Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Urban Homestead Livestock a.k.a. putting meat on the table.

This is Handsome, our two y.o. Flemish mixed breed buck bought for $5. He is quiet, eats almost anything I throw at him such as garden weeds along with his rabbit feed.
Right now he is giving me the look since I had actually touched his lady Chocolate. The look says "You know better".
Come winter I set up my portable greenhouse moving their pen in. They both sleep in a big hay filled nest box.
The plan is two or three times a year Handsome jumps the fence and has a tryst with our meat rabbits does.
The after about 16 weeks the results are sent to freezer camp.
Rabbit isn't our primary meat source on our menu so we don't grow more than say 10 fryers of 5 lbs. weight a year. Often it's less than that which is fine for now.
Raising meat rabbits is more or less a two fold benefit on our urban homestead.
First is the bunny poop which is the greatest manure ever since there is no need to age the poop before application. Here is a nice site http://www.rabbitfarming.com/manure.htm
Better garden production = more harvest = less $ spent on food = extra income.
Second is that raising this type of meat is very do able both in cost & location wise.
Can't buy a beef cattle for under $25 and pasture it in your backyard.
So if the worst case scenario does happen be it a version of Red Dawn or simply that money is tight we can still eat.
Rabbit is good eating. Delicate white meat that can be cooked anyway you would chicken.
I can directly control what my rabbits eat.
Resulting in a healthy meat that isn't laced with hormones or antibiotics. Or jammed pack with preservatives.
The care & welfare of my livestock wasn't trusted to a multinational company who's bottom line will always be profit, think pet food or peanut butter. Or the latest- Sara Lee products.
Good site on raising backyard rabbits http://www.rudolphsrabbitranch.com/rrr.htm
~~ pelenaka ~~

Urban Homestead Livestock

This is Chocolate a pig who is after a year the common law pen mate to my Flemish mixed breed rabbit, Handsome.
What can we say it works for them.
He protects and warms her on cold winter nights in their nest box and she signals for more food with a glass shattering squeal.
Chocolate came to us about six months old from a home that had two big dogs. Her cage was on a small table in a dark hallway. She was a bundle of nerves to say the least. She isn't real social, dislikes being held, but will take feed from your hand now.
Last time she was weighed she came in just under a bit over a pound.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Last night while prepping charts a coworker asked me this very thought provoking question.
Got me to thinking. Thinking real hard. Real real hard. My head started hurting.
So I laid this on my husband's lap when I came home in the morning.
He gets me. We are kindred souls. Let his head hurt a bit.
A few seconds later he answered.
You would & do pay retail for Time.
He soo gets me.

Time in my world is defined as not spent in the pursuit of employment.
This Time includes family time, church time, martial time, leisure activities such as camping, fishing, shooting, reading, knitting, and a sub category of city time. City time is all the great things you can do in a city like ethnic festivals, museums, art galleries, & gardens in old historic neighborhoods.

Any time spent obtaining employment such as washing of uniforms, commuting to a job, continued education to maintain my professional degree, or depending on my mood time spent thinking about an upcoming shift qualifies as unpleasant time.

Buying time.

Easier said then done.
Buying time is a accomplished by money saving activities such as foraging, gleaning, gardening, canning, energy conservation, in short voluntary simplicity.
Learning to live within our budget ... saving for a rainy day, saving to take time off to enjoy Time.

Don't get me wrong I love my profession. It has enriched my life in soo many ways other than monetary. It's just that I am no longer exclusively defined by my occupation. It is not my source of entertainment, nor social companionship. An all expanding filler in my life.
It is a means to an end.

Buying Time.

Like the bumper sticker reads, " A day fishing is better than a day working".

~~ pelenaka ~~

A gallon saved is cash in the hand

I would like to say that my use of rain barrels come from a deep seated belief in water conservation ... reuse, recycle, blah, blah, blah.
Or how great rain water is especially when gathered in a lightening storm ( ionization) .
Truth be told it's because of cold hard cash.
No sense in growing free food to lighten the food bill if ya gotta pay for H2O.
I lucked out when my Blessing got these free from a pump manufacturer as the prototypes outta a new mold.
The color matches my foundation so they aren't really visible from the city street. Mint & Strawberries @ the base.
There are barrels @ all gutter down spouts for a total of 5 around the house.
Husband fit in real plumbing sigots so a garden hose can be attached.
19 cent common goldfish live in each one happily after two years. Winter they live in a 5 gallon bucket in the cellar. Tried them in a goldfish bowl but they freaked. Way too much openness I suppose. They have doubled in size living on mosquitoes & a bit of fish food now & then. For entertainment they dodge the neighborhood cats leading to a fun game of wet kitty.
Notice the white jugs to the left of the garden path?
Kitty litter jugs holding extra rain water.
Now spray painted black for solar gain in a crazy attempt to heat my green house.
In the distance is last year's tomato crop. Bloody Butcher on the left & Yellow Pear on the right.
Added bonus is that my 105 year old cellar stays dry.
One day hope to score a 200 gallon reservoir tank that can be buried. Fill it with the rain barrel overflow. Top it off with an old fashioned hand crank well pump ( think child labor oppertunity)
Hmm, now isn't that what every homestead needs ?
~~ pelenaka ~~