A story of Petite Sirah, from the truck to the carboy

I hope to make wine from my own grapes one year, but until I do, I have to buy them. I’ve been growing grapes, planting a new row and variety each year, for about 5 years now. I battle with the deer, the black rot… you name it, just about everything has prevented me from bringing […] Read More

Make a winter candy board to overwinter honey bees

We think a candy board is kind of like a cheap insurance policy. The benefits of a candy board, made correctly adds many benefits to help the bee hive over the winter. The candy board is simply a hardened sugar mixture that lives in a 2-3 inch frame body and has hardware cloth on the […] Read More

How to measure acidity in wine using an acid titration kit

The home winemaker will typically use a basic acid titration kit to measure acidity in wine because other manners can be quite expensive. While not 100% accurate, it’s close… and it’s a test whose results I do not ignore. You can rely on it especially when you have become consistent enough in the process of […] Read More

Sugar dusting a bee hive for mite control

There’s a lot of opinions and thoughts on sugar dusting and so on Thursday, September 16, 2010, we decided to address the topic. The associated video was our attempt to further explain and demonstrate the matter. Techniques and thoughts vary depending on who you ask or the area you are in. We hope this video […] Read More

Saturday visit to Jim and Cindy’s Apiary

So, Friday evening around 6:30 or so, as I was cooking a fine Indian dish to take over to Rabbit Hash, I get a call from beekeeping friend Jim. He told me him and Cindy were going to go through the hives on Sat. wanted to know if I was interested in helping. Of course. It was […] Read More

Hived two packages of bees in 10 minutes today!

The post office called me at 6am and said my bees were in. After a rainy, gloomy weekend, I didn’t expect to have them in by now. I ran down and picked them up and then hit up the weather channel to see what the day was looking like. “Partly cloudy!” Sweet! The sun was blazing down […] Read More

Two new bee hive configurations arrive

I’m not a complete new-bee when it comes to beekeeping. Growing up, my father kept bees for many years. When I was a teenager, I kept a hive for a year or two myself. Then, getting serious about school, girls and “life’s vision” got in the way. The bees either swarmed or died. I’m almost certain […] Read More

Make apple wine, a beginners guide to winemaking

A lot of people ask me questions about wine making and it frustrates me that I can’t give them a specific answer. The reason is because the answers are not always the same. Example, “how many apples or how much grapes does it take to make wine?” Or, “how much sugar do I add to my […] Read More

1st Annual Apple Smash yields 47 gallons of cider

The word for this weekend is most certainly “extraction” – that is, getting the juice from what mother nature has given us. Gently pressing, or violently smashing, it’s all good. On Saturday, I helped the Specters press their grapes in Dave’s refurbished grape press. On Sunday, we did our “1st Annual Apple Smash” using the […] Read More