The Compassionate Carnivore by Catherine Friend. To paraphrase a chapter in her book, sometimes you can't eat perfectly, and you just have to eat the (deep fried) pork chop. If you want a good read, that's a book well worth it. It was one of the books that have informed the basis of our philosophy. I want to discuss that a bit today since it became a focus for the Lady of the House and I as we traveled to a convention to sell her art.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
First things first, behind me to my right (the left of the photo) is our sunchokes. We weren't sure when to harvest them, but I think it was probably long before now! they seem to be thriving, and I'm sure next year we'll have plenty of them to work with.
In other news, today I bred Dawn's Daughter with Herbie of all bucks. I was surprised he successfully bred a doe, but we'll see what comes out. I really hope he comes through, and it's a big litter of good looking healthy babies. This is the last chance for him to continue living with us, so here's hoping it's great. I'm going to be trying for a second breeding this evening, and seeing if any other does that refused this morning will go ahead and breed this evening. I'm hoping to get a couple other does bred before we're too busy for the weekend to take care of them. We'll see, as a rabbits mood isn't mine to determine, and I'm not going to force them to breed any more than I do by controlling when does are exposed to bucks. The kits are going to be ready to butcher shortly, so we're going to be back in rabbit meat which is always a good thing after a while without.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
There was some interest in how the rabbits are doing after last post, so I figured, especially since I didn't have anything else planned for today, I'd do a check in on the rabbits. Unfortunately most of the photos just didn't come out, but at least this family photo of Splash, Streak, and their kits came out. They eat together like this every day. When there were more kits in there, I had to position the trough so all of them could sit around it, or they'd try to drag it over so they could do that and spill a lot of pellets. The chickens didn't mind that at all, just to be fair.
The photo of Twilight, her daughter, and Twilight's litter on the other hand came out like a blurred mass of ravening animals. Coincidentally, this is about what it looked like in person too. The thing the photo is missing is grunting, a sound somewhat like a gravel crusher in the distance, and the sound of grinding teeth. This group gets plenty of food, but you couldn't convince them of it. If I didn't control their portions this would be a fat group of rabbits really quickly. I've been giving them more greens than pellets lately which is partially to blame for their obsession with the pellets they do get. Right now the adults aren't bred, but that's because of a heat wave. Now that we suddenly have a cold front coming through I'm going to get as many does bred as I can before we get into the August heat. My goal is Splash, Streak, Dawn, Dawn's Daughter, Twilight, and her daughter. I really want to make sure that we get at least someone bred by Herbie. If he still won't breed we have to figure out what to do with him because a buck that doesn't breed, doesn't breathe. We can't just keep throwing food at a non productive rabbit. We may end up taking one of the rabbits in as a house rabbit later on in life, but it wouldn't be him, it would be Dorado who's super friendly. Either way, we'll see what happens with the next round of breedings. The low number of breedings this season due to our other focuses and the odd weather means we're going to be trying to breed later into the fall and early winter. That mostly means more feed because during that time there isn't green stuff to cut and feed to cut down pellet costs. It may actually work out just fine though.
The other thing that's notable right now is the potatoes that the Lady of the House got into buckets and planted a little while back. For a good starting time they just sat there, and suddenly they started going nuts. As you can see, some are doing better than others for no reason we can discern. We need to get a lot of soil and rabbit manure in those buckets to increase our production with the potatoes. Particularly in the one on the right! I don't know what's going on with that bucket, but I know it's going well. Plans for this weekend are a little off from normal. I'm going to be working overtime at my day job on Saturday which takes up a lot of the normal work time for homestead stuff. We'll see what I can get done Sunday with that in mind, and knowing that I really do need to give the Lady of the House a break from the Critter. See y'all Tuesday.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The beans had been going a bit crazy, and lacking something more solid to climb, they'd been climbing up the garlic in the front bed. It can be kind of hard to tell in this photo Left but if you look down at the base of the garlic, you can see a darker green wrapped around the base and climbing up. When I put the trellis in, I carefully unwrapped the beans, and re wrapped them around the wire. That should work out well from what I know of beans. The beans growing in that row are scarlet runner beans (I think), and the ones in the bed below are bush beans so they aren't going to need a trellis like this. The Lady of the House picked the beans to plant so I have to admit I'm a little behind the 8 ball on remembering everything that's out there in the garden right now. If they are actually the scarlet runner beans I think they are, every part of the plant can be eaten which is great. I haven't had the greens part of the beans, but at least in theory being able to use everything is good. Even if it isn't very flavorful, or has a bad texture I'm going to be happy to use them at least as something that can be steamed, and mixed in with other things with spices. We'll see when we have a chance to actually use it.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
July 4th was a very busy weekend for us around the homestead, and full of good people and good company to go with the significant amount of work there was to do. For the 4th, we had a brush clearing party, then a camp fire. When it started raining just before folks showed up I didn't expect to get much done, or have a fire. As you can see the fire happened, and below the cut you'll get to see just how much we got done in the thankfully warm rain.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Again I'm going to start with something I'm excited about just because it's good to see more than it shows anything we've done in particular. The first raspberry I've seen start to ripen on our property. I'm going to be keeping an eye on it to try to get it when it's fully ripe before the birds get it, so I can give it to the Lady of the House. It also means that we're about to be a bit busy paying attention to make sure we get as much of the ripening fruit around the yard as we can. Strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are what we have around. If we let them sit not only are they going to get eaten, they're going to attract bears which we don't want for obvious reasons.