Archive for April, 2012

Well this is a cool idea. Don’t throw those plastic mesh bags in the trash people, they have a RE-purpose!

A Real Food Lover

Finally a use for the net bags that onions, potatoes, lemons and oranges come in. I have been saving them up, because I just knew there had to be a 2nd life left in there somewhere. Now I never have to buy a brillo pad again. One more thing off my list of things to purchase from the store.

Homemade Pot Scrubber

2 plastic net bags

Flatten the bags out and lay them on top of each other

Fold in half, and continue folding until you have a tight little square.

Tie with fishing line, twine, heavy thread, or a rubberband. If you have more time on your hands than I do,  you could sew the edges and make them into a perfectly square scrubbie.

This is so excellent for scrubbing a cast iron pan. Actually better than the brillo pad method I was previously using. I’ve been using the same one…

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Watch “My Potato Project; The Importance of “Organic”” on YouTube

Hard decisions and growing

Choosing to be a farmer is a lot tougher than growing up to be one, I believe.  I’ve had to learn that emotionally led decisions will kill a farm. Yesterday I discovered that one of my does was unable to move her hind legs. She was real lethargic at the end of her unsuccessful pregnancy, which resulted in stillborn bunnies. Now she was practically paralyzed. After sending out emails and phone calls to all my more experienced mentors, I went with my gut.

My reason for raising rabbits is to produce a more sustainable meat animal. Rabbits require a fraction of the feed and infrastructure as chickens and we can produce as much meat as we’d get from a cow in the 24+ months it’d take to grow a beef steer. When an animal lives out it productiveness, a farmer must make decisions based on economics and what is best for the farm and family. Just because we give an animal a name, we can’t let emotion rule. The cow that stops giving milk, the hen that stops laying, the rabbit that can’t reproduce become food themselves.

It was time to learn what harvesting a rabbit is all about. I’ve already watched a friend harvest and process 6 rabbits, but now it was time to step up. I called my buddy Lonnie up to get some guidance. Lonnie used to have a thriving rabbit meat operation and he gladly offered to come over to help. Lonnie showed me his preferred method of slaughter and then tricks he picked up to skin and eviscerate. In the end, a rabbit I had hoped would produce several litters, instead will feed my family.

Got the tiger by the tail, or the kitty by the paw.

Today was an action packed day so, this should be a short post. Something out there has caused my body to unleash a flood of histamine. I woke up unable to breathe and sneezing like mad. Getting out of bed was a struggle and I finally got my feet on the floor at 5:45. We do our level best to get started with the chores at 5:00 but I was feeling puny. I headed out to the barn, silently berating myself for being such a sorry excuse for a farmer. As I unlatched the door to te cow stall, I hear some rustling and a soft meow. I open the door and I can make out a cat in the corner of the stall, behind the stanchion. At first I thought it was our new cat we had just picked up a few days before. I took a closer look and found that not only was this not our cat, but this one appeared to be stuck.

 

Stuck Pudy Tat

 

As you can see from the photo, the cat has managed to get his left foreleg stuck in a crack between two boards. What’s not in the photo, there is also a little shelf just above the cat. I immediately turned to go back to the house and get my thick Carhart jacket and some thick gloves. I told Katie about what I found and asked her to join me. Returning to the barn, I tried to free the animal, but he didn’t see that I was there to help and let out one of those evil sounding howls that make your hair turn white. This cat wasn’t coming loose easy. I put a milk crate under him so he was hanging on his leg, then I pried the shelf off the wall above him. I tried free his leg again, but no luck, the cat didn’t understand that pulling back only kept him stuck. There was really only one option left. Time to bust out the saw and get this cat out, I still had cows to feed! No, I wasn’t going to cut the cat. I intended to cut the board. After cutting it, then some prying, the cat was now loose! He didn’t hang around to make friends, he just got the heck outa’ there! Here’s what I was left with.

 

Hole in the wall.

 

By now, it was nearly 7:00 and no animals had been fed. Everyone seemed a little disappointed but they were happy to get their breakfast. After feeding, we bred some of our rabbit does, and while we waited for them to get done, I could hear a high pitched squeeking. I was able to take a photo over the top board to find this.

 

So long as I was cutting hole in the walls, I figured what the heck. So I cut a hole in the wall and eradicated some rats.