We heard some rumors of snow this week, so of course our thoughts are turning to snowshoes and skis. We inspected the ground near our snowshoe door and found a few surprises… guess we’ll be working on some serious cleanup before we get those snowshoes outside!
But somedays the weather wins. Today, the weather won. We have 55 middle schoolers here from Patrick Henry Middle School in Sioux Falls. It does make us pause early in the morning and think “Oh, no! What are we going to do with 55 middle schoolers if the weather is bad?”
Plan B. Plan B is a great plan and today is one of the days when it works beautifully. We have one of the best groups of 6th graders we’ve ever had! They adjusted to being inside instead of out, we adjusted our schedules and away we went. Instead of fishing, hiking, orienteering and outdoor cooking, we’re doing tree identification, owl pellets, outdoor cooking on the grill out the back door and we’re playing a nature quiz bowl game.
One of The Outdoor Campus volunteer coordinators, Ashleigh Roemen, grew up on an acreage, but now lives in the big city. She missed the country experience and wanted to share it with her husband and 2-year-old son. She brings a taste of the country to the city with five bee hives she keeps by Rowena.
Fall is the typical time of year to harvest the honey, Ashleigh said. She pulled the boxes off the hives with her mom, aunt and sister on Friday. They take the frames, full of honey and combs, out of the hive and cut the caps off with a hot knife. The combs are spun in an extractor, filtered and the honey is jarred, she said.
Sometimes, the bees create some “extra” combs between the frames. Those don’t fit in the extractor, so Ashleigh cut them off and brought them to work today. It took a bit of coaxing, but we all tried the raw comb.
“Cut off a piece, put it in your mouth and chew it like gum,” she instructed. “The honey will come out and you’ll be left with the wax.”
We did. It was great. I have to admit I felt a little bit like a pioneer girl, taking a taste of nature’s candy.