It all seems like a good idea. The farm to provide us with meat and veggies.. We put in our gardens, we started our seeds, we now have rabbits and turkeys and ducks and chickens. Our farm has turned into a full time job, rather quickly. All of a sudden we realize how on earth are we going to have the time to do everything and pay the bills. So our farm had to multi task as our rest and play in our work, rest, play, repeat..family words to live by.
We no longer have a whole lot of time for Facebook, or cleaning our house, or go to bed by 9:00, or watching Netflix. However, we are realizing that as long as we all pitch in, everything seems to get done. Our farm work double tasks as our relaxing time as well. Playing with the turkeys and rabbits is entertaining and fun. We had to picnic on the front deck the other day because the table was covered in transplants. We had the worse rainstorm I have ever witnessed an hour later and I had to rescue my plants. Our kids were forced to go outside to round up the ducks and the turkeys. Their stories were so much more memorable than the kids from school who talked about watching the storm out the windows.
Last night as I was walking across our backyard I seen a stray baby bunny about the size of an egg. It was close to my sons four wheeler which has a tarp draped over it. I bent down and wondered how on earth this hairless, egg size baby bunny got ther. It seemed looked after, it was plump and robust. I got my husband to move the straggler to a nest of like size baby bunnies. I was still wondering how this bunny got to this place.
A few weeks ago we had a pen of rabbits break free. We had retrieved most but some of them are still running free. I checked under the tarp and found a stray nest. Actually two stray nests. The mamas were not to be found so we put the cover back down and left them alone. Entertainment does not cost us a penny. Although my son will not be able to use his four wheeler for awhile.
I look forward to the day of our u-pick vegetable garden dream. When we can farm ALL day and pay our bills THAT way.. I love love love this lifestyle. Work, rest, play, repeat..
We sold some rabbits yesterday. It was a good day because we have been keeping them for a year and a half and have grown to a size, where we can actually sell some. I must say that our focus has definitely changed over the years. I just sent an email to our local horticultural society marketing our rabbits as an endless supply of organic manure and mulch. My husband asked me why I done that and I told him that we have discovered over the last year and a half that the rabbits are way more valuable to us as garden producers. I joked with a friend the other day that we are planning to make our entire front yard into a vegetable garden. She looked at my front yard and said “good luck” . Then I showed her my tomatoe patch. It was a Spring project. It was our first patch into our lawn. We built a pen of 400 sq.ft. And put our baby bunnies inside. They within two weeks had eaten the grass down to the roots. Then we threw in some pine shavings. They ran and played and worked them into the ground. Then we threw in a few more. They had lots of fun with the shavings and continue to work the into the ground. After one month we were able to move them out of the spot and our tomatoes into the spot. I am a bit of a lazy gardener. I liked that I just had to dig a hole and put the tomatoe plant into place. I did not have to mulch it any further and I will not have to weed the garden either.
And turkeys in my shower. Sometimes I wonder what are we doing. Then I am reminded that all next winter my family is going to eat well. We on our little parcel of land have the potential to grow and produce our entire winters nutritional needs. A lot of people have told me that they like to think that their meat just comes on little styrofoam packages in the meat section of the grocery store. I have to admit my change came about when I seen the huge chicken breasts in the grocery store. I remember thinking what a great deal it was. Then my son made me watch a documentary called Food Inc. I have never purchased chicken breasts from the supermarket again.
The first few animals we processed and ate, we all ate in silence. I remember it was a process, one we had to come to terms with. I can honestly say that it gets easier. When you love and care for your animals, you have a deep sense of appreciation for what they provide you. You want to give them the best life possible. So we do. We pen raise or free range them.
We are also going to raise our turkeys this year. I would break out in hives from eating supermarket turkey. I had to stop eating it at family gatherings. I look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I will know exactly how my turkeys were raised, what they ate and how they were processed. I enjoy sharing our story as I think people can see how easy it is. We learned a lot over the years , made some mistakes and try something new each year.
I tried putting my tomatoes into my garden patch today. So far I got about 12 plants in. I have to periodically take a break every fifteen minutes as the chickens arrive to scratch the surface. I don’t blame them really. Our ground is loaded in earthworms because of the way we compost. I am glad that they don’t seem to want to peck at the tomatoe plants. At least when I am finished planting them, I won’t have to run chicken wire around them to protect them. I can see that they have made their way to the backyard once again, so I should take advantage of it and get back out. I am thinking before I get another four plants into the ground, all 15 of my chickens will be back again.