Pop Up Gifts

To celebrate Small Business Saturday, Buck Naked Farm will have a pop-up shop at LLUrban Farm tomorrow from 10am-2pm.  You can come pick up a Christmas tree, decor, and some local Buck Naked gifts in one stop.  There will be Christmas goodies, free samples, and lots of photo ops with the LL Chickens.  We will be sampling our jams and flavored honeys.  Plus we’ll have our gift bags so you can leave with turn key gifts.  Gold.

After the Black Friday detox from the big stores today, we hope you’ll shop small and support local businesses.  It’s your chance to keep the spending local and get some unique finds.  Send the Pilgrims and leftovers packing and get going on the nice list!

Advertisements

Easiest Appetizer Ever

You forgot.  You were supposed to bring something, serve an appetizer (in addition to cooking the whole meal), or bring a hostess gift.  Whatever you forgot, here is the easiest and possibly tastiest appetizer ever.  Buck Naked’s Autumn Fig Jam, goat cheese, and crackers.  Throw in some fresh pear for the gluten free crowd.  Toss on some fresh herbs for the foodie crowd.  Change the cheese, use fancy bread, top with chopped nuts.  So versatile.  So no effort. So what I need today.

If you forgot, grab some today.  Our Fig Jam is in stock at Lauralee Gifts, LL Urban Farms in Cary and Ninja Cow Farm in Garner.  (Plus I’ve got a secret stash for those who want to pick up from me.)  Let this be the easiest thing you do this Thanksgiving.  Now you have snacks as a distraction for Uncle Mort who won’t stop talking religion, politics, marriage, or his yet undiagnosed medical condition.  Eat up and be thankful for goodness and good food.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Today’s Special

Someone recently asked “What do beekeepers do for bees in the winter?”  Paul and I answered in unplanned chorus “PRAY!”   During winter, honeybees tightly cluster themselves to maintain warmth.  They hold up in their hives feeding on honey stores, biding their time until pollen starts to reappear.  (Which in our area of NC is in February when maples bloom).  We do as much as we can in the fall to reduce mite levels, bolster food stores, and arrange hive components but in the end it’s on the bees to pull it through.  And it’s not easy.  Last year in the US beekeepers, on average, lost 42% of their colonies.  42%.  We contributed to that number.

img_7688

DIY Peppermint Patty

So now in November, it’s time to put the bees to bed for winter.  One of our bedtime rituals is to provide a last minute snack.  And what does everyone want before bed?  Dessert!  Grease patties are served.

img_7689

Breakfast of champions

Today I whipped up a batch of today’s special … the pollinator peppermint patty.  It’s a combination of palm oil, sugar, & peppermint oil blended and shaped into an aromatic lump.  Spaghetti mistook it for frosting and tried some before I caught him.  He said it wasn’t too bad, just a little gritty.  This snack benefits the bees two-fold; the peppermint vapors irritate any hitchhiking varroa mites and dislodge microscopic tracheal mites as the bees feast on the sugar.  Really – bees get mites in their trachae.  Gross – tiny gross.

img_7690

A few intrepid guards inspect the snacks in a nucleus hive

In addition to the gritty grease patties, I add an MRE of raw granulated sugar on newspaper.  These emergency rations could sustain the hive if they run short of stored food.  Starvation is enemy #1.  But moisture is a close 2nd.  Bees can handle the cold (they successfully winter as far north as Alaska) but as any hiker knows, cold + wet = dead.  So the dry sugar absorbs deadly moisture in the hive.  Lastly we top the hive with an absorbent blanket of shavings to catch condensation under the lid.

We’re hopeful these measures will offer some cold weather insurance.  Chores done, bees tucked in, we’ll all be ready for the holiday carb fest.  And this year I am thankful for them.  Eat up bees!

 

 

 

Fair Game

Halloween is the crest of the fall calendar roller coaster.  Once the Halloween candy wrappers have been stashed,  the holiday full court press begins.   It’s the  blinding  calendar dive from October to January 1.  Cue the school parties, teacher gifts, Thanksgiving plays, recitals, & the like.    I haven’t heard a Christmas carol yet but my suspicions on the start of holiday shopping were confirmed last week during some errands.  The evidence:

 

 

 

 

Post Halloween also means gearing up for Black Friday & Cyber Monday.  Big sales = crowds.  I don’t do well in crowds.   To help stomach the gift blitz, I’m going to share some holiday power secrets  to make you unflappable this season:

Tip #1: Make a list.  Plan it and you’ll spend less & feel in control.  Like grocery shopping
when you are hungry – don’t go in unprepared.

 

 

Tip #2: Buy hip pocket gifts.  Not pants, but go-to gifts without a recipient in mind.  These are your emergency stash when you have forgotten the dog walker, Sunday School teacher, or soccer coach.  Or worse, when someone surprises you with a gift you weren’t prepared for.  Having a secret stash will make you a seasonal superhero.  Don’t just nod – DO IT.

 

Tip #3: Give consumable.  High quality food, bath & body, notecards, wine, coffee, candles…  Stuff they will use up.  No sizes, no colors, etc.  Plus if it’s a hostess gift,  they might just turn around and share the gift with you!

 

Tip #4: Buy local.  This ensures your gift will be one of a kind, unduplicated, and have a feel for home.  Not to mention that your dollars stay in your community.

So skip the herds this year and shop close to home with Local Saturday (day after Black Friday), & the plentiful local craft fairs.  This is your ticket for finding gifts (& keeps) by local artisans with really unique stuff that doesn’t need a gift receipt.

We’ll be at  several craft shows this fall with new products & the return of our super DSC_0296cute gift bags.  [I will post the schedule as I get confirmations from the organizers, but the best way to stay current on where we’ll be is to follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram.  This is also where we leak new products.  Plus I usually offer discounts or gifts to followers who visit us at these events!)]

This Saturday from 9am-3pm we’ll be at the MCHS Winter Wonders Craft Fair.  Come browse some  great local vendors and get started on your list.  Replace those Halloween candy wrappers with some productive power shopping and enjoy the seasonal ride!