Friday, May 31, 2013

Breakfast

There is nothing more important then how you start you day. The whole morning process can make or break your day. Even though I am off work today I still must get up early to get my daughter ready for school and I HATE waking up early but deciding to make the most of my early rising I walked the garden and decided to make eggs.

Eggs were taken from the nest box as feed and water was refilled, bunching onions were cut, potatoes pulled form the ground, kale leaves gathered, and herbs snipped. Into the wok went come butter, potatoes, onions, and kale until tender, then some milk and the fresh eggs were added and cooked until firm and fluffy. The smell enveloped the kitchen and made me smile.

I loaded up the tray with fresh organic iced tea and our bowl off eggs and headed to the bedroom where my husband was still fast asleep (he works the night shift and doesn't get off till midnight). I woke him up with food and he was a happy camper. Now I get to spend the rest of my morning and afternoon doing whatever I want and I am in a damn good mood thanks to a yummy filling and healthy breakfast right from our garden!

My little archer in training!

While we started Brooke out with a toy bow and foam arrows she quickly grew bored of it and with both daddy and mommy having a "real" bow she really wanted one to. So we bought her a bear first show combo and she got debriefed in stance, and safety then got to practice. Now every time we shoot; she shoots. We love having another family activity we all love!

Canoeing.




At Lake Park you can rent a canoe for $25 per 4 hours. This memorial day we decided to spend our day canoeing, shooting at the archery range, and have a cookout picnic. It was great and I actually used sunscreen so there was hardly any sunburn except for some weird patches it looks like I missed. While the lake is not super huge its very nice with lots of tall grasses and many water lilies which were in bloom and lovely!

Our Silver Fox Rabbits

I am pleased to say we have started a new family activity. Rabbit breeding and showing. Its not just for meat and pelt anymore folks we are going to be breeding this fancy rare breed to show! Both Brooke and I are now members of the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) and I even joined the NSFRC (National Silver Fox Rabbit Club).

Here are our current Silver Fox Does:

Brooke with DeeDee

Storm

Storm~ Face

DeeDee

DeeDee~ Face

In late June we will be getting our new SF buck (boy) from Virgina!!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rabbit Loss.

Our little doe Tifa had a litter of babies. They were doing great and growing fast and big. Until day 8 I went out and took my daily picture to document the rabbit growing process which I had been doing since day 1 they were bouncing around and looking like little balls of furry popcorn, then when we went back out at feeding time every single one was dead ridged and cold in the nest box. I have no idea what happened and after talking to some breeders will prob never know what happened but I was devastated. My first litter gone. I discarded all the little bunnies and gave momma a huge helping of hay. Over the next couple days i checked her for any problems since she could no longer nurse but other then milk swelling she had no issues and dried up within about 4 days. We rebreed her after 2 days and am now expecting a litter on June 18th. This will be our last litter for the summer and we will start to rebreed our rabbits in September as it cools down. When we start to breed in September our Silver Fox rabbits should be almost ready to breed which will hopefully produce us some good show stock as well as fast growing meat and amazing pelts. We have 2 does from very different lines and we are getting a buck from Virgina to go along with our ladies.

Here are the pics of tifas first litter. We couldnt get all 30 days like I wanted but the growth within the first 8 days is amazing. From ugly to semi cute.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


Day 4

Day 4 ~ Face

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

We now have a little of New Zealands from FooFoo that are almost 2 weeks old. I didnt take as many pictures of them because I was afraid we would lose those as well but they are flourishing and now getting VERY cute and not looking like little rats. LOL

Mommy FooFoo with one of her 12 day old mini mes.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I like this article:

 This explains the very fact so many forget when purchasing and raising chickens. Are you really ready for livestock?


You absolutely should not get backyard chickens.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Partnerships

You may have noticed the brand new link on the side bar ------>

This is the start to my partnerships with places I hope can be of some help to you. I was contacted by a nice person at answers.com asking if I would display their badge for the next year. First I checked out the website to make sure I agreed with some of the advice being given.

They have categories and answers for tons of things from business to gardening (that's where I come in). I wrote back and said that I would be happy to. So here we are the start of this blog helping out around the house a little bit. I am thankful that they have found what I try to do here helpful and in turn have helped me.

Please folks check them out its a really fun site to explore! :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Photoshop!

While I cannot do Photoshop worth anything, Ronnie's uncle is great at it. This is what he made for me today and I love it!


Lake Park Archery Range

We heard about this park not to far from our house (10 miles) that had an archery range. So we struck out to find out about it. We drove down there paid our $2 car entrance to the park and drove to the range. There was no one there so we just parked the car and started looking around there was a basic line up of hay bale targets placed at different ranges. Brooke set up on the shortest range and I took up the middle range, prob 30-35 yards. Ronnie and I each shot 12 arrows before moving on to check out the rest of the area. We walked under the trees and found single lane ranges. Much preferring the shade under the trees we shot another round then walked around some more. The range was large including a broad-head shooting area far off from the other ranges I'm sure so no one would get accidentally hit by those lethal arrows.

We saw turtles and enjoyed the wonderful park. On our way out 2 boys were shooting on the range. It was nice to see other people enjoying the sport! :)






Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fridge Bread Dough~ EASY

It had been a while since I made homemade bread and I have been craving it recently, but I have been in a funk and not wanting to do things like that so I hadn't. Today I start to get outta my funk so guess what is being made? BREAD!

INGREDIENTS:

~ 3 cups hot water (slightly above body temperature)
~ 1 1/2 Tablespoons dry yeast
~ 1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
~ 6 cups flour

If you want to double the batch, just remember 6-3-3-12: 6 cups water, 3TB yeast, 3TB salt, 12 cups flour.


Directions:

Mix up the ingredients in a large bowl, cover with a greased piece of plastic and let it rise for about 4 hours (could be up to 8 and I just let it go overnight) or until it collapses in on itself without you touching or messing with it.

Cover it loosely and put it in the fridge until you use it to make bread or pizza crust.(Let it refrigerate at least three hours before using it the first time.)

When you need some dough, take out the bowl, cut off a piece of dough (about a pound) and refrigerate the rest. Shape it into a ball on the counter (you might use a little flour to keep it from sticking. Put the shaped loaf onto the cooking surface and slash the top lightly with a knife to make three diagonal lines.

Cover with a piece of waxed paper & let it rise for about 30-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

When the dough is done rising, bake for 25-30 minutes.
*If you want a thick chewy crust on your bread, place a container of hot water in the back of the oven to add steam while it bakes or throw a handful of ice cubes onto the oven floor

 Cool before cutting.

Homesteading Event 5-5-13

 Above Susan is taching folks to cook what they grow!
Below Tricia is teaching her recipe for her water kefir

Sue and her english angora

Watermelon raw cake

Group of good folks

Wonderful music from Three and One Band

Permaculture chicken area design

Our jam and jelly set up at the Cultivate you Life Homesteading event


Food and Bees at the potluck lunch

More people before the 3rd shade canopy went up! <3 br="">

Thanks to those who took pictures as I did not! <3 br="">

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This is how I feel


Baby Bunnies!

The past 2 days we were on watch for baby bunnies, she was due officially today so today we checked on her every hour, as a first time momma I was worried but I think she has done swell!

This morning I took Brooke to school then went out to do my morning 6 shots with my bow. I laid the arrows on top of the bunny cage and check on the buns, Tifa (our pregnant doe) had a mouth full of hay just looking at me. I scrambled for a box that would serve as a nesting box for her and went to put it in her cage when she grumbled like a broody hen and bit me on the hand drawing blood. I told her i understood what she was going through and woke Ronnie up to help me. He held onto her while I installed the box, screwing it into the bottom as not to let it tip, and wishing we had found a real nest box by now. We set her back in with a box full of hay and I went to work. Ronnie kept me updated with bunny details until around 2pm while I was on the phone with an insurance company my cell rang and I saw it was him. I knew Tifa had her babies, I couldn't wait to get off the phone and call him back. He then texted me the confirmation and i did a little dance in the middle of the pharmacy!

Just getting home now I went out to check the bunnies all snug in a pile and so cute, I gave the momma a heaping amount of hay to treat her and gave her a nice pat. I love baby bunnies!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The blooms of garden life!

 Above you see our first ever banana flower, I am SOOOOO excited!

 Here we have growing sunflowers, zinnias, blanket flowers, bunching onions, and squash

Our pond water hyacinth has shot up beautiful lavender spikes of flowers, they are very lovely!

Paved Paradise



and then the original....

Our New Coop


Our new coop was due to be delivered at what I thought was the WORST timing, during our big homesteading event. With around 100 people coming and going throughout the day I knew we would never be able to get it through the crowd and I was right. At 3:30 a large truck drove up with our coop attached, then men came and slid it off the truck, as we tried to figure how we were going to get it in we gave up and stashed it in the neighbors front yard until the event was almost over. As most people were out on the Wild Edibles walk we took the chance and lifted it. There was no way we were moving that thing just us two. We asked the 3 strongest to help us and we all grabbed a part of the coop, we got it to the gate where we realized it was never going to fit, so as we tried to lift it over the fence we fumbled and fell, and swore that if someone had filmed us it would have gone viral on youtube. We eventually did get it past the gate and through the jungle of tables and chairs, stopping at the point where we had to lift it over the blackberry canes. That was also funny watching us shimmy around trying to not drop the coop but less disastrous as over the fence. Finally it was in its resting place.
 We chased down the hens and moved them to their new humble home. While they seem to miss their old home which my husband has almost completely removed already they seem to be accommodating their new digs. We got them a new heavy duty waterier and feeder to go along with their home so they are all set up!
Here Thing 2 is making a nest to lay her egg!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

What to Plant in May (Zone 9)

May
Plant seeds of:
Beans: Bush, Pole, Lima
Cantaloupes
Okra
New Zealand Spinach
Malabar Spinach
Amaranth
Orach
Roselle
Yard Long Beans
Peanuts
Cow Peas
Southern Peas
Sweet Potatoes

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tilapia Day!

Today was the big day, Tilapia day! We had been putting it off and putting it off finally this morning I decided no more and we called the folks 10 minutes away and they stuck aside 10 baby tilapia for us (plus he snuck an extra one in for us).

As we pulled in we saw an older gentlemen sitting by the water and I couldnt blame him. We were greeted by the wonderful sound of a waterfall, the tropical landscaping, and the tall trees that cast a wonderful shade all over the property. He walked us around the property telling us all about how he got started to where he is now. They converted and old swimming pool to what was the now beautiful tilapia pond. What would have been a hot tub area was now a bio filter!



They are starting to use solar panels to cut down on their costs to run pumps 24 hours a day. These 3 small panels will provide him with 4 hours on a good day.
He has large water totes on the side that are spawning tanks while filtering and moving water (he even has included some aquaponic bins growing greens on top)
Here he is explaining how he created these pumps that wont allow the baby fish to be sucked through.
Not only is he raising tilapia but he has over 40 rabbit cages that he uses to breed New Zealand White rabbits for commercial people. Many had little babies that were so cute!
Here is our little bucket complete with 11 baby tilapia and some duckweed!

We talked for about an hour and he was SO friendly. He told me all about his setups how they work, what they have learned, how to keep our fish happy, raising his rabbits and breeding the compost  worms underneath the rabbit cages. We drove carefully home trying not to hit any bumps since we had a bucket of fish. Now we have 11 little baby tilapia swimming in our pond. Within a couple months they will be large and breeding! While our own little pond set up is dwarfed and sad looking compared to the set up they came from we hope to have a productive pond where we can harvest our own fresh fish from.

Are you inspired to create your own tilapia pond? Check out how we did it!

These folks are located in N. Tampa near Bearss and Nebraska, His name is Eric and hers is Jane their phone # is 813-310-4590.