Thursday, September 19, 2013

A small crop of fingerling potatoes as fall establishes itself.

Fall is really and fully here. We haven't had a killing frost yet, but my hands get cold in the time it takes to feed and water the rabbits. Fortunately for the litters that will be born soon the projected weather has lows in the high 40s low 50s for the next 10 days instead of the low to mid 30s that we've been seeing the past few days. If we can get 2 weeks of 50ish degree nights I won't be as concerned about infant mortality as I will be when it's below freezing.

The teens Above we are saving for potential breeding have been settling into their new circumstances well, though they're a little suspicious of the creaky door on the hutch, that's a new noise for them that they are unhappy with. They have already recovered from the sudden change of setting and being just the two of them fairly well and are already coming up and interacting with us again which they'd been too nervous to do for a couple days. I'm always happier seeing our kids come out of their shells. The younger kits have fully settled into the growing out hutch, and are in fact seeming to have a Great time with space to run, jump, and roam. They also seem to enjoy just being together. I've caught them all in one big pile of bunnies when it was really cold. Unfortunately some of the creme kits seem to have picked up in a short five days some of Twilight's habits. I came out this morning and a veritable horde of creme kits jumped up and climbed up the side wire of the hutch and held on. They formed a mini carpet of bunny holding onto the side wire of the hutch. That's not a behavior I was thrilled to see transmitted, but they seem to think it's fun to do that and then fling themselves at the shelf. I was terrified one of them was going to break their back or legs when one jumped from the front of the hutch at the shelf, missed, smacked itself on the back of the head and fell on the floor. Fortunately it bounced right back up and went back to begging. They are also a great example of group think, because most of them are happy and comfortable I put my hands in and have a swarm of happy bunnies all over my arms cuddling, licking, and looking for food. So far they haven't had the idea to fling themselves headlong from the hutch, but I'm watching for it!
I don't know how many of you remember the awful depredation our potato plants  suffered from clavate tortoise beetles. It'd gotten bad enough despite starting off so well and all the work we did that we just gave up on them. The Lady of the House had even dug up the first one to die and see if anything came of it, and pulled out one thumb sized potato. Well, we still had three buckets left and one more had croaked so the Lady of the House went ahead and cracked it open digging for potatoes. Well, Below Left you can see, we actually got potatoes out of it! About a pound to a pound and a half of fingerling potatoes. Given that we were growing from discards from Crabapple Farm that they shared at the seedling swap, and the horrible mauling they suffered from the beetles we're happy to have gotten that! Only one of them isn't suitable for eating because it's gone green but the rest will be going into dinner shortly. It was a nice surprise, and we still have two plants we haven't dug up and taken potatoes from yet so we're hoping to have a few good meals of small potatoes to have.

Hopefully by Tuesday we'll have baby pictures for you all from everyone but Sunshine who will be in a couple weeks. We shall see, my ability to count is always suspect when it comes to dates, just ask the Lady of the House!

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