Changes and happenings and way cool stuff!

There is so much going on right now that it may take me several hours to write it all down!  I’m in the middle of mid-terms and working really hard to get through the second developmental math class.  As was before, it’s the math class that is kicking my butt!  This time, the math itself is quite easy, it’s the terminology that is giving me a hard time.  On the list of things to do today is to make up some index cards with the terminology on them and seeing if that helps me to understand.  If I can get through this class, I will not be going to school Thursday or Friday which will free me up tremendously.

I need some time freed up.  The rabbit project is taking off.  Big time.  I received an e-mail on Monday that I was approved for a SARE grant.  That’s really, really, really big news!  Of the 45 proposals that were submitted in the Southeast region, only FOUR were accepted and mine was one of them.  That’s incredible.

Now, if you are reading this and think that we are rolling in money you are wrong.  Dead wrong.  We are still making it by by the skin of our teeth.  We are not making a profit, yet.  These grants are enabling us to expand and perfect our pastured rabbit program.  If all goes well, by the end of 2013 we should be seeing profit.  Right now, everything that we make goes right back into the farm.  Raising animals right takes a good bit of investment and time.  If I were to calculate my hourly wage it would be a negative number.

That said, we’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the former goat shelter.  At one time, we were going to make it into a green house, but the more and more we thought about that, we realized that just wasn’t going to work without completely taking it apart and starting from scratch.  About six months ago, I considered selling the goats and had earmarked that shelter to be a second rabbit barn and that’s a much more viable use for it.  We were going to install conventional wire cages with solid bottoms on stands, but that is not working well.  Cleaning out the wire cages with the solid bottoms is extremely time consuming.  Instead, we are going to make stalls, on the ground that we’ll deep bed with straw similar to how we have the tractors during the winter.  There will be 20 stalls in that building.  We’ll access the stalls from the top and the fronts will come off so I can easily clean out the stall when the rabbit and her kits vacate it to go on pasture.  If this plan works well, we’ll bring the ShelterLogic building that now houses the rabbits along side this building and construct more stalls.  I hope it works because we are very excited about this prospect.

I am going to purchase a ShelterLogic greenhouse to use for starting tomatoes, etc. and growing fodder for the ducks and rabbits.  I’ve been sprouting grain in buckets in the master bathroom.  It’s a mess, but the ducks love the sprouted grain.  This greenhouse will go down near the main garden area.

Unfortunately, we are between pasture seeding time.  It’s too late for cool season crops and too early for warm season crops so I’m in holding pattern on the pasture seeding.  I won $75 worth of seeds from Green Cover Seed which is way cool!  I just need to figure out what I’m going to plant.  I’ve never planted pasture seed before.  Luckily I have a number of mentors available to me.

Wally is going to mount a white board for me that I can use to plan out the future area.  I need to do the same thing for my raised beds.  Got lots to think about.  I will be on spring break from March 30 through April 5 so I’ll spend that week getting set up out there with the electric fencing.

I need to cut this short because I need to finish up my English midterm exam and a research proposal for the same class.  Then on to Math and maybe a little bit of house cleaning.

Until later …