Get a Buzz on at Bee School

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Want to take the sting out of a long winter? As the cool weather sets in, take advantage of indoor time and learn a new hobby. If you’ve ever considered bee’ing a beekeeper, or just want a better understanding of these amazing pollinators, join one of the local Bee Schools gathering this winter. Each year swarms of people attend Bee School. Attendees may be complete “new-bees”, others are seasoned beekeepers who want to refresh their skills, and then there is everyone else in bee’tween. This creates a mix of students who freely share their stories, know-how, successes, and failures in the buzzing hive that is the Bee School experience.

Ready to take flight? Okay, let’s take a look at local options:

Plymouth County Beekeepers Association

(PCBA) offers an 8-session course from January to April which meets every other Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Classes are held at the Pembroke Community Center, session topics include: Anatomy of the Honey Bee, Woodenware, Diseases & Pests, and Local Pollen & Nectar Sources. The $50 enrollment fee includes a text book, course materials, and a 1-year membership to the PCBA Club. Mentors are also available to assist you throughout your apiary adventure. Tuition covers ALL family members in the same household!

Bristol County Beekeepers Association

(BCBA) Beginner’s Beekeeping Course runs from February 2 through March 22 and meets every Tuesday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Classes are held at the Bristol County Agricultural High School Library in Dighton, and topics covered include: Biology of the Honeybee, How to Acquire Your First Bees, Buying or Building a Beehive, Diseases, and Bottling Honey. Students have the option to pair up with a “Bee Buddy”, a BCBA veteran beekeeper who will continue to help you after school has ended. The enrollment fee of $50 includes a text book and 1-year membership to BCBA for all family members.

Northeast Organic Farming Association, MA

(NOFA) The Massachusetts NOFA chapter was established in 1982 and welcomes “anyone who eats, anyone who grows food, and anyone who tends the landscape or lives the activist lifestyle” to join them through educational workshops and/or advocacy efforts that promote organic agriculture. Their 29th Annual Winter Conference is on January 16 at Worcester State University, offering Beekeeping Intensive Pt. 1: Overwintering Bees & Spring Management (all levels) and Pt. 2: Working with Honey Bee Queens (all levels).

These Associations are passionate about bees and beekeeping. They work yearlong to promote the well-bee’ing of our local bee population, mentor fellow beekeepers, and educate our community. Beekeeping has a positive environmental impact, and is a hobby you can enjoy with family, friends, and dare I say, neighbors—just be sure to bring them a jar of honey.

www.PlymouthCountyBeekeepers.org
www.BristolBee.com
www.NOFAMass.org

This just in! Beekeeping at Plimoth Plantation with guest instructor Kevin England meeting 5 Wednesday evenings starting March 23 2016, from 6:30 to 8:30pm, $75 members, $90 nonmembers. Price includes textbook, The Beekeeper’s Bible, and optional sixth session. www.Plimoth.org

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Michelle Berry and family are local bee school grads, and are now the proud hosts of eight hives in Pembroke.

Reprinted from Winter 2016 edible South Shore & South Coast.

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LOCAL 2015 Gift Guide, Beyond the Mall!

By The Elves at edible South Shore & South Coast Magazine

Local Pottery holiday - Copy

Local Pottery in Norwell dishes up gifts

We hope this edible Gift Guide will bring you in touch with local makers, shops, eateries and small businesses who feed, clothe, and delight locavore shoppers: art galleries and gift shops; restaurants that serve local food and drink; distillers, wineries and brewers crafting local libations; natural hair and body care salons, garden shops and florists; and more. Scan the list, check out the samples below to avoid the mall and have a very, merry season!

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“Garden to Fire Cooking in a Presidential Kitchen”

By Paula Marcoux

Paula cooking with fire at Mayflower Brewery, Plymouth, MA

Paula cooking with fire at Mayflower Brewery, Plymouth, MA

For this Storey [Publishing] author, 2014 was a big year. In support of the release of my book, Cooking with Fire, I traveled the country meeting scores of interesting people and making cooking fires in (or in the parking lots of) some unusual places: bookstores, camping supply emporia, TV stations, breweries, a vineyard, historic sites and museums, and even on the radio! I was surprised to find how many Main Street business districts in this country will happily accommodate an author kindling a wood fire, as long as shared tasty snacks are part of the program. But all this hoopla, as fun as it was, could not have prepared me for the pinnacle of excitement: leading a workshop at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello as part of the Heritage Harvest Festival.

How could this not be a mind-blowing honor for a hands-on food historian — to cook in the actual kitchen of “the Great House” of Jefferson’s mountaintop home?

Click here to read the full Storey Publishing blog post by Paula Marcoux: In the Kitchen of the Great House.

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SpitJack

Longtime Boston chef Bruce Frankel has explored many themes in his professional career, offering up thoughtful takes on everything from nouvelle cuisine to New England traditional in several multi-starred kitchens. Fascinated with food history, Bruce began cooking with fire in his home fireplace and backyard, exploring what it was like to cook before gas ranges and ovens.  Continue reading

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BLOOM! Build a Backyard Bouquet

By Debbie Bosworth

“Lay the seeds of your wildest dreams and grow a patch of wonderful.” Debbie Bosworth


As a gardener there’s nothing more rewarding than stepping out into your own flower patch early in the morning, snipping a handful of home-grown beauties and building a bouquet. My Gardenia Peony put on the most beautiful late spring show of blousy, soft, creamy white blooms. I just have the one plant and look forward to those blooms every year. And every year I swear I’m going to plant more, but instead I get swept-up with the busyness of spring and summer and I never quite get to planting more peonies. Sigh. Maybe that’s why they’re so special?  Especially in a fresh cut garden bouquet!

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Farm Frenzy, South Shore to South Coast

Early Summer Farm and Field Notes
By eSS & SC

Visiting Spring Rain Farm in Tauntun

Visiting Spring Rain Farm in Taunton

We are so proud to partner with these hard working and innovative growers, farmers, breeders, beekeepers, educators and cultivators. Each of the farms listed below has been actively engaged within the edible community to generate a nourishing and strong food system. This is their season to shine.

Here is a brief update from each farm; we hope you seek out our partner farms and get to know the slightly saucy farmers who feed our region!

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A Midsummer Day’s Dream: Planting Your Own Vegetable Garden

by Marjorie R. Williams

Summer solstice has just passed and despite your best intentions, you haven’t even begun to plant vegetables yet. If this sounds like your life (and mine), don’t despair. It’s not too late to get started and still enjoy ample harvests. Continue reading

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How to Grow Armfuls of Dahlias for Cut-flowers

By Debbie Bosworth

Grow Dahlias for cutflowers

Grow Dahlias for cut-flowers

If you ask me, Dahlias are the Grande Dame of flowers. You can grow them by seed or buy tubers. I prefer planting tubers because I know I’m going to get full height and maximum blooms from each plant, which is important when you’re growing large quantities for cutting purposes.

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DEVOUR THE ENEMY: Invasive Edibles in a Damn Good Stir Fry

by Paula Marcoux

Invasive Mustard Greens

Invasive Mustard Greens

Okay, so we’ll never entirely win the war against rampant honeysuckle, bittersweet, and burning bush, but, in a very good argument for picking our battles, we can beat out at least one invasive plant, and to the victor goes a damn good stir-fry. One of our more pernicious invasives here in southeastern Massachusetts (not to mention most of North America) just happens to be a delicious vegetable.

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Gifting My Mistakes: Reflections of a Novice Farmer

By Kohei Ishihara

Learning to grow Shiitake Mushrooms at a Freedom Food Farm workshop in April

Learning to grow Shiitake Mushrooms at a Freedom Food Farm workshop in April

This year I am starting my first commercial vegetable and mushroom operation, and the theme of my life has been the Learning Curve. Everything I do likely will take 2 to 3 times longer than what a seasoned farmer could do, and often 2- 3 painstaking trips back and forth to the hardware or farm supply store. Wasted money only adds salt to the wounds of wasted time. Today I want to give you the gift of my mistakes. Take all of them!

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