of the funky chicken.

The newest goat + honey harvesting… almost.

Have you met our newest goat yet?

She’s a year-and-a-half full Saanen named Cotton.  She is the sweetest goat ever!  A week or so before we bought her, her previous owner had discovered an abcess and drained it.  It appeared to be healing and we brought her home.  A day or so later, boom!  Mastitis in a nasty way.  Since then, we’ve been giving her penicillin injections twice daily, along with various supporting herbs and massages with a healing salve.  I’ve made sure she has all of the supplements she needs, such as vitamin C, lime, minerals, et,c free choice.  She really tore into those minerals when she first saw them!  I’ve also just received an order of COWP (copper oxide wire particles) that we’ll get into all of the goats this week.

It’s been about a week now and she’s doing so much better.  Her swelling and sensitivity has gone to near nothing, although her bag is still knotty and the drainage wound to her abcess has yet to heal completely.  She’s back to eating like a pig, her eyes are bright, and her coat has improved — dramatically.  In only a week.  Very cool stuff.  We’ll let her finish drying up (she was being milked up until a week or so before we bought her) so she has time to fully heal & recover, fatten up a bit, and build back her reserves for kidding.  She’s pregnant and due in late January.  Yay!  She was bred to a French Alpine buck so should throw some nice babies.

All of the goats, in addition to the normal feed, hay, browse, and free-choice supplements, are now getting wormed weekly with an herbal formula from Molly’s Herbals/FiasCo Farms.  Of course, you all know I like to do things myself so I’ve been doing a buttload of reading on the subject, trying to figure out a recipe of my own.  I’ve got some good ideas and will tweak as I go along.  I’m always open to learning more so please give me a holler if you have any experience and/or ideas, I’d love to hear them!

Random sparkly velveteen holiday dressed butt in a bucket interlude:

The bees.  Oy.  Out of the four hives we had left, one more died.  It was from that huge cutout we did this spring.  The other three hives are still alive & kicking.  Hans Huberman, the only one that stayed from this spring’s purchased packages, is doing okay but still working on filling the second hive body.  We’ll see if they make it through the winter.  We may end up combining them with one of the other two hives but I dunno…  The swarm capture Charlie & I got from our own yard this spring is still dong well.  Very well — the best out of all of our hives.  We’ll be able to harvest a full-ish super really soon.  (A super full of honey is usually about 60 pounds.)  Not all of the honey was capped so we’re going to leave it for another couple of weeks.  (Bees will “cap” the cells filled with honey when it gets to the proper moisture content for storage.)  Fred McMurray, the remaining hive from our first year in bees, has two nice hive bodies but the super is… meh.  We’ll get some honey out of it but not a bunch.

We didn’t get to check the hives as well as we wanted.  Charlie & I headed out earlier today, thinking we’d be harvesting honey.  Ha.  Dang bees need to hurry that capping up.  But, even so, we didn’t get to do much thorough digging.  Last check of the hives was Steve and he didn’t return the bee brush & hive tool where they go.  They’re now officially lost.  Hrmph.  We tried using a butter knife and a big feather.  It kind of worked.  A little.  FYI: Cheap butter knives aren’t a match for propolised (propolized?) hives.  Ouch, said the butter knife.

The Goat Crew, Fall 2012

We picked up three more does a week or two back to complete our (re-)starter herd.  Here’s the as-yet unbred herd as we head into fall.  All will be bred later this fall.

This is Susie, one of the new does.  She’s definitely not a snuggler but she’s trained to the milk stand and a proven milker & mother a couple of times already.

This is one of Susie’s daughters, Maisy, born in December of 2010.  She has kidded once so far and is also trained to the milk stand.  She’s also a bossy hog so I’m trying to teach her some patience.

This is Missy, another daughter of Susie’s, born in December 2011.  She’ll be a first freshener come spring.

And we have the younger three you’ve already seen, Gidget (born April 2012) and ShowTime (born March 2012), both doelings.

And Patrick, the human-crazy wether, born March 2012.

This weekend, we set up individual feeding stations.  It’s going to take some time (and patience!) to train them to the system.

Once everyone grows accustomed to the routine, it will not only ensure that the younger goats get their fair share of feed, it will also allow us to observe & interact with them individually even when not on the milk stand daily and dole out individual doses of things, such as herbal wormers, etc.  (Best laid plans, right?)

So that’s the line up for this fall. Only ShowTime, Gidget, and Patrick are registered, although all are Kinders.  The papered gals will be the basis of our herd through the years while the unpapered gals will just serve as backyard milkers.  We’ll be taking the five gals on a ride for hot dates probably in October or November and, with any luck, they’ll kid in the spring.  I can’t wait for baby goats again!  And fresh milk!

Honey Farm Open House

Every year, Andrew Honey Farm holds an open house and welcomes everyone to see their operation.  Bernie & Gay are great hosts and great beekeepers!  This link will take you to the photos I took at last year’s open house.  If you’re interested in attending, comment here, shoot me an email, or holler at me on Facebook and I’ll send you directions.

Andrew Honey Farm Open House

Sunday, August 19th, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. near Lorraine, Illinois (near Quincy).

It’s a great time for the entire family — with some yummy snacks!  Bernie will show you his honey extraction building and how he harvests honey.  He also has an incredibly cool collection of tractors — propane powered, I think?  Some sort of gassy boom-boom thing.  <— girl speak

Hope you all can make it!

 

Meet the new goats!

We picked up our new goats from Harmony Hill Goat Farm yesterday.  Leah’s herd of Kinder goats is gorgeous!  They are some of the healthiest goats I’ve ever seen, living on a beautiful farm.  Lucky dogs!  Er, goats.

Patrick is a wether who was hand-raised so he’s very friendly and attached to people.  The two doelings, ShowTime and Gidget, were dam-raised so they’re a bit on the wild side.  It’ll take some work & patience to get them tamed down & friendly.  Because of this, we decided to put up a small pen for them.  We emptied out & cleaned the shed and tossed some straw in there for temporary housing and then ran fence between it and the driveway & east side of the house.  That way they’re close to us where we can keep a close eye on them and more easily work with them a few times each day. It’s not a glamorous, photogenic location but it’s the perfect spot for them right now.  There are a couple of bushes up against the house, along with a bazillion weeds so they’re in heaven.

Once we get them calmed down and earn their trust, we’ll put them out in a bigger area.  Already, they’re improving and their curiosity is getting the better of them.  All we have to do is sit out there and talk to them once in a while, ignore them the rest of the time, and give Patrick some scratches & treats.  They just can’t stand it for too long!  They creep closer and closer every time…

Here’s Patrick, who doesn’t see what the girls’ fuss is all about.  It means more raisins for him, though, so he’s cool with it.

ShowTime is about a month older than Gidget and seems to be the leader at the moment.  She’s so beautiful!

Gidget is the youngest & shiest of the bunch but even she dared to get within my reach during my morning “sitting time” with them.

Forgive the cruddy phone pics.  I’m more focused on getting them settled in than remembering to take the good camera out right now.  It’s just good to have goats around again!

Now don’t go fainting or anything but…

We actually inspected the hives!  I know, right??

And, by “we”, I mean Steve & Charlie.  We were coming back from town last night and I said, “You know, we really should take a look in the hives tonight.  The MVBA meeting is tomorrow and I’d hate to be lame enough to have no hive report two months in a row.  So, yeah, we should do at least a quick inspection once we get home.”  After using my wifely wiles of wonderment, Steve eagerly offered to be Charlie’s assistant.

Charlie’s swarm, pictured above is doing great, at least by our admittedly low standards.  (Our standards = alive and not completely pathetic = great.)  Two boxes of brood and just over a half super of honey.

Fred, the old Italian hive, is also doing well, with two deep brood boxes bursting at the seams. We added a medium super to it and should have done that long ago.

Next up was that big cutout we did this summer.  It’s doing okay but had one box more than it needed, apparently.  We found evidence of wax moths and took off the unneeded super.  That puts them down to two brood boxes.

Last of the remaining hives is Hans Hubermann.  It’s still in just one brood box but could have used a second a while back, it seems.  We added that so they’ll have a bit more elbow room.  Maybe with the recent rains — and a few more hopefully coming — they’ll end up with some stores for winter.

All other bees we had are gone, except maybe one or two from smaller swarms that combined with other hives.  But you know what?  We are now at four decent hives that just might have a shot at making it through the winter  That’s twice what we went into last winter with.  Gotta look at the bright side, right?  :D

How long has it been?

I’m not at all happy with the way this summer has just blasted right past me while I’m distracted with market baking.  The baking has taken over my life.  Don’t get me wrong — I have a blast at market and love hanging out there with all of the folks.  But, dang.  I haven’t had time to tend to the garden.  I haven’t been able to just hang out with the kids and enjoy the summer off from school.  I can barely keep the house from getting to “condemned” status.  And I’ve certainly not had time to keep up with regular blog posting.  Not that I’m fretting over lack of blog posts for blogging’s sake, it’s that I haven’t had time to add to our little “family journal” here.  This is where I keep tidbits of our life so, when the kids are all grown & gone, we can all look back and say, “Oh, that’s when we did so & so” and “See how little I was then?”  Those sorts of family album “unimportant” things.  I do not like this whole missing a chunk of our life thing.

So what’s happened in the past month?

Duke had a birthday!!  He turned 10 on the 8th of July.  I can’t believe he’s 10 already.  Almost a teenager.  Geez.  A week or two later, he and Isaac got to fly out to Phoenix with Grandma Kaye and spend a few days with David & Miranda and Uncle Richard.  Duke & Charlie spent a week at 4-H camp earlier in the summer and had a good time.  Isaac spent a few days at the Missouri 4-H Congress.  Then Charlie & Isaac spent a week at Boy Scout camp and had fun.  The boys have all sorts of fun things to fill their summer and that is a good thing!  The girls are still a bit young for those sorts of trips but they’ve been able to hang at home and swim in our little redneck pool.  (Ooh, I have to get a pic of that for you guys!  Ha!)  Cody’s been working a few hours each week for some neighbors down the road.  That’s a good thing for gaining some independence & work experience and a little spending cash in the process.

The garden.  Oy.  The garden.  What a year, huh?  If there was ever a year to miss tending to a garden, this has been the one.  Even if I’d been here to take care of it properly, it wouldn’t have mattered a lick.  It’s just been too dry and too hot for too long.  In Oklahoma, we had heat & drought like this but we were prepared for it.  Here, we weren’t expecting it and our garden is still in its infancy.  We don’t yet have it all set up the way we want it with heavy mulch, etc.  In five years, maybe it’d be better able to withstand this summer’s weather but certainly not this year.  We’re getting a few tomatoes and will probably get cucumbers soon and melons in a few weeks.  Other than that, it’s a bust.  What’s the gardener’s motto?  Next year will be better!

Our birds took heavy losses this summer.  We had birds dying left & right from heat and raccoons/rats/possums/whatevers.  We hatched out a lot this year and lost most of them.  Remember the Ft. Knox of chicken houses we built in Oklahoma?  We expected heavy predator pressure there and built appropriately.  We never guessed that the “little” predators here in civilization would be so rough on the population so we built lighter.  We built open-air style to combat the colder climate but didn’t put in a concrete floor.  We meant to get around to it one day but figured it wasn’t at the top of the priority list and put it off.  But this year…  After losing several chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese to digging predators, we finally got the hint.  A week or two ago, we finally poured concrete.  We poured a floor in the existing chicken house, plus one floor adjacent to that for a new waterfowl house, and a floor in our new back room addition.  (I don’t think I’ve ever posted here about the new back room we started adding last winter?  I’ll have to take pics of that, too, once I have more time.)  Steve is now working on an elevated chick cage for our new hatchlings.  We keep them in an aquarium in the house for a couple of weeks and will then move them outdoors where they have more room.  In the past, we’ve set them on the floor of the coop in a cage but mice & rats can still occasionally squeeze through the wire mesh and wipe them out in a single night.  This new elevated cage will solve that problem.  Ha!  Take that, you nasty little things!  With the concrete floor, we’ve not had any further losses to predators and the birds are laying better.  But, still, we’re not taking any chances with the hatchlings as mice & rats can squeeze in through any little opening and, even if there are no openings, they can hitch rides in with feed bags.  We’ve had a lot of trouble with our usual feed store (Farm & Home) having critters in the feed bags so we’ve just switched to a different one (Orscheln) that seems to be a lot better in that department.  Chicken house bonus:  To combat the recent heat, Steve has added a strip of wire mesh to the back wall of the chicken house, in place of one piece of sheet metal.  It provides a very nice cross breeze in there and can be added back on quickly once cooler weather arrives.

After completing the elevated hatchling cage (hopefully tonight or tomorrow), next on Steve’s to-do list is building the waterfowl house, expanding our fence, and building a bigger, better Critter House.  Know why?  Want a hint?

Goats!  We’re getting goats again!  At last!  We’re so excited!  (The exclamation marks might have clued you in as to our excitement.)  The above kid is a doeling called Gidget.  (Fitting name, eh?)

That big ol’ hunk of Black Angus-looking goat up there nursing?  That’s ShowTime, another doeling that will soon be ours.

And this is Patrick, the white-eared, handfed wether to keep the gals company.

Aren’t they gorgeous?!  The goats (and pics) are coming from Harmony Hill Goat Farm an hour or two south of us.  These are Kinder goats, a dual-purpose breed (milk & meat).  While their main purpose for us will be dairy, we will also be “harvesting” the excess down the road for meat.  Trying to find pastured meat & dairy that is affordable for us is next to impossible so we figured we’d be better off getting a dual-purpose breed.  Two birds, one stone, etc.  Plus we just flat-out love goats.  Well, most goats.  ;-)  (I’m talking about you, Bullseye!)  We’ll be picking the goats up a week from today, Sunday morning.  So excited!!

What else?  We’re gearing up for the start of school here.  Isaac is going to be entering the public school system in August so I’m working on transcripts for the local high school to see what he’s been up to.  The others will all be homeschooled still so I’m working on curricula & lesson planning and all of that fun stuff.  And, after going over my schedule a few million times, trying & trying to squeeze more time out of my days (and nights), I’ve come to the conclusion that there is  Just.  No.  Way.  I cannot possibly do a decent job of schooling these guys while working the 40-60 additional hours each week for market baking.  (Told you this baking thing had become full time!)  Homeschooling, with recordkeeping & planning, takes a good 60 hours each week for me.  Add in normal household duties, gardening (not that there’s much left to garden out there), settling in & caring for new critters, etc, and there’s no time left for sleep.  And I have to sleep. I’m so behind on sleep already, I don’t have any functioning brain cells left.  That’s not so good for teaching.  So I’ll be doing one or two more markets and then “retiring” for the year.

So that’s about where we’re at.  I’ll spare you pics of the shriveled-up garden with the shriveled-up cornfield behind it and, instead, treat you to goatie pics in a week or so!  And I hope to be back to more regular blogging again once I’m done with market in a couple of weeks.  See ya then!

The Poultry Situation*

It’s been a rough year for our birds.  We lost all of the turkeys we hatched out, due to our own mistakes.  (I’d read that you should feed them medicated chick starter mixed with gamebird feed.  Turns out that medication will kill them.)  We had raccoon issues that have knocked back our population that was housed at night in mobile pens.  Now we have what we think are rats eating several ducklings & chicks that are in (what we thought were safe) pens within the big chicken house.  This week, the extended heat wave has been knocking out chickens left & right.  Plus we’ve had several grown laying hens just dropping dead, one by one, since we moved here.  We never had any of these problems with our birds in Oklahoma.

Now, the turkey feeding problem has been solved.  We’re pouring concrete floors for the big bird house to eliminate the rat/raccoon issues.  We’re modifying our mobile pens to fix those raccoon problems.  But that still leaves us with the dying chickens troubles.  No ducks, turkeys, or geese have died from heat or random problems.  I’ve read that ducks are much hardier than chickens and, right now, I’m believing it.

We’re mulling over which direction to head with the birds.  Maybe we want to just not hatch any more chickens and let their number naturally dwindle until we have only geese, turkeys, and ducks?  The ducks for eggs, the turkeys for meat, and the geese for…  Well, they’re cool and there are only three of them.  We’ll call them guard geese.  ;-)  The ducks can be just as productive as our chickens have been and lots of folks prefer them over chicken eggs.  We certainly prefer turkey meat over chicken meat but, of course, it’s a slower turn-around time for it.

On the other hand, I sure do love the White Silkies and Marans.  Maybe we can keep a few of each in tractors as we were planning on doing to keep the breeds pure.  That would keep us & our customers in chicken eggs and Silkie meat while letting our main focus be on the other birds?  The turkeys could take over the current chicken house (with its soon-to-be-poured concrete floor) and Steve will build the ducks & geese their own house (with soon-to-be-poured concrete floor) as he was already planning on doing.

I don’t know.  I just know this whole business of feeding these chickens for months before finally getting eggs — and then having them fall over dead — is not working out too well here.

*This thinking-out-loud post has been brought to you by the letter D.  D is for death & dismemberment of another dozen birds last night.

Bimbo Bakeries

I’m not sure where we picked up these bread racks but they’re pretty fitting, eh?  We only have four and, man, have they come in handy!  I need to find out where I can get more.  With “Bimbo Bakeries USA” imprinted on them.

So remember I was doing a little baking to fill in at the farmer’s market until the garden starts to produce?  Ha.  It seems that baking is becoming a full-time profession for me.  Sourdoughs, French breads, soft sandwich breads, aged rustic breads…  And the sweet breads have become quite popular — sweet lemon bread, sweet orange marmalade bread, and pumpkin cinnamon bread.  I’m having trouble keeping up with demand with my crappy little one-rack oven.  We have a spare oven in the basement that someone gave us.  Assuming it’s in working condition, I’m hoping Steve can get it installed in the next week or two.

FYI:  I’ve decided I don’t want to mix this personal blog/journal/family photos with the biz side of things.  David is currently working on getting me set up on a new, separate site:  SlowMoFood.com.  I’ll let you all know when that’s up and running so you can take a peek.  In the meantime, I set up a Facebook page for it here:  Facebook/SlowMoFood

The garden is behind where I’d like it to be but certainly ahead of last year.  I’ve gotten in a second planting of bush beans and am still working on getting the last of the peppers in the ground.  I’ll try to finish that this next week, along with seeding some melons.  It’s still dry as a bone here, although we did get a very welcome 4/10″ several days ago.  There’s another chance for rain this weekend so everyone cross your fingers!

In my busy-ness, I didn’t make my usual birthday post but Nellie turned seven about a month ago!  Good grief, they grow up quickly!  She got several girly things for gifts but her favorite was having Grandma Kaye take her to a real beauty salon for a fancy-pants haircut.

In the animal department, things are going pretty well.  We’re now up to 24 ducks, including some Anconas I bought from a fellow vendor at the market last week.  I’m really, really, really liking ducks.  We had six geese but a coon or other nasty thing dug under their night pen and took the three smallest of them.  Our turkeys kept dying off until we only had a few left.  I finally got around to mentioning it to Gail, our turkey guru, and she suggested they might be eating the medicated chick feed.  Yep, sure enough, I had been mixing medicated chick grower with higher protein game feed for them as I had read somewhere on the internet.  We’ve now stopped that and we’ve had no more deaths.

The bees.  Oh, don’t ask about the bees.  I’ve been so busy, I haven’t checked them in forever.  I hope to get out there and do that this next week but don’t hold your breath.

So, yes, we’re still alive.  Things are going well — very well.  I love working at the market.  The customers are great and, even better, my fellow vendors are wonderful.  I was pretty intimidated by most of the other vendors at first, thinking they’d be competitive & snooty. Afterall, they’re all so experienced and I’m so very new to it all.   Nope, they are incredibly generous and welcoming, openly sharing their knowledge with me, friendly & chatting all morning long.  It’s a great group of people and I’m very thankful to be a part of them.  I look forward to each & every Saturday morning.  Pretty cool stuff.

Back to bimbo baking!

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