Wednesday, July 8, 2015

No Bees - No Pumpkins

When people find out that I keep bees, their first question is always, "Well how did you get into that?"

Pumpkin Flower
The answer to that is unique and goes back to the movie, A Walk In The Clouds.  If you've seen it, then you are probably thinking that there weren't any bees in that movie.  You are right.  However, I love this movie if for no other reason than the beautiful vineyards.  Napa Valley is one of the most beautiful places on God's green earth.  It is no surprise that I later fell in love with my wife while on a balloon ride in Napa Valley.

I still have a love for vineyards.  So about 14 years ago I began studying up on viniculture.  Since I live in Mississippi, the most appropriate vine to grow would be the native Muscadine.  Through my studies I found that on just 5 acres of land, one person could grow enough muscadines to make 10,000 bottles of wine.

So I began to make plans to grow a small muscadine vineyard in Mississippi.  However, I continued my research first.

It takes 3 years for a vine to mature to the point where it can produce a full harvest of grapes.  In that time I thought it might be a good idea to grow something in the vacant rows... something like watermelons.

So I began to research watermelons.  In that research I found that watermelons are grown from spring to early summer.  That leaves the latter part of the growing season for another crop... something like Pumpkins.

So now my plan was to grow a muscadine vineyard, plant watermelons for the first three years in the empty rows and plant pumpkins later in those years.  It seemed like a good plan.

So I began to research pumpkins... and that's when it happened.  In my research, I found that pumpkins do not self-pollenate but require bees for a healthy crop. 

So naturally I began to research bees (As you can see I am a big planner).  It only took one or two books for me to decide that the best agricultural invest I could make was to scrap all of my other plans and invest in bees.  So that is what I did.  Granted, so far it hasn't paid off but that is my fault - and I plan to rectify the situation.

So there you have it.  I became a beekeeper because Keanu Reeves fell in love with a pregnant chick in a vineyard.

On a more personal and present note: I am still laid-off.  The oil field is in a steep down-turn.  I am scheduled to return to my job in October but there is no guaranty that will come through.  The stress of it all is exhausting.  

However in a positive turn of events, while searching online, I came across an awesome job opening with the USDA as a Safety Manager only 16 miles from my home.  It would be a dream job.  The really peculiar thing was that I found this amazing job (that I am perfect for) by mere happenstance and it was only open for applications/resume for 8 hours.  The fact that I found the job and applied for it in such a small window, seems like divine intervention.

The pay is very good (for the Delta), I would be home every night (unlike offshore), and I would be working in an agricultural research center.  The truth is that even though I am very qualified for the position, it all just seems too good to be true.  Yet no matter how hard I try to tell myself not to get excited or too hopeful, in my heart I want this job with all of my being.  I'll let you know how it works out.  If you are reading this, say a prayer for me.

p.s.  In the Labels of all my blogs, I use the label: NAKED.  There is nothing in my blogs about nudity but I need the traffic and perverts sometimes keep bees. :)

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