Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rabbit/homestead update

The eight kits are doing well. We've taken out the nest box. It's really amazing how fast they grow. The temperature has been perfect the past week, in the low 80's during the day and high 50's at night. It makes it nice not having to keep taking frozen bottles out for them.
Here they are at a month old:

We made some tomato stakes out of some old lumber my dad gave us, and got the tomato plants staked up finally. Our garden so far is mostly bug free. I pick any bean beetles off of the bean plants in the morning and at night, so far four has been the most I've picked at one time.

We got the woodpile area of the yard cleaned up, and ready to start cutting and storing wood, until we get enough to have a splitting party.

Last year we cut wood, and got some from a tree trimming company, and stacked it until we had enough wood for the winter. We had some friends come with their log splitter and spent all day splitting, and the night drinking homebrew.

Last years wood pile:

We finally got the corn planted in the garden our neighbor is letting us use. It should be ready to pick in the middle of September. Planted more greenbeans, black beans and cow peas there also.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Living room remodel

Finally getting around to painting our living room. I decided that if I was going to paint, then I'm going to do it the right way, and fix everything I don't like in the room. The ceiling had old 1'x1' tiles that I absolutely hated. The plan is to tear those out, put up drywall and possibly trim it out to make a coffered type ceiling.

Since the only light in the living/dining room is from a switched receptacle we decided that adding a ceiling fan with a light in the middle of the living room and a light or two in the dining room area while the ceiling is opened up is a must.

Two of the walls are plaster and have so many holes from wall anchors and cracks in them that I decided tearing those out and putting up new drywall will be faster and easier than trying to patch them.

Our front door and especially the storm door are in horrible shape. So my Dad and I are installing a new door and storm door this weekend. Then I'll get started on hanging the drywall, hopefully with some help from my neighbor.

Once the drywall is hung and the painting done, I'll be renting a floor sander and refinishing the hardwood floor. The plan is to have all this work done by August 1st so with work, gardens, yard work, and rabbits this is going to be a busy couple of weeks.

Bread class

Last Saturday we took a bread making class at our local homebrew store. We've taken wine making, beer brewing & cheese making classes. The hands on experience has really helped us.

In the breadmaking class we learned how to use the spent grains from home beer brewing to make breads, pizza crusts, bread sticks and cinnamon rolls.

The women teaching the class made samples for everyone to try, and the pizza crust and bread sticks were amazing.

Cant wait for the next batch of beer we brew so we can try out some of her recipes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rabbit Update - 11 days old

The kits are eleven days old today. They should be opening their eyes anytime now.

Out of the nine born we still have eight. A couple days ago when I went out to the shed, there was one on the floor that the momma must have kicked out. It was a runt and not in very good shape, so I got rid of it.

The temperature is back up in the 90's for the next couple of days, so we'll be watching them carefully. We have the jugs of water frozen and ready.

This is our first litter that has made it this far, we only had one other litter and they didn't make it. If it keeps going good I think this fall we'll be adding another doe or two.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What We've Got Growing 2011



Beans - Black, Cowpeas, Green, Pinto, Yellow Wax,
Brussel Sprouts
Carrots - 2 kinds
Corn - 2 sweet varieties
Lettuce - Buttercrunch, Red Sails, Romaine
Mesclun Greens
Peas - 2 kinds
Peppers - Bell, Carribean Red Hot, Cayenne, Chocolate Habanero, Hot Pepper Mix, Jalepeno, Lemon Habanero, Red Mushroom,
Potatoes - Desiree, Nicola, Purple Majesty, Yukon Gold
Squash - Butternut, Spaghetti, Zuchinni
Tomatoes - Amish Paste, Al'Kuffa, Beefsteak, Black Krim Cherry, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Delicious, Golden Jubilee, Mortgage Lifter, Mr. Stripey, Roma, San Marzano, Sub-Arctic



I don't think I missed anything.
We may add more later as space opens up.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Camping, Hiking, Rabbits & Garden Update

We pitched the tent in the backyard Friday afternoon, after a morning of cleaning up tree branches that came down in a thunderstorm Thursday night. Then it was off to the sons baseball game. As soon as we arrived at the field it started getting dark out, and before the game could be started it started thundering, yet another game postponed due to rain. As soon as we got back home it got nice out so we built a fire, had a little cookout, and then another thunderstorm rolled in. We decided to spend the night inside. Saturday was better. We picked up our 1/4 of beef from the butcher shop, got some free wood on the way home, and got to sleep outside. We cooked our breakfast on the grill Sunday morning.

And then went on a fantastic hike on the Mason Dixon trail. It was our first time on this section of the trail, and it was my favorite so far.

Our doe had her second litter this past Saturday. We were camping out in the back yard and got to hear her having them in the shed. At first I thought it was a cat making the noise, then I remembered that it was day 31 and that's when she had her litter last time. This was her second and last chance. Her first litter she had eaten two out of four, and the other two had died. This time she had nine and so far, knock on wood, they're all alive.

Saturday & Sunday were warm, but now we're in a heat wave. Monday was 94, today and tomorrow will be in the 90's, then it cools off finally on Thursday.

It's been hard keeping the cages cool. We had soda bottles that we filled with water and put in the cages. One right next to the nest box, one for the doe to lay against, and one in the bucks cage. They only last about 3 hours before they need to be replaced with frozen ones. We have the side & garage door propped open during the day, but around three o'clock the sun is on the side, so we have to close the side door until five. The fan is on high and the water bowels are constantly filled.

The gardens are doing good. We've been eating lettuce, broccoli, and some collard greens, but I'm really looking forward to the tomatoes. Have some more pepper plants to put in this week, and need to plant some more spaghetti squash seeds since none came up.