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Archive for the ‘Environmentalism’ Category

Hello to all my fellow bloggers out there! I’m sure everyone has now heard of the gigantic storm that has ravaged the south, over 150 tornado reports are spread across 5 states over the last 24 hours. Everyone is O.k here in our neck of the woods, although we had a good scare last night with at least 5 tornadoes in our vicinity. Last night found Bear and I out in the midst of the rain, wind and lightning  trying to strap down the solar panels that had been conveniently forgotten until then! I must say that was not the best experience of my life, I kept telling Bear that if a Tornado was to come thru, a few straps on a board would probably only serve as more shrapnel, but he was quite insistent that we risk our lives at 12:00 at night amongst the strobe light like display occurring all around us…what fun. Later that night, after various phone calls with minute by minute updates on the various tornado’s paths, we rushed to a neighbor’s house to borrow their basement after hearing that one of them was about ten minuets away. That had to be the most amusing tornado warning I’ve ever been through, what with being huddled next to a bow flex with three kids, two dogs and our aunt, uncle and cousin who didn’t get to the shelter until about five minutes After the warning was over! Jokes were flying, dogs were cuddled up against the children and the five year old boy seemed to want to lasso the tornado and ride it to school the next day!(he even had a rope!) When we finally figured out the danger was over (it took a while because we didn’t see the radio sitting in the middle of the floor until we were about to leave), we made our way out to the car in the yet again pouring rain, only to find it locked! After about a minute and a half of trying to unlock the car, we finally made it home soaking wet and exhausted! What a night!

Now, on a more somber note,  I must stop here to mention with great respect a local hero whom I still don’t know the name of. Last night around 11:00 pm a 21 year old girl stopped by the home of an elderly gentleman who had been incapacitated with a stroke. Because of the coming storms, she chose to sit with him throughout the night in his single wide trailer. Their bodies were found earlier this morning in the tiny bathroom that was all that was left of the structure. Our hearts go out to the family of this brave young woman, who comforted her friend until the end. If I ever find out the name of this generous girl I’ll be sure to post it here so that her story will not be forgotten.  

Alright, onto the surprise! Though this was definitely not the way I pictured this reveal, I can’t hold it off any longer, that just wouldn’t be fair! So, without further adieu, I present to you RavenOak Medicinals, an Etsy shop dedicated to the health and wellbeing of both people and the planet! The farm is finally coming together, and with it comes a bounty of both wild and cultivated herbs just asking to be made up into teas, tinctures, vinegars and brews! I’m proud to share with you the first small line of health giving products becoming available at    http://www.etsy.com/shop/RavenOakMedicinals . 

Hops and Chamomile in my Sweet Dreams Tea

 

Garlic Vinegar is macerating now and will soon become availible for purchase for those of you who dont wish to try the recipe at home. A Blend of Yellow Dock and Dandelion in Apple Cidar Vinegar. Cleansing and Nourishing to the body!

 

All of my packaging is made from either recycleable, reusable or Completely Compostable materials , why not extend the No Trash Zone to hoseholds everywhere!

 
 

My Spring Tonic Tea is delicious chilled and served with a sprig of fresh mint! Cleansing and Tonifying to the body!

 

 

 YaY! Now I can check one more item off of my New Year’s Resolutions list! And, since I’m so excited about this, anyone who leaves a comment on this post and shoots me an e-mail with your address within the next two or three days will receive a Free Sample of my Spring Tonic Tea! Consider it a thank you for putting up with my erratic posting and crazy procrastination!

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Alas, my friends, I am guilty of shirking my blogging responsibilities! But who can truly blame me? The Spirits of Spring have called me to the newly blooming Gardens ( or what will soon become gardens ), and who can resist the call of Nature ( no, not that call! 😉 )? I apologize, but now it seems the rains have come to Georgia and I suppose I will be stuck indoors today! So now I sit, sipping a steaming cup of Organic ( and Fair Trade ) coffee mixed with wild harvested, roasted Dandelion Root that I recently dug from my yard.

    I have, in earlier posts, preached the amazing qualities of this sometimes hated weed, and what better time to explain the roasting process than on a rainy day? Plus I figured with my total lack of posts I might better give y’all something useful to read, otherwise my minions ( oops… I mean Readers:) )might rise against me! Now enough of the babble, let’s get to the good stuff!

What dainty Flowers!

How to Roast Dandelion Roots:

First, of course, we must extract them from the soil! To ensure a continuous supply of crunchy, cleansing roots, and crisp salad greens, we must pick the seed laden puff balls and make a few wishes for the future! Just be sure not to blow the seeds into your neighbors yard ( unless, of course, they share your love for dandelion’s sunny disposition )!

To gather the greatest amount of roots, you will need a good spade, and by spade, I mean a square shaped shovel with a nice, sharp edge to it. Some people prefer a regular shovel, but these tenacious roots tend to grow about 2 feet long, strait down into your yard, so it gets pretty difficult unless you have a long shovel!

 A good root diggin’ technique is to dig in a circle around the base of the plant, placing the spade straight down at the base and jumping up and down on it multiple times, then standing on the shovel and rocking precariously side to side to loosen the soil around said Dandelion. Not only is this really fun, it’s the only way I’ve found to get the whole root! Comment if you have a more efficient ( though maybe slightly less fun) technique. Once you have the soil loosened, reach down and grab the base of the plant and using your shovel for leverage, pull straight up. You should now have a beautiful, dirt covered root, along with some excess dirt under your fingernails. Keep up the diggin’ until you have enough roots ( there’s no real way to tell how many you’ll need, because, of course each root is a different size, shape and length).

These beautiful little roots, covered in Ga. Red Dirt, are actually a golden yellow color when washed. You can see how long and skinny they are, and they shoot straight down into the soil.

Now clean your roots outside first at the hose, I like to set up a grate over my compost pile, then spray them with the hose, but not too hard, you don’t really want to bruise them, however, get as much soil off as possible before moving on to the kitchen sink. Once inside, cut the leaves off and set them aside for lunch, then move on to scrubbing them as you would a potato, until all the dirt is gone. Place them on a paper towel to get the excess water off, then start chopping them up.

Now you can see the yellowish color. Sorry for the Horrible Pic!

It doesn’t really matter how you chopp them as long as their basically the same thickness to ensure even drying.

Spread them on a baking sheet, a couple of centimeters thick, and place in a 250 degree F. oven, leaving the door partially open to allow  moisture to escape. Keep checking them until they look shriveled, then leave them for about 30 more minutes to get a nice brown to golden color. The whole process usually only takes about 2 hours (unless you decide to try this on an extremely humid Georgia afternoon, like I did! Then it takes half the day to just dry them!:))

When their nice and roasted (I can always tell by the Earthy, slightly spicy aroma that permeates my kitchen), store them, unground, in an airtight jar in a cool dark area just like any other medicinal herb.

I like to grind the Dandelion with the coffee beans at a ratio of about a third of the Dandelion root to two thirds of the coffee. Adding more will give you a more bitter, Cafe Du Monde chicory-like flavor. Then Brew just like you would regular coffee and enjoy the cleansing, nutrient rich flavor of your dandelion coffee! Just remember, both coffee and Dandelion roots are diuretic, which basically means you’ll be urinating more than usual. Don’t let it get you down, it just means the dandelion is traveling through your body picking up toxins along the way out. Be sure, however, to get a little extra potassium in your diet, as this can be depleted by a pickup in the frequency of urinating.

Not only is this a great tasting way to take your medicine, it will also extend the time between buying more coffee, thereby saving you a couple extra dollars! I like to use that extra cash to buy plants…and potting soil, and pots, and seeds, and garden tools….O.K, so maybe it wont save me that much!

MMmmmmm.....

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The honey-sweet scent of these follows me through my work in the garden!

I thought it would be nice to do an illustrated report of my small raised bed garden. Everything is (thankfully) Thriving, and I dont even mind the weeding this year! Raised Bed, I’ve found, is really the way to go!

This is my small Raised bed and it is packed with veggies! Yesterday I found out I have a reason to be proud of it. My friends little six year old boy came over with his Dad and was very interested in it. When asked what it was, I told him everything in the Garden was edible. He proceeded to pick Collard and Spinach leaves and eat them raw, sitting on the ground, giving half to my rabbit! Apparently the Spinach was extra sweet!

 

My Winding Row of carrots is finally peeking it's head, along with the chives beside them!

Not sure if this is a disease or an adaptaion, but this interesting feature is what started this little photo essay of mine :). It seems the spinach has formed a little cup, perhaps to catch rainwater? Or perhaps its a disease...

 

Another example of the same occurance...Oooo! maybe my spinach is mutating into a carnivorous plant! Lol, Now I feel like Poison Ivey from Batman!

 

A Beautiful little flourette forming!

 

My poppies popping up around the Broccoli!

 

Thinning the radishes, Mr. Bo loves the thinnings!

 

Lettuce, Kale, Radishes and Onions in a small space. They are flourishing!

 

Im so happy I dont have to buy these from the produce section anymore, Collards go from the Garden, straight to the pot!

 

Lovin his radishes!

 

Hope you enjoyed my little Garden! Im hoping to build more raised beds soon to acomodate all the warm weather veggies and herbs I want to grow. Though getting Bear to help me build anything is easier said than done! 😉

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I must sincerely apologize for the complete lack of my normal Saturday post! The end of the week proved to hail a whirlwind of activity and the blessing of the company of old friends. To be quite honest, I must admit that on Friday evening I stayed up until about 6:30 in the A.M, I really felt like I was in High School again! Then Sunday showed my home full of the laughter of both children and men (you know they act like kids most days anyway;) and my new stove got broken in in a most appropriate way for a homestead…two whole batches of cookies!-all of which were consumed within the hour:)

But now I shall make up for it with this collection of wild medicinal (and of course edible!) plants, all of which can be found growing throughout the wilds of Georgia and I’m sure most of the southeast! I also had the pleasure of taking a wild weed walk in my mom’s Secret Gardens, so these pictures are a culmination of both her homestead and mine. So once again, won’t you join me on the farm, and in my mother’s gardens as we walk with heads pointed down to the ground exploring the bounty of our lawns!

The first in the series is common in most areas of the country in one form or another- Chickweed! This diminutive plant is both edible and medicinal in nature; having the properties to Treat coughs, hoarseness, constipation, kidney related disorders, and is now revealing itself as an effective antihistamine! With a whole host of vitamins and minerals including Ascorbic-acid, Beta-carotene, Calcium, Coumarins, Genistein, Gamma-linolenic-acid, Flavonoids, Hentriacontanol, Magnesium, Niacin, Oleic-acid, Potassium, Riboflavin, Rutin, Selenium, Triterpenoid saponins, Thiamin, and Zinc, this plant is a treasure waiting to be discovered!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One easy way to identify chickweed is the tiny star shaped flowers, which upon closer inspection reveals instead of ten petals, five deeply cleft petals. It also has a line of hair running along a creeping purplish green stem, this particular variety is called mouse-eared chickweed, and is fuzzier than the variety shown above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This beautiful weed is called Ground Ivy, it makes a lush green ground cover and grows in areas grass doesn't like...but be careful, it's related to the mint family and tends to take over! Thankfully, it's medicinal and edible so it adds greatly to the useful lawn. It makes an excellent spring tonic, aiding in relieving congestion and inflammation of mucous membranes associated with colds, flu, and sinusitis, stimulating the appetite, treating allergies, digestive disorders, gastritis, acid indigestion, and diarrhea. These are just a few of it's many benefits. It is also an appetizing salad and soup green adding a great host of nutrients to the meal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since it is a member of the mint family, it's stem is square, hairy and creeps along the ground forming a mat, it's leaves are heart shaped and scalloped. The leaves, stems and flowers can be harvested year round, since it is a perennial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do not, under any circumstances, confuse ground ivy with this plant! This is called Delphinium and is very poisonous!some distinct differences include the serrated leaves, rather than lobed, and the more compact nature of the entire plant instead of the creeping nature of Ground Ivy. Remember, always properly identify before you even touch a plant, let alone harvest it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite appearances, no this is not a strawberry leaf! This ancient plant is called cinquefoil, otherwise known as Five Finger Grass. Purely medicinal in nature (I tried a leaf and neither the texture nor taste is appetizing in the least, so, though you could probably eat it as a salad green...well, let's just say I told ya so 😉 It's medicinal uses include treating Diarrhea, Menstrual Cramps, Mouth Inflammation, PMS, Sore throat and used as an astringent skin wash. In the old days, this herb was almost considered a 'cure all', it's scientific name; 'Potentilla' can attest to that...see 'Potent' in its very Latin origins!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A close-up of this precious groundcover, notice the five serrated leaves on a single axis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmmm....is this one of those 'what is this' closeup pictures you sometimes find in the back of a magazine? Nope! This is a most amazing resin from a very common plant...the Pine! Members of the Pine Family grow almost everywhere in America and most, if not all, are medicinally interchangeable to varying degrees of success. The Native Americans used this as a very valuable food supply in the winter when fresh vegetables were scarce. Because of it's very high vitamin C content, it's very useful in treating scurvy; the severe vitamin C deficiency commonly found in malnourished countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another amazing quality of Pine sap (and pine needles) is it's ability to treat just about any form of influenza, and though I've not come across a case, I'm almost certain even the bird or swine flu could not stand up to this resin's healing properties! More research is defiantly required in this area and if you come across any vases I would be delighted if you shared! On another note, pine sap also makes an amazing healing and drawing poultice for splinters, glass, spider bites and other small wounds. There are a great many old-timey pine sap slave recipes out there so I'll not take up more space with another one, simply know the knowledge is there for the taking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was overjoyed to recently learn (from my brilliant mom:), that this curious looking wild plant I've been wondering about for over a year now is actually the ancient healer Fumitory! This beautiful little plant has been used in medicine for thousands of years and just it's name brings images of monastery cottage gardens, ancient monks tending the healing plants in times such as King Arthur and Robin Hood lived! Many times I'm sure the smoke of this plant has graced the halls of catholic churches and has even been used to purify sick rooms and quarantine areas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internally, Fumitory is useful as a digestive tonic, treating gall bladder and Liver conditions, along with Being gently laxative and sedative in it's nature. Externally, it has been used to treat skin conditions such as rash, eczema, and other inflamations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for joining me once again as we explore the bounty nature has provided for us! Last weeks it was a salad, this week a healing potion…all from plants freely given to better our bodies and minds! Ahhhhh…..I love Spring!:)

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Urban Homesteaders® beware! yep, you read that little trademark symbol right, apparently that particular term, along with Urban Homesteading® is now trademarked by the Dervaes family, the creators of the Path to Freedom® blog and owners of The most productive 1/5 of an acre lot I’ve ever heard of! Now before we get into a bashing session here, I must say that I greatly admire what Mr. Dervaes and his family are doing, they set a great example for urbanites and rural homesteaders alike (I can say that one without getting griped at:), as far as how to grow as much food as possible on the least amount of land available, this is a valiant experiment into the growing food production problem our world is currently facing. What I don’t find as valiant is the claim they seem to have made on such a wonderful expression of freedom and community driven innovation. I can see the point of trademarking the name of their blog (which they have), even the name of their homestead (also trademarked, I believe), mainly because they thought up those particular word combinations, but I’m pretty sure the term Urban Homesteader® has been in circulation since the early 1980’s. Since then many organizations, communities, magazines, websites and bloggers in particular have penned those two words together to represent self sufficiency, sustainability and most of all, because they’re being experienced in an urban setting….community. Now, however, it seems that if an individual wishes to write about the wonders, benefits and innovations created in the field of homesteading in a city-like setting, they must refer the reader to the writings and more importantly the products and services of PathtoFreedom® .com. I wonder if they realize that many (myself included) homesteading, gardening and sustainability bloggers already do this?
Many organizations and writers, such as The Institute of Urban Homesteading, have already received an e-mail notifying them that they must now change their name. Others have received “suggestions” that they no longer use the term when referring to….well…an Urban Homestead® ! Instead they could use terms like “urban sustainability project” or perhaps “modern homesteading”(which, to me, could refer to any homesteading project, such as what are attempting, and we own almost ten acres right in the middle of RuralVille!). Here is a small snippet of what these e-mails and letters people are receiving have to say:
“Dervaes Institute owns numerous trademarks which should be properly acknowledged if used. These protected names and images include the following registered trademarks:
URBAN HOMESTEAD®
URBAN HOMESTEADING®
PATH TO FREEDOM®
GROW THE FUTURE®
HOMEGROWN REVOLUTION®
FREEDOM GARDENS®
LITTLE HOMESTEAD IN THE CITY® (pending)
Also, THE TEN ELEMENTS OF URBAN HOMSTEADING copyright has been filed with the Library of Congress.
If your use of one of these phrases is not to specifically identify products or services from the Dervaes Institute, then it would be proper to use generic terms to replace the registered trademark you are using. For example, when discussing general homesteading or other people’s projects, they should be referred to using terms such as ‘modern homesteading,’ ‘urban sustainability projects,’ or similar descriptions.”

I’m not sure why “Little Homestead in the City” is going to be trademarked, are they just trying to cover all of the bases? Perhaps I should trademark Rural Homestead or even Makehift Homesteading, no ones done it yet after all;)! The whole ordeal just seems a little to selfish an act to be performed in such a time when open information and sharing is so important to the ultimate goal of community sustainability and freedom from an oil based food economy.
If you feel the need to bring this term back into the hands of the public, Change.org has a petition created by Sundari Elizabeth Kraft, author of the upcoming book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading, to cancel the trademarks on their website.
What do you think? Should the term be writable by all without the need to refer the reader to another website? Is this fair to the organizations who have already used the phrase in their very title? Leave a comment below, tell us your thoughts on this very strange situation!

Gwenevere

P.S. Its also kind of annoying to keep having to add that little symbol! Can we get it removed on the grounds of annoyance alone:)?

 

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  Wow! What an eventful week! First of all, I would like to congratulate the Egyptian people for their victory over Oppression, and we all pray that the following days will be full of joy, freedom and positive change! You have a long road ahead of you, Egypt, but this victory is the stepping stone on the pathway to democracy and personal rights which I believe every human is entitled to. Yay Egypt!!!! Sorry, got a little carried away:). Anyway, we’ve been so busy, (building more raised beds:) I figured for this post I would extend to everyone some of the resources we have been using the past two years or so, hopefully you can garner the same knowledge, news, entertainment and great products we have had the privilege to find on our journey toward financial freedom and sustainability. Please enjoy the following links….it’s time to get click happy!

http://bearmedicineherbals.com/ -a wonderful guide to traditional herbal medicine with insights into the everyday life of a medicine woman. Highly recommended for wild and regional herbal medicine. The very knowledgeable Kiva Rose brings to life the wild and often mysterious valley in which she resides with her family and friends. She, along with her colleagues, have produced a treasure trove of knowledge in publishing the new online herbalist’s ‘Plant Healer Magazine’, which I have yet to have the opportunity to read:(.

http://www.greenlittlecat.com/ -a great site my friend Jess found for  the cat lover in all of us. All about the different ways we can “green” our feline friend’s lifestyle. How to make your own cat litter, natural foods and holistic kitty medicine.

http://www.horizonherbs.com/ -the number one site to go to for hard to find herb plants and seeds, the owner Richo Cech also writes some extraordinary guides to growing and using medicinal herbs. Every plant I’ve ordered from them has been a prolific producer and I highly recommend them.

http://agrigirl.wordpress.com/ -a wonderful blog about friends, family and community supported agriculture, she will surprise you with the wit and wisdom of her posts.

http://www.bountifulgardens.org/ -a great source for untreated and organic vegetable seed. You will truly get your money’s worth at this site, the proceeds go to a great cause; teaching people all over the world how to grow and provide food for their communities, and finding new and improved techniques of growing the most food in in-hospitable areas! I order my veggie seeds from this company because Jesus said it best; give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime…(along with feed his family, neighbors, and perhaps his entire village:)

http://www.gardenweb.com/ -a forum for all regions of gardening. Ask a question and it will be answered by gardeners in your state.

http://urbanhomestead.org/ -for the ultimate in inspiration, this is what your small city lot could provide if given half a chance. As just a small example, the total in produce for January alone was over two hundred pounds! Plus the pictures of the gardens alone is enough to strive for greater production!

http://beyondthebluebin.com/ -a diary of one person’s trash, and thoughts on how to reduce, reuse and recycle that trash. It invites us all to take a look at what really goes into our trash cans!

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/ – we bought our solar panels (and a refrigerator, and inverter) from these guys, their prices are very reasonable, their reps are knowledgable and their equipment is reliable! If you have any questions about future solar projects, or even just want to understand more about how the systems work, don’t hesitate to give them a call! (Hint, hint, Wholesale solar, Winding Road Farm is advertising for you!;)

http://www.motherearthnews.com/ -when I found out we would be moving to a ten acre farm, living in a tiney outbuilding, and with no running water or electricity, the first thing I did, was order a subscription to this magazine. I grew up reading Mother Earth News, my mom has almost every issue. It’s pages beg to be book marked, it’s passages underlined and every issue kept safe for future generations! If you can find anyone who is willing to part with the older issues, they are well worth the price. Every issue is packed with homesteading tips and tricks, gardening ideas, environmental news and personal accounts from the sustainability front!

http://survivalfarm.wordpress.com/ -all about gardening and how much humanity will soon need the small farmer, and the backyard veggie plot.

http://www.gardenfork.tv/ -A very entertaining site! Eric’s videos are informative, funny and his Labradors are downright adorable! I love the fact that they appear completely unscripted, I think his favorite saying is “and, well, we’ll just see what happens!”. How-To videos, Cooking, Bee-keeping and random Cute Puppy shots makes for a great show!

http://wastefreehome.wordpress.com/ -another household that has vowed to reduce and even eliminate the trash that makes up their portion of the landfill, I was very glad to find that we’re not the only ones!

http://wooddogs3.wordpress.com/ – another urbanite’s experiences with farming on a small city lot. Look for the great book recommendations!

http://herbanlifestyle.wordpress.com/ – and finally, just looking at the site makes my mouth water! Full of good news and good recipes, the writer also owns an Etsy shop selling hand crafted all natural bath and body care products, which have garnered some great reviews!

   Thanks to all who read about our adventures and let’s hope we can get this garden going soon, I got my local Georgia Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin and according to the planting guide, I should have stuff in the ground already! You see, this is why we call our kind of procrastination an extreme sport!

Gwenevere

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It was warm enough yesterday for my two little bunnies to have an outdoor foray! I was also able to complete the first raised bed/Rabbit Tractor, therefore the bunnies will now have a new outdoor home, while helping me complete the cottage garden of my dreams! (or at least help me grow some food for my table:)Keep in mind this is only a temporary set-up, I intend to plant Jerusalem Artichoke (otherwise known as a Sunchoke), which is a perennial vegetable, in this particular bed. When I figure out the measurements of the annual veggie beds I will build a tractor to fit them.
Now, as promised, pics of the cutest little bunnies on earth, the completed garden bed, and a little information on the care and keeping of bunnies!

I have no idea if this is Freya or Thor, they look just alike!

     

One of the first things you should focus on is the Health of your rabbit. A Healthy Rabbit has clear eyes with no discharge, notice how this one’s eyes are so clear they act as a mirror reflecting me taking a picture of him. The bunny should have a clean soft coat with no crusty build-up on it’s feet, no discoloration in the ears and nothing, ummm…unsanitary stuck to its behind.

They both loved being outside!

One easy way to tell if your Rabbit is eating enough is to pet it! Stroke your rabbit from its head to its tail, running your hand right dow the middle of it’s back. Try to feel it’s spine. The spine should feel smooth and rounded on a rabbit with a healthy weight. If it feels sharp and pointed, the rabbit is too thin. If you cant feel the spine at all, the rabbit is too fat! Adjust the amount of food accordingly. Its good for both your cute little bunny and you if you do this each day at feeding time, your friend gets some extra attention, and you get an overall health report.

Animals in general are great escape artists! Though you may wish your rabbit could run wild in your back yard, its a good idea to provide a safe cage or pen instead. There are many predators who would gladly make a meal of your adorable little balls of fur! Just make sure the pen's wire spacing is small enough to prevent what you see in the picture. (Dont worry, I caught her!)

Heres a great recipe for an all natural, very nutritious rabbit food thats cheaper than the pre-packaged, ‘no idea whats in it’, rabbit supplement:
Equal Parts:
* Unsweetened dried fruits like raisens, cranberries, mango pieces, apples. (stay away from bannana and pineapple, the first being very hard on their teeth, the second being to sweet)
*Unsalted sunflower kernals, removed from shell.( Ive been debating on this, because salt is an important part of bunnie’s diet, just not the iodized version usually coating them)
*Unsalted nuts, removed from shell
*Unsalted, unsweetened granola or rolled oats
*Little bits of dried alfalfa, dried greens
I purchase all of this at my local Ingles in the bulk section, though it would be better if you lived near a Whole Foods or local Natural Grocer…you’d probably get it cheaper! You can find the alfalfa in the herbal section.
Dont forget, all of this stuff is great for humans too (including the alfalfa, its full of micronutrients), so go ahead and make some trail mix while your at it (I suppose you could salt yours:)

The finished temporary Rabbit Tractor. They moved in yesterday and seem to be enjoying their new home. The Garden bed is about 7ft. long by 2 ft. wide, thats 14 square foot of play room.

Give your Rabbits lots of room to play! A good rule of thumb is one square foot to each pound your rabbit weighs. Our rabbits weigh about 4 pounds each and we’ve provided about fourteen square feet of  play room. Theyll probably get more with our next raised bed.

If your moving your rabbits, to keep it from being to traumatizing, have some yummy greens and their water all setup beforehand. When I put Freya and Thor into their new home they went straight for the greens without a second thought!

As you can see, my rabbits main Diet consists of wild greens and roots. I’ve heard the proper diet should be commercial rabbit food, commercial rabbit supplements, and more commercial rabbit stuff. I don’t have that much money, and if I’m going to raise rabbits to eat, I’m most likely a citizen concerned with what goes into my food. Therefore I’m not going to feed unrecocnizable pellets to my future food source. Take your cues from the wild rabbits, here are some of their favorits:

All of this stuff probably grows wild in your yard. The top is Yellow dock Greens.

   
* Dandilion Greens and Roots
*YellowDock Greens and the occassional small root piece
*Cleavers( though these tend to irritate the human mouth if eaten raw, it doesnt seem to affect the bunnies, they love them!)
* Chickweed
*Grasses, anything that looks good to you!
Be sure not to use anything that is sprayed with chemicals, and make yourself a salad while your at it!

Gratuitous Cute Bunny Pic!

                                                                                                
            

They make great lawn mowers!

A  Healthy adult rabbit can survive temperatures well below zero, but they are most comfortable at teperatures around 50-69 degrees F ( 10-20 degrees C)  You should always protect outdoor rabbits from winds and precipitation because nothing really likes to be wet and cold!  For southern climates, one way to beat the heat of the summer is to fill up an old water or cola bottle, freeze it  and place in the pen. The rabbit will lounge up against it during the warmest moments. Its also polite to provide your furry friends with some shade!            
And to the most awsome pic of all, Rabbits and Kitties!

The rabbits and cats had created a game in the house in which the rabbit would chase the cat, touch it with its nose and run. The cat would then chase it, swipe at it, then the rabbit would be "it" again. This is them getting re-aquainted!

  
Rabbits are a great begining choice for small farms and homesteads. They can be raised for meat production, fiber, as lawn mowers, and just plain easy to care for pets!  Plus they make great Easter presents for your children, they bring joy and teach the responsibility of caring for an animal, something I think is greatly lacking in the future generation’s education.  Rescue one from a farm auction, purchase from registered breeders, support your local 4-h and buy from a child who raised them  for a fair, any way you go, you will be supporting your local community and yourself at the same time!
Gwenevere                                                                     

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