Monday, January 28, 2013

Bunnies Running Loose and Farmers Market 2013

Yesterday as we headed for our Farmer's Market meeting, my son thought he saw "something" hopping around the high tunnels.  He thought it might be a wild rabbit.  
Later that evening, I found out he had spent an hour chasing baby bunnies!  It appears I hadn't latched the door to their cage securely and the latch popped off and the bunnies went out to explore.  He said they could run fast!  He finally caught them by herding them underneath our large bunny cage and enticing them out with carrots and then snagging them.  
I went to look at the little criminals and the mother bunny wasn't there!  We looked for her in the dark without success and the snowy ground was covered with bunny trails that led to nowhere.
I got up this morning and went "wabbit hunting."  After poking around in little nooks and crannies I finally found momma bunny tucked up underneath our large rabbit cage.  She was no worse for the wear - just very thirsty and dirty!    

Farmer's Market 2013.  Planning has begun!  We are moving location a little bit farther away from the intersection of Rt. 6 and Rt. 44 due to heavy truck traffic causing choking exhaust fumes and enough noise that conversations have to be suspended.  Another "benefit" of fracking.  Please note the very heavy sarcasm.
We've begun to plan our Farmer's Market times and dates.  We plan on Fridays as usual and plenty of high traffic Saturdays as well!  
Much more info will be coming!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bleak In The Morning Early


a Mother Goose poem

Cold and raw the north wind doth blow,
Bleak in the morning early;
All the hills are covered with snow,
And winter's now come fairly.

Three snapshots out my front door this very cold and still morning.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How Would You Like Your Eggs - Frozen?

It's so crazy cold that this egg froze and busted open in the nest today.  

The chickens and other critters are holding up well.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Super Chilly Temperatures This Week

Today will be a "balmy" 21-degrees.  But the rest of the week... brrrrrr!  

Temperatures like these mean critters living outside will need extra care.  I'll bring warm water to the bunnies and chickens three times a day because the little metal tubes on the rabbit waterers freeze so fast.   My first stop when I bring a steaming bucket of water down to the animals is to dump all the frozen solid rabbit water bottles right into the bucket.  The rabbit bottles thaw out and I refill them with warm water.  As I walk away from the rabbit yard I hear all the little balls in the waterers clicking as the rabbits drink their fill.  

I then carry the still warm bucket of water down to the chicken coop.  The metal chicken waterer is inside the coop, but it can still freeze solid in this extreme weather.  I carry the frozen waterer outside and I pour a little bit of warm water completely over it to thaw it enough to pull it apart.  After I pull the two pieces apart, I rinse out the ice and fill the waterer with warm water.     

Extra feed and warm, warm dry bedding is a must during this weather.  The bunnies have super thick angora wool coats and will easily handle the frigid temperatures nestled in their hutches.  The chickens get their door shut each evening and they snuggle together on their roosts.  Their collective body heat helps them handle the low temps.  It's hunker down time!      

Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.  ~Proverb

From for Coudersport, PA: 

Updated: Jan 21, 2013, 6:09am EST

TodayJan 21


TueJan 22

Snow Shower
Snow Shower

WedJan 23

Snow Shower
Snow Shower

ThuJan 24

Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

FriJan 25


Friday, January 18, 2013

Winter Eggs

I did so great this year, I planned ahead for the slack laying period during the winter and froze lots of eggs for baking.  I took the eggs a dozen at a time, cracked them into a bowl, mixed them up, and then froze them in ice cube trays.  Two cubes equaled one egg.

I've read that in France there are different recipes for summer eggs and winter eggs.  I was prepared to change my way of cooking - no more fried eggs in the morning.  Maybe I could have them scrambled, but I've found that, although much better than any store-bought egg, winter eggs don't quite have the richness of summer eggs of chickens who forage every day.  These frozen cubes of egg would be reserved to be thawed and mixed into recipes for cooking and baking.  

Strangely, over the summer we had a period of very little egg laying.  It occurred during Farmer's Market season when people asked for them - which was frustrating. We went on vacation just before the egg dearth and I've wondered if the change in care affected their egg-laying?  Maybe the hens were just mad at me!  I've always read, and our chicken's history has been, that egg production is dependent upon the length of day.  We don't put lights on our chickens in the winter.   I prefer to go with their natural (or in this case unnatural) cycles.  I feel like its a little easier on the chicken to get a "rest."    

Do the frozen eggs work well in recipes?  I don't know because I haven't cooked with them yet.  My chickens haven't stopped laying!  We're getting roughly six eggs a day.  To be sure I'm very happy about it.  Fresh eggs have got to taste better than the frozen eggs I haven't tasted.  I don't know what's causing the continued egg-laying.  I've been feeding them a bit more to get through the cold weather.  But, in any case, having eggs at this time of year feels very unusual for us! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Baby Bunnies Still For Sale!

I've been holding off on posting because I wanted to give my baby angora bunnies a chance to be sold. I've sold ONE so far.  It looks like I'm in the angora fleece business.  The babies are still available to buy!  

You can see the beautiful richness of their coat.

They're growing fast and have been moved from the big-enough-for-a-calf-sized dog carrier inside the house  - where they came with their mother after they were born so very naked and defenseless on a well-below freezing day - to a fresh new pen outside.  They sure did grow fast and the amount of pooh they put out increased rapidly with their size.  I cleaned the cage one and two times a day and the "odeur du bunny" still smelt somewhat strong!

Each day, when I go out to their pen, I handle these sweeties to get them used to being touched and picked up.  Its oh-so-adorable when they all stand up with their little paws on the door as they wait to see what I've brought them.  

I'm looking for a few more outside rabbit pens/hutches so that I can split the bunnies up by sex as they get older.  This spring I'm going to fence in a little bunny loafing yard so that the bunnies can have supervised time outside of their hutches.   

Hmmm.  Maybe I should take up spinning next?
(Actually, I did recently purchase a drop spindle.  I have a vision of spinning my own angora yarn and then knitting it into beautiful scarves.  I think I can create a wonderfully lush yarn from the little beauties you see in the above photos.  What a wonderful skill!) 

For more pictures/videos of the baby bunnies:

Don't forget to hop on over to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways for their weekly blog hop!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Baby English Angora Bunnies For Sale (Sadly, I Am No Longer Raising Angora Bunnies. They Consumed More Time Than I had Available For Them)

Wow!  The baby bunnies grew soooo fast and they all survived!  Can you believe that not so long ago they looked like this?

Who would have thought that the cuteness could grow?  Well it sure did!  I'm excited to announce that I have seven beautiful English Angora bunnies for sale.  I'm keeping one female, Pearl, because I'm in love with her coloring.  

We have four chocolate agouti bunnies for sale.  They are:

The two little boys, Brownie and Hickory
and the two little girls, Truffle and Sassafras (Sassy)

There are two beautiful black bunnies
The little black boy (upon closer inspection, Jet is a girl!), Jet.
and the little black girl, Inky SOLD

There is one beautiful lilac angora: SOLD
Smokey, the boy, is a lilac angora (the lighter gray) and Pearl the girl is a blue angora (the darker gray).  I'm keeping Pearl because she's beautifully blue, but has a pure white wool undercoat.  

We tried very hard to get single pictures of each bunny but had some difficulty.  Here are random shots.  If you are interested in purchasing an angora bunny, we will do our best to get you some great shots.  


Smokey SOLD

Light gray wool undercoat found on Jet and Inky


Light gray wool undercoat found on all the chocolate agouti bunnies


A basket of cuteness!




Don't miss these videos of the bunnies!

Angoras are bred mainly for their wool because it is silky and soft. At only 11 microns in diameter it is finer and softer than cashmere. They have a humorous appearance, as they oddly resemble a fur ball with a face. Most are calm and docile, but should be handled carefully. Grooming is necessary to prevent the fibre from matting and felting on the rabbit. A condition, wool block, is common in Angora rabbits, and should be treated quickly.  These rabbits are shorn every three to four months throughout the year. Source

The price for each baby angora bunny is $25.00.  If you are interested, please e-mail me at or call 814-274-7825.   

Friday, January 4, 2013

Celery Fail

Remember how I dug up some celery a few months ago in Celery As A Houseplant?  I enjoyed using the leaves for cooking but never got true stalks.  Boy those celery leaves tasted great in our Thanksgiving stuffing though.

Then one day I noticed that there were little white somethings all over the celery.  Eewww.  Then, I looked at the soil and there were little maggoty looking things crawling around!  Well, that was the end of that!  I didn't take time to identify what they were.   I grabbed that plant and rushed it right out to our below freezing garage.  Next stop - the compost heap.

When I dug the celery from the garden and it obviously had some "hitchhikers" come along in the soil.  It was a good experiment, but maybe next year I will really try growing celery as a houseplant in sterilized organic potting soil.  

If you're interested in growing celery, I used organic "Tango"seeds from Johnny's Seeds.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Some Operating Changes in 2013

I want to slow down,
spend more time with my family,
play more,
visit with friends,
finish projects,
drink more wine, 
enjoy life. 

I'm making a shift this year in my gardening and Farmer's Market strategy and I hope that will help create less work, allow me to finish projects I've begun, and give me more free time.  


I've been the ant; I want to be a little more of the grasshopper!

Weeding became my number one time stealer last year.  I just couldn't keep up!  To counteract this, the garden will shrink this year and the plan is for lots and lots of mulch.  I plan to have not an inch of ground uncovered.  I used black plastic in the high tunnel last year and it worked like a charm.  This year I plan to do some lasagna-type gardening in the outside garden and use compost, cardboard, and straw to keep the ground weed free.  The outside-the-high tunnel garden will have only corn, potatoes, and winter squashes/pumpkins.  

I'm growing the vegetable garden for the family only this year.  For the Farmer's Market we're moving away from selling vegetables and going to concentrate on maple syrup, honey, and canned preserves and jellies.  I hope that keeping track of inventory will be so much easier.  

I decided that the time and energy spent planting, weeding, picking, and hauling to Market just wasn't worth it to me.  If I find I have a surplus of vegetables, I'll bring them to the Market.  But I want to avoid the vegetable time commitment and then the frustration of bringing my beautiful vegetables back home and have them go bad because we can't eat them fast enough and we're too busy working on other things to get them preserved or give them away.     

I plan not to start any new projects and to finish up the old/ongoing projects.  That's a tough one for me because I love learning and doing new things!

There's a saying, "We make plans, and God laughs."  Although I have lots of lofty plans, I'm very much aware the the little utopia I've built in my head may or may not go the way I wish!

Happy New Year!

Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well. 
~Judith Hanson Lasater