I spend a lot of time day dreaming about the future farm and all of its little pieces. Its animals, plants, barns, fences, house, and stream. And I spend a little time planning. But mostly day dreaming. I have a notebook outline of a rough-a-round-about-someday-soon-?-farm-plan , but I think it’s time to put in some serious library and bookstore hours to expand my knowledge base and turn some of those nebulous daydreams into more realistic things-I-can-actually-accomplish-in-the-next-couple-years-plans.
My productive time–when I can manage it– is spent in the garden and with the rabbits. The bunnies are still pretty cute, but also gigantic. We had to harvest two of the eight last night. I browned one in bacon fat this morning and stuck it in the crock pot on low with a whole mess of fresh thyme, rosemary, and bacon, white wine, and rabbit stock. It was incredibly tender and paired well with garlic mashed potatoes this evening. We thanked the young rabbit who provided us with the delicious meal. The lucky bugger sure had a great life while it lasted. I wouldn’t have minded letting the two we harvested get a bit bigger, but they outgrew their hutch and it seemed worse to let all eight stay in a crowded situation.
I felt much more comfortable with the butchering this time and did a nice clean job. The actual slaughter was still hard though (and I should mention M helped with all of this). The mixture of anticipation, adrenaline, and sadness is exhausting. I went to bed feeling drained, but good about the farm.
Not only does the litter provide us with meat, but I am excited to say that Quiet Owl Farm will have its first bit of income. My dear friend will be adopting M’s favorite bun (whom he named Harriet Houdini for her enterprising ways) in exchange for some delicious duck eggs. Another friend will be coming on Sunday to purchase a rabbit and learn how to harvest it. And I sold the final three to a homesteadin’ lady from Facebook who will pick them up Saturday. It sounds like she’s been interested in American Chinchillas for a while and has been waiting to find some that are reasonably priced. What luck for both of us!
I’ve been investing a fair amount of money into these guys over the last several months and all of this means that the equivalent of Socorro, Jimmy, and a sack of feed have paid for themselves. Oh, and I’m 95% darn sure Socorro is expecting since she was carrying around mouthfuls of hay and attempting to build a nest. If all goes well another litter will be here soon, the rabbits will eventually pay for themselves and I may even make a small profit. And that’s not counting the boundless manure supply and meat we keep. This sales step is certainly encouraging. There’s definitely a market for heritage breed rabbits in this area and I look forward to doing a little business with the community as we enjoy this lovely breed.