Friday, January 27, 2012

Hive Comes Alive: January in Chicago + Low Tunnel Update

Honeybee on basil
Aug 30, 2010

In Chicago it's 40 degree F on January 27, but bees and humans alike share a little joy in the strengthening full sun. That's all it takes.

I went to the roof, where it was 75 in the unheated greenhouse (it needs organizing, but today's not the day). I'd seen some real bee activity on my bee monitor downstairs and thought I'd grab a quick vid. But as I drew closer the bees signaled their dislike by sending out a couple of peevish scouts to push me back.

No harm done--they apparently just don't recognize me in the dead of winter as they do in summer. Wondering about that wooden post in the video? Just 7 days ago it was measuring snowfall (we ultimately got near 7 inches).

Downstairs, full sun on the hoop enclosure too--far too warm in there for cool-loving greens, so I opened it up.

Attaching a piece of conduit to the edge of the Agribon fabric (shown in this post) really does make it easy to lift the fabric as a single entity and rest it on top of the hoops. These plants were happy to just breathe.

What a joy seeing this deep green parsley popping out with all the other usual suspects--tatsoi, mustard, arugula, kale. I'm kind of winging this whole low tunnel effort.  Fast Grow the Weeds gives me a clue:
I planted ... kale and salad greens back in late September.  These will be completely harvested by late March and then I’ll convert this greenhouse into a seedling nursery. 
Guess I'll follow suit. 

But instead of thinking about it, I picked a salad.


Debbie said...

Loved the video!

Taking a peek under the low tunnel... I've learned you never know what you'll find. But there's always some form of life under it. So cool!

H2 said...

Need to pull off the plastic today--high of 59 predicted. Such strange weather.