Feb 2013 breeding rabbits

U-Pick

Still all over the place emotionally, because we have no answers yet on the frac sand mining in our township. But meanwhile, we need to keep on making a living here, so in my crazed state I’m contemplating crazy ideas. What about U-pick organic green beans? I could do a workshop on how to make your own pickled dilly beans! I’m also curious about doing U-pick strawberries, but I have a feeling these plants might be too diva-esque for our gardening manner. What other kinds of things might people like to come out to pick themselves? Pickling cukes?

breeding rabbits

Most of this winter, our rabbits have not been interested in getting it on. But that was ok, we’ve had a hell of a winter- not really a good time of year to be assisting kindling of tiny, naked baby rabbits..

And then we had a really terrible thing happen- our poppa bunny was murdered by a weasel. Somehow the bastardly carnivorous mammal pulled the feeder off the front of the cage and got in there. It attacked our Big Guy and killed him. Didn’t even eat him, which is the most disgusting thing about this predator. It attacked his head and while the poor guy might have just died immediately from a heart attack, you never know what went down. Just so sad, he was such a sweet and huge bunny who fathered large litters of very healthy offspring. Grrrrrrr.image.

But, thanks to our friend Cris, who also keeps rabbits for meat, we got a new dude for the rabbitry. He’s a bit smaller, being 1/2 Florida White and 1/2 New Zealand. But he’s healthy, feisty and excited to have such a great job. Since he’s new to this, and also just at the maturity point to begin breeding, we didn’t want to “push” him too hard. One visit from a lady rabbit, every other day or so. We’ve got to pace him.

At the first introduction of a girlfriend, he acted fearful, stamping his back foot in alarm, over and over. One of the female rabbits actually started to hump him after a while, to show him what to do! And then he got it. Now we have 4 mommas hopefully in a family-way, meaning we’ll have kits arriving in a month and then 5 weeks after that they’ll be old enough to be weaned and go out in the rabbit tractors. I keep thinking and questioning the math about spring, yep, indeed, we should have grass and warmish weather in 2 months!

ugggg

First- let me start on something positive: we are getting geese. A bunch of them. Tomorrow! We’ll be continuing the work of a local man who’s been breeding heritage geese for 10 years, and I am really really excited about this. I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy geese until we got our first pair last fall. They are striking birds, massive, elegant, deliberate in motion, and eco-friendly, as they can grow on a grass based diet.

But- now, onto the sad/bad/hard stuff. Last night, the most disappointing town board meeting ever happened. We STILL don’t know what might be happening with our neighbor’s property that was bored for frac sand samples, just “how” it might happen. We now can “rest at ease” that indeed, the mining company will have to file an application, and there will be a mining agreement drawn up with said company, in which the town board may include all kinds of stipulations about property value protection, hours of operation, etc. But none of these concerns were written INTO the wording of the ordinance they passed. I just bust out into tears there in that town hall. Feeling powerless is the worst feeling in the world.

Our town board made it clear that they don’t think our concerns are valid or worth even considering. They gave us 30 minutes of public comment time, not question and answer, during which the main sentiments expressed were: pass a moratorium on mining now, and craft a thorough ordinance and proper ordinance with a citizen’s committee, we are concerned about water tables and water contamination, we are concerned about property values, we want answers and overall we are concerned because these mines are rushing into our beautiful, rural agriculture lands and ruining everything, all in the name of big money, we are concerned citizens, and you as our board representatives should be concerned because of our concern. Right?

I find anything political to be so BORING, and I think this is why so many people get discouraged from participating. I know these board members have a pretty thankless and boring job, a job none of us bothered to pay attention to until now. I feel that these guys are kind of sullenly rejecting our concerns because of this. They know “what’s best for us”, since they’ve been doing this so long, and we never cared about them before, so why should they care about what we have to say now? It’s a vicious cycle.

If we don’t get our good people on the board in the upcoming April election, I’m ready to start packing. Our town board heard for a half hour how people are concerned and want to have questions answered and wanted a moratorium so we can take time to craft a good ordinance, and they just went ahead and passed the damn ordinance as it was presented: weak, shallow, basically leaning over for the mining company and taking it. Some folks said it wasn’t too bad of an ordinance, I don’t think it’s great or anything, but I might feel a bit more strongly since we live right next to a proposed mine site. Nevertheless, we have such an awesome group of fighters in our ‘hood. I just love them and I am so grateful that we are all fighting together. Next up- more neighborhood strategy meetings, more fighting this board within the boring political system, and trying to figure out what this means for our future. I also plan to spend time in the hoophouse, shelling beans and hanging out with the new geese!

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