Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's Pinterest's Fault

I remember a time when I told a friend, "I don't have time to add another thing to my list."  This was my response to her question about why I had not joined Pinterest.  I caved and joined and sold my soul to the virtual pinboard.  I recently joked to a friend that if I could knit as quickly as I pinned, I would be AMAZING!  I live in a small house, so Pinterest is a hoarder's dream tucked away in cyberspace.  It doesn't clutter my house with pages torn from magazines never to be looked at again, until I decide to get rid of the clutter in my house.  It feeds my OCD need for organization.  Pre-Pinterest, I would see an idea and think, "I want to do that."  Then I would forget it as soon as I saw the next clever idea.  Much to the chagrin of Nate, the ideas I've pinned have stuck, and I've actually done some of them.  One day, he was loading a pallet into the bed of his truck, and he said a co-worker just looked at him and asked, "Pinterest?"  Nate said he just nodded and threw the pallet into the bed.

A few months ago Nate built a new rabbitry for me.  I know, he just built one for me a year ago, but it didn't work for several reasons.  I hated the cage over cage set-up because of the poop boards, which just did not seem sanitary no matter how often I cleaned them, and the arrangement of the cages, which were either too high or too low for me to reach into comfortably.  Plus the height of the lower cages made cleaning beneath them difficult.  The old rabbitry is now being used for storage, which I desparately needed, so no great loss with some small gain.  I love my new rabbitry, and the cages hang so the poop and urine fall straight to the ground, and I can adjust them to a height that works for me. 

I've composted for years, but I've never had a great system.  One day, I was trolling Pinterest and I came across the idea of building compost bins under the rabbit cages.  Compost bins under my rabbit cages?  You don't say?  I do say, and I did!  Operation Compost Bins has been in full force and effect the past two weekends.  The backs and sides are 1/2" hardware cloth and the fronts are boards that fall into the slot with screws in each board to keep it slightly apart from the board below it.  The boards can be stacked close to the bottoms of the cages.  The chickens are already checking it out.  (You can click on any photo for a larger view.)

Another idea I recently found is growing celery from the cut base.  I never buy celery because I don't use much of it, and tf always goes bad before I can use it all.  Well, what do you think appeared in the compost box I get each week from the grocery store?  You got it, celery.  It was pretty limp and old, but I thought what the heck.  After about a week of sitting in a tray of water in the greenhouse, both pieces started growing from the center, and I potted them this weekend.

And, the next time Nate gives me the look when I broach a new project to him, I'm going to say, "It's Pinterest's fault."

Happy homesteading,


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Scratching and Clawing My Way Out

Looking at the date of my last post, I see to my amazement that I've taken a nice LONG winter break.  But spring is in the air, and I am going to claw my way out of my winter blogging den and try to get back on task.  So, I thought the easiest way to do that would be to bring you up-to-date on some of my animals.

Big Boy; A beautiful rooster, and he was great with the girls, but he and I just could not get along.  It got to where I had to carry a small rake with me to fend him off whenever I stepped out the back door.  Big Boy was my first meat chicken.  I got teary-eyed when I did the deed.  It's hard taking a life, and it certainly causes one to take a moment and give reverence to the food on your plate.

I got this motley crew of birds about a month or so ago, and they will be my first intentional venture into meat birds.  Wow, eight whole birds.  Don't go overboard!  Really, I like to start things slow and get used to something before I jump in whole hog.  The girls will be kept for eggs, and the boys will go to freezer camp. 

This is Belinda, our new American Chinchilla doe.  She will be one of my breeder rabbits for meat.  I had her bred before the breeder brought her so I would have a separate gene line from her babies.  Well, she had one baby!  She took excellent care of it, and let me tell you, it was fat, fat, fat!  I will be breeding Belinda again soon.  Hopefully she'll give me more than one baby next time.

This is Belinda's Baby.  Can you believe she is only a few months old?  I told you she was a healthy girl.  We're keeping her, which will give me three American Chinchilla does for breeding when she comes of age.  

This is Buck Nasty, my new American Chinchilla buck.  Okay, Nate named him after a charactor on Dave Chapelle's Show.  When I first got him and Belinda, I was showing the pedigrees to Nate and I told him that the boy rabbit at the time was only called Buck and that he needed a name.  Well, Buck Nasty has stuck so far, but I told Nate I didn't know if I wanted to put that on a pedigree.  So, we'll see.

This is a litter belonging to Bunny and Jack, my other two American Chinchilla rabbits.  They are starting to venture out of the nest box, so it's fun to watch them frolic together.  They are my first meat litter for this year.      

Well, that's it, folks.  Thanks for being patient and sticking around and checking up on me!

Happy homesteading,