Cedar run


We've had a wealth of experiences here at The Run.

January 20, 2010

Taking a break from beekeeper chapter responsibilities, Karen enrolls in Master Gardening classes.

February 4, 2010

Karen starts Advanced Beekeeping classes.

February 16, 2010

Thinking to maximize our hive products, we attend a Mead tasting and demonstration. We come away deciding not to make mead... it's not to our taste.

March 5, 2010

Karen attends a High Tunnel class in Roxboro, NC. She comes away excited about the growing potential. We decide to build a small one (aka Hoop House -- see Projects) and initially use it to raise vegetables in the winter.

March 6, 2010

Karen passes her tests and becomes a Journeyman Beekeeper.

April 20, 2010

Karen gives beekeeping talk to quilting bee at Johnston County Ag Center Spring Extravaganza. She does love talking about honey bees.

March 6 - 7, 2009

Karen travels to Rock Hill, SC for the South Carolina/North Carolina Joint Spring Beekeepers Meeting.

April 26-28, 2010

Although not one yet, Karen attends her 1st State Master Gardener Convention in New Bern, NC.

April 28, 2010

Karen passes her Master Gardener test. After completing an initial 40 hours of volunteer work, she can call herself a Master Gardener. But, then, we already knew she was that, didn't we?

May 3, 2010

We try our hand at incubating a dozen turkey eggs. It doesn't turn out well when all the eggs fail to hatch.

May 16-17, 2010

Andy notices a snapping turtle digging a hole & laying eggs at the end of Woods Road. She is big & ugly, but the Run must be a good place if we can breed turtles.

May 22, 2010

Snapping Turtle nest gets raided with many eggs destroyed. We install a fence around the remains, hoping some eggs escaped damage and may yet hatch. We'll know in 90 days.

May 23, 2010

A fierce thunderstorm blows through & fries the thermostat. That's the 2nd one in 4 years. We're gonna be hot until a new one arrives.

May 27, 2010

The new thermostat arrives. Isn't air conditioning wonderful! Time to think about a whole house surge suppressor so this doesn't happen again.

May 28, 2010

One of the new chicks is a rooster. A white Polish, we name him Popcorn. His crow needs work, but he's certainly willing to practice.

June 5-26, 2010

Karen's mom & stepfather pay us a visit. During that time, we harvest honey and construct an extension to the small barn, a woodshed, a garden shed and a hoop house (see Projects). A fun time was had by all.

June 6, 2010

Honey Harvest Day! We pull, extract & bottle 116 pounds of honey.

June 18, 2010

Karen volunteers at the Southeast District 4-H Activity Day in Benson, NC. She is hostess at the Heritage Crafts and Open Competition room.

June 20, 2010

Our first garlic harvested. Man, do we have a lot of garlic!

June 21, 2010

Whole house surge suppressor installed. Now let Mother Nature storm & thunder. We're protected.

June 23, 2010

Our 11 year anniversary! We celebrate our anniversary and Father's Day by going to a Wine Tasting Dinner at Venero's Restaurant in Clayton, NC. It is Karen's mom's 1st wine tasting.

June 27, 2010

Open Apiary Day for the new beekeepers Karen is mentoring. 2 show up and rummage through the hives learning how different hives can be.

June 30, 2010

We hear a 2nd rooster. A huge, totally black Cochin, we name him Sirius/Serious Black. He is, by far, the largest bird in the yard, towering over even the older birds. His deep bass crow is weak, but we look forward to hearing how it turns out.

July 8-10, 2010

Karen travels to China Grove, NC to attend the NC State Beekeepers Association Summer Meeting.

July 12-15, 2010

Andy travels on business to Boston (where it's hot & humid) and Montreal (where it's hot & humid). Seems there's no escape for us from the summer's heat.

July 25, 2010

Extracted and made cremed honey with 15 pound second harvest of the year. Tamara Brooks, a good friend, comes over for dinner and is conscripted into helping make the honey.

July 26, 2010

Karen gets a new car.

July 30, 2010

Harvested edamame. This is the first time we try this soybean crop and we get tons of it.

August 1, 2010

Karen at Easter Apicultural Society annual conference in Boone, NC for the entire week.

August 18, 2010

Fantasy, Corona, and Cassie (Nigerian dwarf goats) join the critters at Cedar Run. Andy and Karen look forward to goat milk cheese next year.

August 25, 2010

Karen views a high-tunnel webinar, lots of ideas gleaned.


2009 Calendar


January 1, 2009 

Karen starts her year as Vice President of the Johnston County Beekeepers Association.

January 4, 2009 

We plug 8 more logs with Shiitake, Oyster and Maitake mushroom spore. With rain and a little luck, we'll have mushrooms... in a couple of years.

January 10, 2009 

We blaze the perimeter path along the southern border of Cedar Run and up the west property line, almost making it all the way to Stotts Mill Road. But the brush is too dense (and we're too tired) so we cut a secondary trail that ends in the backyard. Come next winter, that brush will be gone!

January 20, 2009 

It SNOWS at Cedar Run!  Snowflake Doogie absolutely loves it. We can't get him in the house as he runs around, burying his nose in the snow, in joyous abandon. The cats just sulk inside the house. This only confirms their opinion that dogs are lower lifeforms.

January 28, 2009 

Doogie and Karen start Basic Obedience classes. Hope they both learn something!

February 9 - 11, 2009 

Brennan Fence fences the West Pasture. They did the east property line in 2008 and the excellent work they did last year still showed on this year's job.

March 6 - 7, 2009

Karen travels to Rock Hill, SC for the South Carolina/North Carolina Joint Spring Beekeepers Meeting.

March 9, 2009

Bluets (Karen's favorite wildflower) are blooming all over the yard. Daffodils are out and so are dandelions, which we now know to be good bee plants and not weeds. Fruit trees are getting ready to bloom with pear blossoms the first to appear.

March 17, 2009

2 out of 3 bee colonies survived the winter and today we see this year's new drones taking their first flight. May the Cedar Run bees have a healthy and hearty 2009!

March 22, 2009

Karen mentors Laura and Bob Brandsberg of Garner on the installation of their first beehive (see Apiary for pictures).

March 27, 2009

We buy 2 HUGE trailers full of composted leaf mulch (2 for the price of 1 at the Raleigh Yard Waste Facility). Lots of back-breaking shoveling as we mulch bed after bed. Thank goodness for Bessie and her new front loader. How much easier it is to move buckets of mulch to each bed.

As reward for our hard work of the day, that evening we see one of our favorite guitarists, Jesse Cook, at the Clayton Center. Trained as a classical/flamenco guitarist, Jesse always puts on an excellent acoustic show. 

April 11, 2009

Get a whole bunch of plants from Bev Deasy as she and Ed prepare to pack up and move to Maryland. Bummer, Bev! I'll miss my gardening buddy and our tours of Carolina Gardens.

April 16, 2009

At least some of our efforts have borne fruit as we, for the first time, pick a crop of Shiitake mushrooms from our logs. Man, are they delicious! Now that we know we can grow mushrooms, Andy builds us a Shroomery in the Apiary, complete with shade and a sprinkler system to keep the mushrooms cool and moist.

April 17, 2009

Karen travels to Hampton, VA to attend the Virginia State Beekeepers Association Spring Meeting.

April 18, 2009 

Karen celebrates 1 year as a Certified Beekeeper. She and Andy spend much of the month, as well as May, trying to capture swarms. The trees in the Apiary take a heavy toll as they are cut up to remove limbs of bees. We are mostly successful as Cedar Run goes from 2 hives to 6.

April 23, 2009 

We taste our first strawberry from those planted in the fall. Mmmm, yummy! From the looks of the flowers coming out, we'll be able to eat our fill and freeze the rest to enjoy after the season ends.

April 25, 2009 

We go to the Clayton Center for a show by Kathy Mattea. Even better than what we expected, she sings for hours accompanied by only a violinist, bassist and guitarist. Enthusiastically, we buy her CD "Coal" and play it on end. Despite the depressing lyrics, the music is marvelous and her voice strong and melodic.

April 27, 2009 

4:30A and a proximity sensor goes off. Karen awakens to see a fox nonchalantly walking through the Apiary. That's not good. Foxes enjoy eating chickens and cats, if given the opportunity.

May 1, 2009 

Karen attends the city of Wilson's first garden tour. Set in the historic district, the old homes are just as enchanting as the gardens surrounding them.

May 6, 2009 

We lose our adopted guinea fowl hen to a car. Probably on her way across the street to eat frogs from the pond, the driver didn't even try to avoid hitting her. We will morn her noisy, bug eating presence and hope she enjoys the next life with her own kind (a flock of chickens never made up for her loneliness at being the only guinea fowl for miles).

May 16, 2009 

We harvest our first batch of Cedar Run honey. Only 1 super full, Samantha, Karen and Andy work to free the comb of 17 pounds of beautiful woodland honey.

May 24, 2009 

Oh, the delight of tasting your own, home-grown, juicy red raspberries. With plants of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries on site, Cedar Run sure is berry delightful.

June 1, 2008 

Karen starts a batch of sauerkraut with cabbage freshly provided by our next door neighbors, Carol and Fred Flowers. They were glad to get rid of the extra heads. Her first attempt, we'll see if it's palatable. If so, we'll share it with the generous neighbors that made it possible (hope they like sauerkraut).

June 6, 2009 

We attend a Celtic Woman concert at the RBC Center. Lovely women. Lovely gowns. Lovely voices. 

June 6, 2009 

Samantha and Karen make the first batch of Cedar Run lip balm. No longer any need to buy Chapstick or Burt's Bees, and ours is made with our own beeswax. How natural is that!!

June 20 - 25, 2009 

Andy and Samantha drive to Ft. Collins, CO where she starts working toward her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Colorado State University. We are so proud of her and can't wait to have a "Doctor" in the family.

June 19, 2009 

Karen attends a Small Field Forages workshop to learn how to properly plant forage in the Lower Pasture. May the critters that inhabit that area next year appreciate her efforts; the workshop is almost an hour's drive southeast of here and she trudges through field after field of chigger-ridden pastures in blistering heat learning what are good forages and what are bad forages. Did you know that crabgrass and bermudagrass are great forages? Who'd a-thunk!

July 9 - 11, 2009 

Karen travels to Wilkesboro to attend the North Carolina Beekeepers Association Summer Meeting. Had a marvelous dinner Friday night at Brushy Mountain Bee Farm where the Johnston County chapter wins a third place Golden Achievement Award for its efforts to promote beekeeping during 2008.

July 1 - 30, 2009 

July is canning month as we put up quarts of Italian Tomato Sauce made with Cedar Run grown tomatoes and herbs, pints of watermelon rind pickles made with our own Charleston Grey watermelon rind, and pints of stewed tomatoes (the 3 San Marzano tomato plants are producing a huge crop).

September 24, 2009 

Karen's Dad and Janis, along with their friends the Peppers, stop overnight for a quick visit on their way north to Delaware.

October 10, 2009 

To replace our guinea fowl insect control system, Karen successfully incubates our first batch of guinea fowl. We successfully hatch 7 out of 12 eggs. They are the cutest little things.

October 24, 2009 

Fourth Annual Cedar Run Harvest Celebration. Around two dozen friends join us for apple pressing, bee hive viewing, perimeter trail walks, visiting the new baby guineas, and plenty of munchies. We all had a great time.

November 8 2009 

Open Apiary Day with a dozen students from the latest beginning beekeeping class stop by to open hives and see inside for the first time. Many went on to take hte test and become Certified Beekeepers.

November 17, 2009 

Karen has surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome.

December 11, 2009 

Added two trees, two muscadines, two blueberries, and three blackberries to our ever-growing orchard.

December 13, 2009 

Completed our first rainwater recovery system with a 35 gallon tank supplying water to the chicken run. About half an inch of rain fills the tank to overflowing. Success!