ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends


Bees in my compost pile


This photo is blurry because I won’t get any closer to the compost bin, nor stand around at a distance long enough to be noticed.

I got good and stung by some bees earlier this week. Turns out a hive of bees has taken up residence in my compost pile and are going to use all of their stingers to defend their new home and queen.


I would like to regain use of my compost pile – especially because I pulled weeds in the garden and yard this weekend and would like to put that material into the compost to get it rotting. Plus, we only have a 1 gallon compost pail in the house and it’s full to overflowing. But, if I’m going to put things into my compost pile I need to get rid of these bees!

Sidebar: Sam and I debated whether these are bees or wasps. I believe they are bees for three reasons. They’re small, they don’t have a narrow waist between the head and thorax, and when I was stung (twice, I’ll have you know) the stingers and the venom sacks were embedded in my skin. Sam is unconvinced and believes these are wasps. He supposedly has photographic evidence. I will leave it up to him to prove me wrong. However, if we catch a bee, I may post a photograph of it to have y’all weigh in. Back to the discussion…

Having bees living in my compost pile is leaving me with quite the dilemma. Do I kill the bees or try to save and relocate them? Some squishy liberal in me doesn’t want to kill much of anything, especially honeybees. Honeybees are vital for pollination and maintaining local food production. They’re valuable industrious workers spreading around pollen and turning flowers into ripe, swollen ovum, which we call fruits and vegetables. I would feel like a murderer to take poison to their hive. In addition, killing off the bees means  using poison, which is rather antithetical to producing organic compost. I have been working for a few months to make that compost and I would really like to use it in my garden, thankyouverymuch.

Those were the arguments for gently nudging the bees toward seeking other habitation elsewhere. These are the arguments for killing the *BEEP*ers.

OW! Sam and I have BOTH gotten stung in the past week. I was stung twice while running around my yard and waving my arms like an idiot. (Eddie Izzard had something to say about this…) And there are PLENTY of other places where the bees can live. My compost pile is NOT the most habitable environment. It’s rotting, for one. So my arguments for total annihilation are: 1. pain. 2. better real estate.

So… What do I do? I’m sure the internet has many suggestions to offer on how to poison the bees to kill them and make them go away. Yes, that would make my support-the-death-penalty alter ego rather happy, but I would like to continue to have fruits and vegetables fertilized by my own organic compost. What a dilemma. Any other options?

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Eggs at the Norwich Farmer’s Market

Bowl of EggsAt the Norwich Farmer’s Market there are a handful of stands that sell eggs, along with other produce and meats. I talked to all of the egg vendors on May 31 and here’s the info they gave me about their eggs. This year, the average market price is $4.50. Compared to last year, the Norwich farmer’s market has more egg producers (3 in 2013, 7 in 2014) and the average price per dozen increased from $4.17 in 2013 to $4.50 in 2014. I’m going to visit the groceries the area to get a sense of the price per dozen for conventional and high-end eggs.

Farm Price per
Laying Hens Free Range Feed
Highfields Farm $5 100 Yes Pasture
Organic Grain
Ephraim Mountain Farm $4 200 Yes Organic Grain
Thymeless Herbs $4 100 Yes Scraps from the COOP
Minimal Grain
Hogwash Farm $5 Yes Organic Grain
Rabbit Patch Farm $2.25 sm
$3.50 large
$4 jumbo
200 yes Pull pellet
Fat Rooster Farm $4.50 30-50 Yes Mixed grains
Luna Bleu Farm $5 120 Yes Organic Grain


What can I do with 4 cups of tomato liquid?

I need some ideas, quick, about what to do with 4 cups of tomato liquid. It’s not tomato purée, it’s the liquid that I got after straining the jelly and the seeds from middle of a bunch of tomatoes. It’s much thinner than tomato purée, and doesn’t have any fiber in it. What should I do with this?