Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A gift of weather, a completed garden bed, and saying goodbye to the teens.

With the gift from nature of a gorgeous Saturday, the Lady of the House and I got a good bit of last minute garden work done. The delayed season has been a bit concerning for us from the perspective of climate change leading to more extreme weather, and worries about having sufficient freeze time for certain plants. But! On the up side, having not had enough time before, this was a bit of a reprieve.

It's amazing  just how much work making this new big garden bed has been. On the other hand, everything in it is waste, so the work is really the only cost. Most of the work would have needed to be done in some form or another anyhow. Raking the leaves from the drainage ditches, totally needed. Dragging them up the hill was a bit more work than normal, but not much to be honest. The wood pile of rotting wood was becoming something of a problem anyway with critters living in it, that needed to be moved, and at least it's being used for something! Rabbit poop and waste hay obviously need to be cleaned up every six months or so, so having a garden to put them on is wonderful! Without the garden cart, doing this with buckets would be a real chore of course, but the garden cart makes this task very doable. It also reminded me, if you're going to own a home, much less homestead, own an iron rake. I've been using that extensively for much of this process. It is a very different tool than a traditional leaf rake. You can really move things around with it, pick things up, and move them around. It's a really helpful tool I'd never encountered before I had it specifically recommended to me for clearing the driveway. So, as you all can see, the Lady of the House got some photos of me finishing up that garden bed. It's now a big pile of stuff. In the spring, we'll see how it works out. Now that it's done, if I have time after building a new rabbit hutch I'll get a second one started.

Speaking of rabbits, lots is going on there. We are going to be getting more Creme D'Argent stock soon, which means it's time for me to scramble a bit and get a new hutch built NOW. It also means that if I can't figure out what's going on with the person who had a line on a source of bottom wire for hutches, I'm going to need to get that promptly and figure things out from there instead of doing a split with them. The money side of that of course is a bit of an issue, as every money thing is right now for us. We'll find places for everyone if it, but I'd rather not be scrambling more than I have to be. Of course, right as of yesterday we have new babies from Sunshine, and Dawn will probably be giving birth before we get home today. Sunshine has a healthy litter of 5 with one dead of unknown causes. Looks like Dorado is no longer heat sterile, as half of the kits are creme.One of the things that is necessary for the space creation is clearing out the teenagers from the growing out hutch. They should have been on the way out last week, but with everything else going on with euthanizing a pet, and losing the runt I was a bit squeamish. When it came to killing the teens though. Turns out it wasn't any worse than it is normally. Hard as always, but not a whole new level of upset due to the other things going on right now.
I processed half of the teens last night, and am going to be handling the other half tomorrow most likely. I can now get through about 8 kits an hour by myself which isn't too shabby. Not the industrial standard certainly, but that can be said of everything on our homestead thankfully. Last night for ease I left all of the creme kits, and processed everyone else. Monster kit we were sorry to see go, but we just don't need a white male, especially out of a black father. His genetics are not helpful to us, but man was he a good looking rabbit. Big, strong, well conformed, and fast growing. With even just a small pair of litters from Sunshine and Dawn I think we'll have a sufficient stock of meat for the winter, and we'll see where we go from here. We'll keep you updated as we get towards having new rabbits on the property!

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