Happy New Year!

Just taking a break and writing a bit before heading down to the garden.  The goal is to get two beds completely cleaned out today and then get the rest of them covered up good and tight to protect them from the cold weather that’s starting to breathe down our necks.  No more 60 degree weather for a few days.  Wally and I went to the game processor this morning and got two big buckets of venison scraps which we ground before freezing.  I believe I can get more meat in a container (I use plastic shoe boxes) if it’s ground than if its whole.  One or two more pick-ups and that’s it for the season.  I wish I had more freezer space for the meat.  While we were out, we also re-filled our kerosene containers.  We’re going to need those heaters over the next couple of days.  I’m so glad we’ve had a warmer than average winter so far.  I hope that continues.

I am not going to make New Year’s Resolutions because, like most people, I don’t keep them, but there are some things I’d like to try to accomplish this year.  The big priority is the garden.  I know I can add vegetables to the list of available products for my existing customers, not to mention it’s inexpensive food for us and the rabbits over the year.  I also want to master soap making.  I did pretty good this year keeping track of farm income and expenses, however, I fell off the wagon on keeping it up to date on Quicken.  It’s all written down in a calendar and I have all the receipts, I just need to enter it into Quicken and file the receipts by month.  While we were out today, I picked up a 2012 calendar to keep track of important dates, income and expenses.

The ten baby rabbits are still alive and are starting to take the milk better.  I added a little bit of honey to the milk this morning and they seemed to like it better.  Rabbits have a sweet tooth and if I can get them well-turned-on to the milk it will make my job a lot easier.  This morning was the best feeding so far.  Several of them are now able to jump out of the cardboard box I use to carry them back and forth in.  They look to be almost the same size as their siblings that I put with a Creme doe when they were first born.  We’ll see how they do.

Friday afternoon, I met with a woman in Lincolnton who does wildlife rehab.  She supplied me with small nipples that go on the end of a syringe which makes feeding the baby rabbits a whole lot easier.  We talked for quite a while and the video of the abuse at a Butterball turkey farm came up in our discussion.  She said that she would like to become a vegetarian, but she liked meat too much.  I then asked her why she continued to buy meat from factory-farmed animals at a grocery store.  I told her that the video that upset her so was probably a common occurrence on most of these factory farms.  She agreed.  I then told her that all she needed to do was to support local farmers who humanely raised their animals.  I guess she never thought of that.  I had a similar e-mail conversation with another woman today.  She said she didn’t know how I could raise animals that I was going to eat.  I am not going to say it’s easy, but I’d much rather do this than buy meat from animals that I knew likely lived horrible lives.  At least everything that lives here has a good life.  Sure, buying local meat is more expensive, but if animal abuse upsets you, why continue to buy factory-farmed meat?  How many more Butterball videos is it going to take you to make the switch?

The baby Boar goat, whom we named Boris, is doing really well.  What we are going to do with him I don’t know.  I’m thinking about roasted baby goat.  Yea, right.  What I’m going to do with the baby rabbits that survive is going to be interesting.  Since they will be very tame, I’ll likely keep at least some of the females to use in our breeding program.  They may be good candidates for a rabbit tractor because if they got out, I would probably be able to catch them again.  All I’d need to do is come out with a syringe of honey-flavored Jersey milk and they’d come running.

If you haven’t visited Spellcast Farm on Facebook, please do so and “like” us!  Another goal this year is to get better with marketing the farm.  I also want to re-do all the headers for this Journal removing the “Border Collies” and changing it to “Farm.”  This Journal started out as a means to market a litter of Border Collies and over time evolved as the Farm Journal.

Yesterday I did some work on the farm web site, primarily updating copyright dates and meta tags.  I also updated the farm animal page to add content about the rabbits.  I just today that I have not written anything on the organic garden page.  Gosh, I have a lot of work to do!!!

But now, no more procrastonating … off to the garden to dig in the dirt!

Until later …