Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Weed Killing.

Slowly but surely we are wiping out the weed population here at Sunny Spot Gardens. Soon next seasons veggies will be sowed. But until then pull, pull, pull. I cannot wait until labor day, the whole family will have the day off and we can just work outside. :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Our 1st Home Raised Rabbit Meal

After allowing the rabbit meat to chill in the fridge for 48 hours we are cooking it for dinner. Coated in herbs and flour and pan fried, served over an open face home-style biscuit and topped with a cream sauce. But first how to debone a rabbit... Hmmm

My butchered attempt looks nothing like their but lets just chalk it up to having a smaller rabbit ;)

Here we go with the pan frying of the herb and flour coated rabbit.

The finished product minus the cream...
lapin cuits avec sauce à la crème sur les biscuits

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rabbit Processing

Warning:  Today’s post is about butchering here at the gardens, if this would upsets you please do not read any further. Please know we give our animals the very best life we can offer them but these animals are not pets and raised to be food.

 I got home from work and went outside to feed and water the rabbit, the chickens were out pecking round in the weeds clucking as if I was obviously disturbing them from some very important work. I have been weaning the baby rabbits from their mother and have a pen set up with 4 rabbits, 2 still with their mom. These are our meat rabbits, raised for one purpose to feed us.

It may not be pretty but we eat meat, and a good amount of it. Our goal is to be a self sustaining as possible this includes providing simple foods for the family like fruits, veggies, and recently meat. Some would choose not to do this and that is fine but my goal is to eventually have a farm and homestead off it allowing the land to support us, here at Sunny Spot we have started that process on our urban farm.

While we cannot raise cows, pigs, or other traditional meat animals we can raise rabbits and easily. They feast upon not only store bought food pellets but greens grown in the garden, leftover foods, and grass. They can hop around the garden not causing any problems and produce wonderful poop fertilizer that grow even more veggies.

Today as I went out to feed them I picked one up and it just felt like it was now or never. I have been putting it off because its a hard process mentally. I brought it inside to weigh it. 2.6 pounds as I went back outside it started raining as if mother nature picked up my feelings. I did what I had to and skinned, and gutted the rabbit. As the process went forth I said a small prayer not to God or anyone in particular but for the animal. Im not sure all I said but it was from the heart basically thanking the animal for the food it would provide for our family. The blood went into the garden, the offal to the chickens, the head and tail went into the garbage, the skin into a bag and in the freezer until I can tan it, and the meat came inside and got rinsed out.

Brooke who had been inside then came and started asking questions. She was very curious about it all as it is no secret to her why we raise these animals. She wanted to know all the details but there is only so much I am willing to tell my 5 year old. We went over the basics, then I showed her how I was going to cut it up to chill overnight in the fridge. She was excited about eating it remarking how similar it looked to chicken. As I chopped it she laid claim to a leg.

This process was both a sad and exciting time for me. Now at least I know I can do it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My first garden outting in months

All say today at work all I could think about in my minutes of free time was getting my hands dirty in the garden. I wanted to plant, I wanted to watch those seeds grow but there was one BIG hurdle before I could plant... the summer neglect. As you know the past couple months I have been a no show around here and thats not because I gave up blogging oh no its because I had nothing to blog about. I let myself slip into this routine of going to work, and crashing on the couch with the AC blasting in the house. Today was my first break of the habit and my goodness it felt good.

The rain had cooled us down to under 90 degrees and put up a nice grey layer between myself and the glaring sun so I got off work, picked up my daughter and ventured outside. It was worse then I knew. Weeds with deep roots were everywhere. First thing I did was start yanking off the vining weeds that were choking out my trees and rosemary. Next I pulled weeds along the bank of the pond allowing you to actually see where the ground stopped and the water began. Next I pulled out as many weeds as I could turning over the soil and then covering with thin cardboard from work. On top of that I pulled out pond plants that had covered the ENTIRE surface of the water and stacked them on top until you couldnt see the board underneath, this will quickly rot a create a compost layer. For the topper I have a bag of leaves waiting to be added.. then in a couple of weeks PLANT. I spent at least 1.5 hours working on a 4x8 bed... now only the rest of the yard to do..... 0_0

Above is Brooke who wanted to show off our hard work and her favorite hen Tiny. They are so cute!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Our First Rabbit Show

I thought something fun to do would be to start showing our rabbits as a family activity. We woke up at 6am and piled into the car before the sun had come over the horizon, it was dark and I was tired and crabby. We started our 45 minute trek to the show room. An 1 and 40 minutes later we arrived, Yes we got lost 3 times (plus I had to stop for coffee). We set up with some bunny friends and relaxed until it was time for Brooke to show. All morning she combed and styled her bunnies fur, finally it was her time to go to the judging tables. She stuck her bunny in the hole and waited.

All that styling must have payed off because this little girl one Best of Breed her very first show with Nibbler. She was thrilled and so was I, it was a fantastic day!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A long hard summer

This summer has been rough, humid hot and miserable. I don't even go outside, my yard is over taken in weeds. *sigh* soon, soon you will be seeing more posts... as soon as it cools down and I can get my garden underway.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What to Plant in August (Zone 9)

Plant seeds of:
Southern Peas
Malabar Spinach
Pole Beans
Sweet Corn
Bunching Onions

What to do:
* Harvest Spring-planted garlic when the tops are yellow and withered. Dig the bulbs and allow to dry in a well ventilated area out of direct sun.
* Start seeds of any items that can be planted in September