Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gardening and New Adventures

We've got garden plants but no garden...
It's been raining so much we can't put them in the ground so they are thriving in our dining room.
A variety of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and melons.  The potatoes are ready to go in but the ground is so sloppy they will rot before they sprout if we put them in now. 

At least 3 more days of rain on the horizon but with a few breaks every now and then we can put the plants on the deck for a will water and sun (or at least fresh air). 

With all we do; homeschool, baseball, softball, soccer, bowling and we have to throw in play dates and working out we just couldn't say no to the new adventure God has brought to us.
We've bought a local bookstore for our oldest daughter Samantha to run and eventually purchase from us so it's her own store and a full time income for her.  Never a dull moment!  As a family we're helping her get the store the way she wants it.  It's coming along, grand opening in May 3rd but we're not closing while we reorganize.  We're expanding the store hours to Tues-Fri 9a-7p.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Raising Small Stock

         Having raised rabbits, chickens and goats several years ago I do have some suggestions.  Now, we haven't had anything but chickens for 8 years but we're looking at getting back into the game and adding some rabbits.  We're going to expand our chicken run so it'll be more like a chicken field and our rabbit hutches will back up to the chicken house so everything is convenient to feed and water.  I find that is the key, making it easy.  The kids can be involved, they need to know where their food comes from.  We let the kids get attached to the breeding stock but let them know in advance the babies will grow up to be dinner!  We've never had any drama since they know what was going to happen.  We didn't let our little kids see us actually butcher the animals but now our youngest is 9 and I think they will all be able to handle the natural way of things; if not there is still a lot they can do to be involved.  A great reference is the book The Manual of Practical Homesteading, John Vivian gives step by step directions for butchering, curing and even tanning the hides to use in many creative ways.  We're going to use the rabbit hutch design in the Reader's Digest Back to Basics it is simple and most families will have most of the materials on hand. 
          What can you do to make yourself a little more self-sufficient this year? Start a garden and learn to can your own veggies?  Get some chickens for eggs and maybe even meat?  What about 3 rabbits as breeding stock and learn to butcher and process your own meat?  All of these are attainable goals even for people who live in town with a small yard!  Don't look for negatives, look at the ways you can overcome any obstacle. 
         Be the first one of your friends to take the first step... let me know what you're going to do.