Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘greenhouse’

Buzz On In for Reynolds Honey

Bee George and Marcia

George and Marcia Reynolds have worked well together for fifty-five years.

Buzzing bees sound like music to the ears of George and Marcia Reynolds. Since 1972, they’ve had hives of bees and their reason for starting this venture had nothing to do with pollination or honey.

Bee Flowers

No surprise that you are greeted at their home by a bed of flower blossoms for the bees.

George suffered with arthritis after a childhood bout with polio. Doctors told him he would be in a wheelchair by the age of forty. However, George heard about a bee sting therapy they were experimenting with in Canada, that might cure arthritis. He bought his first hive to see if it would work.

Obviously, it did, because forty-five years later, George has no signs of arthritis and is quite active as he cares for forty hives of bees. Not all are at his farm as he often places one or two colonies at friends’ houses as a favor to the landowner.

Even he admits he blundered through that first colony and suffered some painful bee stings. A fellow beekeeper told him that bees shouldn’t be that nasty. What he needed was a new queen. It worked. With the new queen, the colony became much gentler.

Bee Covering

George wears a long sleeved white shirt and veiled hat while working with the bees.

Most of the equipment he uses is economically homemade. After he puts on a long sleeve white shirt, he covers his head with a veiled hat. His smoker confuses the bees so he can more easily use a special tool to open the hive. In order to get close to the bees, George even provided a veil for me to wear. No stings received.

Bee Smoker

A smoker is used to remove scents and confuse the bees.

The story of honey production centers around the queen bee, who does nothing but lay eggs…500 to 2000 a day! She’s even able to decide which kind of egg she will lay – drone or worker bee.

Bee Hives

There are about forty bee hives scattered around their farm.

The worker bees gather pollen from a variety of blossoms to bring back to the hive to feed the queen, and store for their winter food. Then the housekeeper bee packs it into the cells. To remove most of the water from the nectar, they fan it with the rapid movement of their wings.

Bee New Hive

Bees were transferred board by board to their new hive.

Bee Transfer

Many bees keep busy in the hive storing honey for winter.

Beekeepers only take a small portion of their food for us to enjoy, so the bees have plenty of food left for winter.

Bee Honey Board

This board has been covered in honey, which George will soon process and put in bottles.

After George scrapes the honey off a frame, he breaks it into pieces by centrifugal force using an extractor. It flows to the bottom of the extractor and pours from the spigot through a strainer to get out the larger particles. He never touches the honey himself and it is never heated as that would remove helpful qualities.

If you use honey for medicinal purposes, local honey created from local blossoms is your best bet. It can even be used to reduce scars after surgery. George doesn’t spray his bees or vegetation so Reynolds Honey is chemical free.

Bee Honey

They frequently sell their honey at the local Farmers Market.

His wife, Marcia, isn’t eager to work closely with the bees. She helps with bottling and labeling after the honey is harvested.

George remarked, “I learn something new each year.” That’s remarkable since he’s been working with bees a long time. When customers comment on how great his honey tastes, he tells them, “I have nothing to do with that. Every batch tastes different. It all depends on what blossoms the bees find.”

If you would like to be a beekeeper, talk to someone who has been doing it for years. It’s scary at first so you need someone to encourage you. The local Guernsey/Noble Beekeepers Association would be the perfect place to begin.

Bee Cucumber

Fun in his garden resulted in this cucumber grown inside a water bottle.

In their spare time, George and Marcia have a large garden and two 30X56 greenhouses. Heirloom varieties create some unusual plants for the garden. This year he’s experimenting with sesame. The seeds came from plants at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. A White Heron cucumber also thrives in his garden. He shared with me a cucumber grown in a water bottle.

George also carves wooden horses and has made each child in the family a small barn for their carved horses. Marcia relaxes with crocheting and adult coloring books.

It’s easy to see the Reynolds are busy as bees all year long.

If you would like some of the Reynolds Honey, visit George and Marcia during the summer months at Farmers Markets in Cambridge and New Concord. Other times, call George at 740-872-3865.

Advertisements

Greenhouses Cultivate Spring Gardening Fever

Greenhouse Catalogs

Looking through seed catalogs creates dreams of spring.

This article was written for the March Now & Then Magazine, so pictures were taken in late February.

Spring Fever hits many adults this time of year. Thoughts of vegetable and flower gardens have some gardeners starting seeds of their favorite plants indoors. But not everyone has the time or patience to carry out this slow process.

Greenhouse Snow

This snow-covered greenhouse anxiously awaits spring planting at Old Stone House Nursery near Norwich.

That’s where greenhouses come into the picture. After visiting several greenhouses of all sizes, it makes a person ready to plan what flowers they want for their gardens. My favorite hanging basket, a pink and purple fuchsia, has already been ordered.

The first order of business for greenhouses consists of ordering various sizes of containers for planting and lots of good soil, often by the truckload.

Green Mc

Jeaneen McDaniel and grandson, Jack, check cuttings they did months back at McDaniel’s Greenhouse in Rix Mills.

Some begin in February sowing seeds in good loose soil filled with air that plant roots need. This type of soil also holds moisture well, but drains easily so as not to over-water. Extra care is also taken not to give the plants too much fertilizer as then they will grow tall and spindly. Others wait until March to start their seeds.

Greenhouse Mc

Bryce and Rachael McDaniel are proud of their succulent plants at McDaniel’s Greenhouse.

Surprisingly, many of the plants are started in the fall of the year from cuttings of healthy mother plants. Succulents, ornamental begonias, and coleus are examples of plants started from cuttings. While the greenhouse owners make it appear easy, it may not be that easy for everyone. They cut the branches from a mother plant, and simply stick it in good soil, while keeping the correct moisture in the soil. Soon small roots appear!

Some plants, however, have patents and greenhouses are not permitted to grow new plants from cuttings. These they have to purchase in trays from a supplier, such as Proven Winner . When they arrive they are very small plants, but with a little tender care, they will be ready to re-pot for use in hanging baskets, custom orders, or for sale as individual plants.

Greenhouse Containers

Unusual containers make for interesting plant displays.

One greenhouse just recently installed heated floors in the section where they were doing the seeding and cuttings. By use of a wood burner, it keeps the floor at about 70 degrees, the perfect temperature for these young plants.

Not every place has economical heating available, so they delay potting things until later in March. That is one reason that more greenhouses are now purchasing their small plants in trays of plugs. It just isn’t cost effective to heat their greenhouses while they start plants from seed.

Of great importance is getting the plants at their peak at just the right time. That takes perfect timing especially when you are selling the plants. Requests for custom orders in special containers or hanging baskets is one special service of the greenhouses. So each greenhouse has their weekly schedule for planting so their plants peak at the correct time.

Geenhouse trees and shrubs

Young shrubs, bushes and trees are protected from winter weather at Schoenbrunn Nursery in Dover, Ohio.

Flowers aren’t the only thing you’ll find at the greenhouse. Right now specialty trees that are high risk reside inside a covered, yet cool, greenhouse to keep them in their dormant state. Fruit trees, magnolias and small shrubs and pines still need extra protection.

Greenhouse Jodi

Jodi Gotschall’s favorite plants seem to be succulents. Her personal greenhouse is filled with healthy looking plants in clever containers.

For those with a passion for gardening, a few are fortunate enough to have their own greenhouse. These are often filled with plants from their garden that they want to save from year to year, along with some they want to experiment with. Often they take cuts of their favorites for expansion of a certain flower bed, or perhaps to give to their friends.

Greenhouse Jodi 2

While Jodi will use many of these in her own yard, she also shares them with friends.

Greenhouse of bottles

This unusual greenhouse is made of plastic pop bottles. It is used by the folks living in Earthship at Blue Rock Station.

When talking about greenhouses, a unique one visited a couple years ago keeps coming to mind. This greenhouse is made of over 1000 plastic pop bottles, which will never need replaced as they don’t decompose. This is used year round to start plants and grow food for the family. Solar panels provide heat for this plant haven.

People who work with plants enjoy “watching things grow”. When you place a seed or a cutting into the soil, it’s a miracle to see them develop into a beautiful plant. The fascination never stops.

 

 

Zoar Village Garden’s Symbolic Design

Day Lilies greet visitors to the Zoar Gardens.

Day Lilies greet visitors at Zoar Garden.

Summer time and the flowers are blooming! The beautiful garden at Zoar Village seems most spectacular during the month of July. An entire block of vegetable and flower beds will have you wanting to find a seat and enjoy the scenery, or casually stroll down the pathways.

Long ago this garden began as a place for the communal village to grow their vegetables as well as brighten their life with flowers. Who tended those early gardens at Zoar? School boys and elderly men received this assignment as the female occupants all had household chores that must be done daily, while the men were either working the fields or building the Ohio and Erie Canal.

The center of the block garden has a special spiritual significance.

The center of the block garden has a special spiritual significance.

The spectacular Zoar Garden symbolized New Jerusalem to those German Separatists in the early 1800s. At its center stands a tall, slightly bent, Norway spruce, which represents Jesus. Surrounding the tall pine, twelve smaller junipers depict the twelve disciples.

These in turn are circled by an arbor vitae hedge, indicating heaven. Paths in the garden are proclaimed as pathways to paradise showing that no matter what path you take, if you look to Christ, you will be led to heaven.These people had strong religious beliefs now that they were free to worship as they pleased in the United States.

During the winter months, the greenhouse is filled with tropical plants.

The Gardener’s House had a conveniently attached greenhouse.

At the north end of the garden stands the Gardener’s House, which served as residence for gardener, Simon Beuter, and his family back in 1835. Shortly thereafter, a greenhouse, or hothouse, was added. Since they grew oranges, lemons and other fruit in the middle of winter in the greenhouse, it was also called the Orangerie.

Tropical plants were stored in the greenhouse during the winter months.

Tropical plants were stored in the greenhouse during the winter months.

Hothouses were unheard of in Ohio at this time. The tropical fruit trees were kept outside in large wooden tubs in the summer, but could easily be moved into the greenhouse during the cold winter months. After the Ohio and Erie Canal was built, wealthy Clevelanders would send their plants during winter to Zoar to be kept in the greenhouse, because of its unique underground heating system.

A vegetable garden would naturally have been part of the Zoarites Garden.

A vegetable garden would naturally have been part of the Zoarites’ Garden.

Research shows the Separatists frequently used many home remedies for ailments so grew medicinal types of herbs in their communal garden. They also grew fresh fruits and vegetables to provide strawberries and cabbages for the Zoar Hotel, where President William McKinley often dined on a Sunday afternoon.

Charming flower boxes on local fences added to the beauty of the village.

Charming flower boxes on local fences add to the beauty of the village.

Along the streets of town, many residents have beautiful flower gardens of their own. Baskets of flowers grace fences, and bushes bloom with beauty. There is much to see and do throughout the village with costumed guides telling about life there long ago.

While in the area take a stroll through Zoar Wetlands Arboretum or find the Trailhead nearby for the one-hundred mile long Towpath Trail of the old Ohio and Erie Canal.

Plan a visit to delightful Zoar Village on the banks of the Tuscarawas River where a guide remarked, “You could live your whole life here and never need cash. They believed cash was corrupting. It turns out they were right.”

Zoar Village can be reached just three miles off I-77 at Exit 93 between Dover and Canton, Ohio. 

Tag Cloud