Sunday, August 4, 2013
Since I last updated, we have tried our hand at rabbit breeding. Most of them did not make it, so we gave our does away until we could figure out a better breeding cage set up. It was really a blow to us since we had planned on doing this for meat. We ended up keeping the two males for manure and the fact that one is the offspring of our first rabbit who passed away a couple of years ago. Either way, maybe in the future we can try again.
We still have our chickens and they are wonderful. I would recommend chickens to anyone. The eggs are great and the birds are entertaining. When we finally get a little land of our own, we want to raise more chickens, even some of the fancier breeds. The eggs sell well at farmers markets, plus, it will keep us in a better supply of chicken meat. It seems that store bought meat has no flavor, anymore.
Our gardening is not going so well. We are not sure what is going on, but nothing really grows. Last year, during the drought that dried out the midwest, we were trying to water with the hose. Our city municipalities put so much chlorine in our drinking water, that it was killing the plants. So we lost all of it.
This year, we didn't get anything done in time for spring planting. My husband was busy with finals and graduating and I was busy trying to get my soaping business off of the ground and homeschooling the kids. On top of all of that, we have been working on remodeling our home. I also got started on a course study in herbalism so that I can make medicines and such for my family.
We do have some pumpkin plants in the ground and are preparing for a fall planting. In the meanwhile, I have canned up a bushel of green beans, put some corn and berries in the freezer, and will be canning some jelly very soon. Every little bit helps.
I seem to be full of empty promises when it comes to my blogging, but I will try to keep updated a little more. Thanks for reading!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Our rabbits have not mated. I was looking so forward to having the baby buns around. I am not sure to whom the failure belongs, the bucks or the does, but we are kitless right now. I am considering buying two new rabbits, one of each and trying it out with them. I suspect the problem is my does, but either way, they are not earning their keep, so to speak. We have been the recipients of a lot of manure, so I guess it works out in the end. It will be wonderful for the garden. The Good Little Husband has been dumping the cleanout in the garden bed all winter. The ground should be nice and rich. Looking forward to the yield.
As for the garden. We are not 100% sure when we should start planting. It is still very early and we have had so much rain. Our back yard is flooded, again. It does this when there is a lot of rain. The county is supposed to be fixing it, but who knows how long that will take. I told my husband we should dig a small well to pull some of the ground water out to the garden. I still need to do more research on it. My husband says the soil looks great, even though there is so much water hanging out back there. My responsibility will be with the herb garden. I am looking forward to that. I am planning many different herbs. I have mixes I want to make and may even sell the abundance. Herbs can be so beneficial to your body, mind and spirit.
The Good Little Husband's friend is raising goats (my main reason for wanting baby rabbits). I want some of the milk as I intended to make soap. I still need to get my soap making supplies, but he did give me a quart of milk. I have it waiting in the freezer. Currently, he has four kids. We took our kids out to see his kids. Sadly, they couldn't get too close. He has an electric fence around the area in which the goats live, so I didn't want my children to accidentally touch the fence. The kids (not mine, the goats') were having so much fun frolicking and trying to climb on their mothers. I hope my husband's friend continues to have milk on hand. As soon as this little rabbitry gets off of the ground, I am going to be in need.
We have also made a major shift in our home. We pulled the kids out of public school back in January to homeschool them. I didn't feel they were getting the education they needed. I won't get into a big political tirade, but we all know how our school systems are right now. Some are better than others, but even the best are needing revamped. We had the kids in a good school, but they just weren't getting what I thought they needed, so we bought ourselves a great prepackaged curriculum (because I need that for myself) and will be starting with it in April. We have been using web resources since we withdrew them, but it isn't enough for me. I feel like I am leaving too much out of the mix. So far, though, the kids are thriving.
Today was a fun adventure. Many farm stores are getting their small livestock for spring. We went to Orscheln's and Tractor Supply today to see what they had. I had to resist buying two very cute baby rabbits. I love the baby bunnies, in case you couldn't tell by a former paragraph. I did manage to beat the temptation.
Instead, we bought another spring cutie. We picked up six baby chicks. They are adorable. They were of a mixed bag, so I am not sure of the breed, but we did get three reds and three blacks. I think the blacks are Barred Rocks. We are hoping the reds are of the Rhode Island variety. Fresh eggs here we come!!!
Here they are in their brooder. My daughter is absolutely in love with them. Naturally, they have had a big day being moved from the farm supply store to our home. They were trying to fall asleep so my daughter decided to tell them a bedtime story. I wonder how much she'll like them when they get bigger.
We have decided to make ourselves a chicken tractor. Between the feral cats my next door neighbor keeps around and my dogs, I am afraid for their safety being completely free range. My kids have a trampoline that isn't good for much right now. The padding dry rotted and the enclosure blew apart, so I don't feel it's safe to jump on anymore. We are going to enclose the underside with chicken wire leaving one side open for the coop. They will have a lot of room to forage and we can move it as needed. I thought I would put a canopy over top so the kids and I can take our reading and some of our assignments outside and have a comfortable place to hang out. I know we can sell it for scrap, but why when I can repurpose it? The chickens will be safe from over head predators as well as having shade. Win, win!!!
So, this is the goings on in my life right now. Hopefully, I will have more to post as time goes on and our little mini farm starts showing what it's capable of.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
We have looked into digging a small well in the back yard. We want to use it for irrigation. We have a lot of water underground as we discovered when we put the fence up last spring. Water shot up out of the ground when the auger got deep enough. We checked out a book from the library called Back To Basics. It has excellent ideas and instructions. They talk about building a small well that is the diameter of a large pipe. After the drought this year, I would be afraid that we would run out of water for our garden if we experience the same lack of rain next year.
We also found a company to build our barn shed in the spring. We can't wait for that. Our metal shed just isn't cutting it. lol
I think I have figured out what type of herbs I want to grow and how I plan to grow them. I am hoping to use cinder blocks to create a raised garden. I also want to sell them at the farmer's market in town. I have been looking more into soapmaking and plan to start that after the holidays. I am always thinking on what new project with which I can experiment.
I made the rosemary and lavender jellies. Both are very good, but sadly, I think I am allergic to lavender in food form. I am disappointed about that. I also got my rosemary all dried out, but that is really it for food preservation this year. It has just been so hot and we have been so busy with life that I have run out of time. Sorry I don't have more to report.
Oh, I mentioned in a previous post that my husband was trying out homemade upside down planters. I wanted to let you know how they did. Most of our veggies died. Two tomato plants survived and produced some tomatoes, but they are still on the vine and still green. They didn't ripen. It was a total loss. I don't know if it was the heat, the drought or the system. I will urge him to try with at least one bucket in the spring to see if it will work under normal growing conditions and let you know. I hate to give up on it. We're still going to use our fence posts for the buckets, but he plans to plant them right side up. lol
All in all, this was a pretty unproductive summer with the exception of getting the little rabbitry started. I guess it's all baby steps and I can't complain because at least we accomplished something, right?
We recently brought home a new rabbit. We named her Priscilla, Prissy for short and her name fits her well. She is a Californian, the same as my buck, but she is solid white instead of white with black/blue trim.
I didn't know whether I wanted to breed the two, but after talking with some people, decided to go for it. We can use the extra manure come spring. I will go into more of that in another post since this one is about farm names.
I wanted something that would fit our farm size which is in my backyard in the middle of a subdivision, but I want to be able to carry it to our acreage when we finally fulfill our dream of owning property. I also wanted it to reflect what we plan to work on most which is the rabbits at this point.
Since we have the Californians, we thought we would breed them for meat, but I want Angoras later for the fur to spin into yarn. I found out it can be done and I love yarn. I could have a lot of fun with it and it's not cruel to the animal.
Anyway, what do you think about Cottontail Corner which could be changed to Cottontail Acres in the future? I think it is cute and fitting of our little start to farming. Now to convince the husband.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
My son has decided he wants to join 4-H. We thought this would be a great opportunity for him to learn more about farming and agriculture and practice these lessons at home. We want so badly to pass this down to our children so that they can be self sufficient.
The kids got to learn about the milking process, egg laying and candling, large animal veterinary medicine and tractors. Farm Bureau Insurance sponsored the food, one of the dairy farmer's brought organic milk and the kids got popcorn, too. They also brought home pencils, candy and coloring books.
Check with your local 4-H chapter and find out when they are doing Ag Day in your county. You won't be disappointed.