About Ceilidh Meadows Farm

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Finksburg, Maryland, United States
What does Ceilidh (KAY-lee) mean? It is a Gaelic word for a traditional Scottish or Irish gathering. The Gathering Place!

Our Mission Statement and Goals

Our Mission Statement:
To glorify God through our family, home, & farm. To serve Him by being good stewards of His creation and the resources He provides.

Our goals:
To grow & provide delicious, fresh naturally grown foods for our family and members of our CSA. Though we are not certified organic, we choose to farm using non-chemical methods. We also provide a happy healthy home for our animals using pastured systems.

We hope to support our family & CSA members in learning to eat seasonally from the farm. We hope to do this by sharing ideas for food preparation & storage.

As God provides a bountiful harvest, we hope to provide extra food for families in need during this economically difficult time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bee Tree Adventure

Charlie will often get e-mails from the Bee Club of people reporting honey bees in or around their home in hopes of having them removed without killing them. This homeowner had a tree fall in the backyard near the playground. He didn't want to spray the bees but he also needed them gone & the weather was getting too cool to start them in a new bee box. So, as Charlie considered the situation, he came up with an idea.

He decided to take the tree home...hive and all! This would allow the bees the best chance to overwinter with their existing hive.

The bees had quite an extensive hive already in this hollow tree.

Well, Charlie cut the tree where he thought the hive ended but the comb extended further into the tree then expected.

So, the Bee Tree was now cut into 1 six foot section & 2 two foot sections. How in the world was he going to get this home?

Charlie & Ben did their best using cardboard, shrink wrap & duct tape to close the bees in their tree for the ride home.

How fortunate it was that the homeowner happened to have a front end loader he could use to pick up the tree & slip it right into Charlie's truck.

Ben & Charlie then lifted the 2 smaller pieces of trunk to put in the truck.

With the bee tree secured, we were off...up Route 32 and...

...through Eldersburg...

...to the farm. We made it with no problem...just a few funny looks from drivers!

Charlie & Ben gently shoved the tree off the truck...

...and rolled it into a good position.

Like a puzzle, they tried to match up the 2 smaller pieces with the main trunk so the bees would not be too confused.

They also had to level out the tree so the pieces would meet reasonably well.

The bees were starting to find their way out of the hive so Charlie uses the smoker to calm them down as they finished.

The last step was to strap the smaller pieces to the main trunk to give the bee tree a snug fit, keeping out the weather & other invaders.

A few more screws...

...and they're done!

The bees seem to be content as they come out of their main entrance...especially considering all they've been through in the past 2 hours!

This is the bee tree complete & ready to ovewinter. Hopefully the colony will survive. It's difficult enough to successfully overwinter a normal box hive...we'll just have to wait and see!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Buzz At The White House

Last Spring, Charlie & Ben were invited to help man the "Bee Keepers" Table at the Annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

Tables & tents were set up all over the White House lawn.

Charlie & Jim work on setting up the displays and posters to share with the families as they stop by the Bee table.

Everthing is set up just in time for the gates to open.

Ben uses a poster to show these little guys about how bees work the hive.

Charlie gets a personal tour of the White House Bee Hive. His friend, Charlie, who is the White House Bee Keeper explains that the hive must be up on a platform so the bees' flyway would be mostly over childrens' heads.

Now it's Ben's turn to get an up front look at the "First Bees". As you can see, the hive must be strapped down so as not to be blown away when helicopters land on the White House lawn. It makes working the bees a little harder but well worth the trouble.

President & Mrs. Obama come out on the balcony to greet all the families and visitors.

Across from the Bee Table was the White House Kitchen Garden. Charlie & Ben were able to get an inside personal tour of the garden, too. We love to see that the First Family is encouraging gardening and local food!

Another view of the garden...looking good so far!

They had a wonderful day sharing about bees with others during such a great event!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Twin Blizzards at the Farm 2010

What a wild winter! We got about 26 inches here in Finksburg. We knew it would take a few days to get our lane open so we were well prepared to relax here at home. But before we could relax, we had to get ready.

Charlie & the kids stack up wood near the house to keep the fire going while I'm inside working on a big pot of beef stew.

We woke up to a beautiful snowy morning and the snow just kept coming & coming.

Here is our Border Collie, Zoe, trying to run in the snow. She was no match for the 2 feet of snow.

Sarah & Becky take a break from clearing paths to the goats and chickens.

After clearing the heavy snow from the deck, Becky, Sarah, Ben & Daniel jump over the side into the 6 foot deep pile of snow.

Yea... the goats are happy to have a path to walk!

After all the hard work, Ben finds time to enjoy the snow by building an igloo from the pile of snow that was pushed off our flat roof.

Round 2: More snow... Unbelievable!

Well, three days after the first snow, with almost non-stop commercial digging, our friend was able to come and begin digging us out. We have a quarter mile driveway and no tractor at this time to dig ourselves out of huge amounts of snow. Just as he got about one third of the way down our driveway, he got a call to go back to work for the second snow...another 24 inches or so was on the way... with Blizzard conditions! We were still stuck. Thankfully Charlie & Becky parked their vehicles out at the end of the lane so we could walk that quarter mile out if we needed to.

The total accumulation was so heavy that Charlie had to even shovel off the grape arbor to rescue it from the snow.

Here are the bee hives covered by snow. The snow actually acts as an insulator to the hives helping to keep the bees warm and protected from the blizzard winds.

Believe it or not that little piece of wood is the top corner of the gate to the goat pen.

This is Becky attempting to make a snow angel... not quite working for her!

How beautiful everything was the following morning when all the snow had finally stopped...completely!

This is our 5 foot above ground pool...LOL!

The kids get back to some serious deck jumping.

"Oh...let's try this part of the deck...watch out below!"

Ben gets some serious hang time on this jump!

These next two beautiful pictures were taken by our budding photographer, Sarah. She took many of the other photos also.

Like all the commercial snow removers, our friend was out working very hard so we had to figure out a way to get Becky & Charlie to work our selves. The kids & Charlie decided it was time to trudge their way out to the car and truck. Shoveling was out of the question so they just walked one behind the other to stomp down a reasonable path. Of course, they talked Daniel (our 9 year old) into going first through the deepest snow. He crawled on top most of the time.

Charlie & the kids finally reach the one-third of the driveway that was first cleared by our snow removal friend... a good place to take a rest. It will be easier going the rest of the way.

Daniel is "King of the Hill" as he climbs to the top of the mound to touch the street sign.

Ben & Daniel invent a new Winter Sport..."Luge for Chickens". Daniel gets on his sled at the top of the deck while Ben holds it in place with his foot...

Ben lets go with his foot and away Daniel sails down the snow mound and drops into the channel path made to the chicken coop...

And as he banks the corner almost taking out one chicken...

...he arrives at the finish line in a flurry of feathers
(Important Disclosure: No feathered friend was injured during the making of this Blog)