Sunday, November 29, 2009

Urban Rabbit Farming

Alas, I have finally got myself a herd of rabbits. Raising rabbits in an urban environment has always been one of my aspirations. There are tons of research that support the raising of rabbits in this type of environment. The one item that draws people to raising rabbits is the ability for the rabbits to breed throughout the year. From the time of courting it will take 28 to 30 days for young to be born averaging from 5-10 a litter. The young can be slaughtered at about 2 -4 months. With the fast breeding habits of the rabbit and some good note keeping a rabbit farm for meat or anything else can be very beneficial. However, my quest to raise rabbits has more to do with understanding how it all works in an urban environment rather than producing rabbits for profit. Everyday I search craigslist looking for the *DEAL* and I finally I came across a gentleman who needed to get rid of six San Juan rabbits for $40 bucks. Well, I drove my happy self over there and picked them up. 3 bucks and 3 does. I want to include some other bucks so that way I can diversify the gene pool. But nevertheless, I finally have my rabbits. The problem was finding a place for them stay. I knew that they would go in my man garden out back but I didn't know how I was going to work them in. So with a several mins of staring at that space I realized that I would use my privacy fence as the base for my pen. When I had this privacy fence installed the fence guy asked me if I wanted the nice side facing inside of the property. I told him no, because I eventually wanted to grow veggies and the support beams could be used to construct just about anything and wadda ya know, I used them perfectly build a very strong rabbit hutch. These guys are going to be dual purpose. First I will raise them for meat and Second I will use them to train my dog and hawk. I kind of don't see the point in hunting rabbits if I am growing them. But I know that thinking will get me in trouble. Because when i need my guys to perform they need to perform. I look forward to seeing how things go in a few months. I really can't believe I have rabbits, when is it going to stop!!:)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Garlic, Onions, Cucumbers and Winter Veggies Growing Strong

These past few weeks have been extremely busy so many changes have taken place in a very short period of time some things I will post later will be my new hawk, new puppy and oh boy, my all of a sudden new rabbitry. I feel like the Swiss Family Robinson around here. But all the while as these things have been taken place my Winter veggies are really enjoying this cold crisp weather. I planted some garlic some time ago and I have some great shoots especially from this elephant garlic. Its mammoth. I also have set several Sweet onions around the garden and they are growing very strong. Zone 8 is proving to be very good for having a garden through the year. into the spring. The cucumbers have been the big hit around here. This Japanese variety does not do well in the heat. It developed all kinds of problems due to the humidity. But we didn't give up. We planted again in Sept-Oct and amazingly it took off. Today is the Saturday after thanksgiving and its 30 degrees and this beaut is still setting flowers. I recommend this variety to everyone who wants to extend there growing season. Although a little tricky at first you have to time it just right so that the temps are not high during the day and cool at night. This would easily be a Cucumber for the spring, mid to end of summer and fall in the north. Also my kale is growing beautiful leaves along with my collards and Bibb Lettuce. We are just so happy around here. Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New PCs every 2-3 years Big Sigh;(

Over the past several years My wife and I have purchased a new LapTop every two or three years. I don't know whats going on. It seems like we take turns on buying new PCs. The latest chaos came when all of a sudden my whole screen had fuzzy lines. At first I thought it was a virus but then I thought No way, because I have really good virus protection and with a little more research I found out that my video card and motherboard has gone bad. BUMMER! oh well...... this time around I didn't get all the bells and whistles. I wanted to buy a mac but I wasn't convinced that it would be an easy transition from windows. Im a bit of a hermit when it comes to my likes and dislikes. Im pretty set in my ways. But nonetheless, I really don't see all the hype with windows 7. I was expecting some sort of Star Trek experience but instead it's like blah........ All in all I am pretty tough on my PCs I put them through more than what the average person does with regards to my travels So I guess I shouldn't be such a sour puss. But anyways I guess purchasing a new PC does help in some sort of way by stimulating the economy. I just hate to spend money.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Starting Tomatoes for the Upcoming Growing Season

This past summer we grew alot of tomatoes in our garden and quickly realized that tomatoes have been the main staple to many of the dishes that we make. I absolutely love this fruit because of the many of things I can do with it and there never seems to be a dull moment when eating a tomato that is just screaming sweetness.

For our upcoming growing season we are going to do things a little different. For one thing we are starting now to grow all of our tomatoes in the sun room so that way when the spring comes we will have strong plants that will start soaking up all of that early warm Georgia Southern Weather and start producing fruits early. I followed a great recommendation from Growing Human to start pinching off the suckers early so that my plants produce really big juicy fruits and that worked very well. So by growing earlier I can get these guys started much earlier with healthier fruit.

Second, we are going to plant all of our tomatoes in containers this year because as I have learned Tomatoes are perennials if kept properly and can be overwintered. Being that I live in an urban environment I don't have much land so looking back we have identified ways to extend our growing season and free up our garden for veggies and fruit that really cannot be grown in doors. We will container garden alot of fruits and veggies this year so that we can over winter them next year and keep them for years to come to obtain a head start on every growing season. It should be alot of fun:)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I feel like pulling my stubble out.....

First, this friday was amazing; we met our new pup "Jackson" at the airport. He was everything we ever expected. Im sure there was a lot of confusion going on with him as we did our little meet and greet. My wife and I realized that we really never owned a puppy. When cheeba came to our door step she was beyond the yappy I need everything stage. So it's kind of new for us to deal with such a fragile giant. Right now crate training is going really well. We just have to fight beyond the cries of bloody murder and keep on a schedule. I realize that the best we can do for Jackson is to give him direction and stay consistent. For now we are off to a great start.

Second; Saturday started with me and petsmart having a big argument. Yesterday morning I decided to again resume trapping a passage redtail. But I first needed to get a dark colored mouse. So I walked into petsmart and I asked one of the managers if they had any feeder mice. She looked at me with certain disgust. She said, "Oh, we don't sell feeder mice! All of our animals are for pets only!" I was so friggen annoyed. so I looked around the store and snapped back by saying, " So I guess that fish tank full of FEEDER fish is not meant to FEED other fish and that cage of "Crickets" is not feed your lizards?" She had no comment as suspected. I know she was calling me everything in the book. But I was just fed up and asked her to just get me one of her fancy mice. Her eyes got soooooooooo wide and she blurted out that "WE DO NOT SELL FEEDER MICE!" I said, "Ahhh, yeah I know, you made that very clear, sooooooo, please sell me a FANCY MOUSE!" She said, "For What?!" I said, "Forrrrrrr none of your business!" I told her that it was obvious I was not going to feed a mouse that cost seven dollars. I just need it to catch a hawk. When I said that her big Jawls just started Gasping, as though she was having an asthma attack. Im in total disbelief at this point. I cut it short by telling her that my mice don't get hurt they are in a cage and the hawk can't get to them. But before I could by the FRIGGEN, FANCY MOUSE, I had to get literature on Mice care and sign some papers on some other stuff and the whole time I am screaming inside Saying, "I JUST WANT A DAMN MOUSE LADY!!!" So with a few more deep sighs I sign the papers and receive my mouse. While everybody looked at me with there little beady eyes piercing through my soul as I walked out. All I could say as I walked out was. WTF!?!?!

Trapping- I get my Fancy Mouse in the trap and within 30 mins from the time I left petsmart I had One Adult Female on the trap. I had to let her go because I was looking for a passage bird. I began my trek through the mountains and found a great spot over some farm land where I saw a huge Passage redtail and threw the trap out. The Passage Redtail Came to the Trap and I said, "YES!" I drove up to the trap and the Huge Passage Redtail was trying to foot the mouse through the cage. But I noticed something. Not one damn Noose was hooked onto her talons or leg. I shook my head in disbelief. I drove my car up to the trap approx 10 feet away and the Redtail didn't move. She just RIVER DANCED on the trap trying to catch the mouse and didn't get caught. Again, Pulling my stubble out saying WTF!?!?! And she flew off. What a day, what a day, What a day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our new Family Member

I have never seen my wife so excited. I'm actually kind of jealous because she has never been this happy with me. But with our new Puppy that we are picking up on Friday, she cannot even sleep. After going back and forth between 3 different breeds: the Rhodesian RidgeBack, the Dogo Argentino and the German Short haired Pointer, we finally decided that the German Shorthaired would be the best match for our family and our lifestyle. This was one of the toughest choices I had to make because I absolutely love the Rhodesian Ridgeback with a passion. However, the majority of the breeders for Ridgebacks are breeding Ridgebacks for their beauty and not for their hunting skills. This was so disappointing to find out as I fussed with many breeders about why it's necessary to breed dogs based on skill and character first and looks last. My concerns were left listening to dial tones and ultimately I was blacklisted from breeders, because I had this crazy idea of using a Rhodesian Ridgeback aka the Lion Hound who was originally bred to hunt big game, flush upland birds, protect the farmers flock and Provide safety and security for the family, to use as a Versatile hunting dog. I was told I was crazy for even suggesting such a thing. Go figure? The Dogo Argentino was my next choice, but the breeders in the US are far and few in between, nevertheless, the Dogo breeders are Defantely
in line with the skills and traits of the breed and many Dogos are still being bred and used actively for hunting and because their are not many around the cost for a Dogo is alot of money. So it balled down to what dog would be best for our family. We wanted a dog that would be considered the perfect family pet. Easy to train, great temperament and still be able to assist me in the field with Falconry, tracking, and flushing game. The German Shorthaired fit all those qualites to a 'T" and the many German Shorthaired Breeders are actively providing a steady gene pool of Hunters that have been in the Blood Line for many, many generations. We found a great breeder who specifically breeds for hunting qualities and outstanding temperament his name is Buck and he has been breeding top of the line GSPs' for 20 years. My wife new how important it was for me to find a breeder that bred for the qualities I looked for and when I gave her the "Go" she was knee deep in research and found Buck. It didn't take long for Buck to find out what Pup would make a perfect addition to our Family and our needs. Our New Puppies Name is "Jackson" I can't wait to get him started and my wife can't wait to bite his ears;)

Cool Weather Crops Growing Strong Zone 8

This fall I planted Bibb Lettuce aka (Butter Lettuce) I fell in love with this variety after eating it at one of our favorite Vietnamese joints. The texture is soft and the texture is silky and my bunch is doing very well this fall.

Earlier this spring we planted onions and garlic in containers and although they produced text book shoots they really never developed into the onions and garlic we thought they would. Could it be that there was not enough room? Maybe the temperature during the day? I don't know. But one thing is for sure they didn't develop. This fall I planted my Onions and Garlic in the raised beds and they are taking to their environment very well. But I'm a bit worried that green shoots will just be green shoots. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hunting-the Good and the Bad

You would think that a person who wakes up at 4 o-clock everyday would relish the thought of sleeping in late on the weekends. Not this guy; during hunting season I wake up at 3. It seems like with all the preparation I do, I am so how never prepared. Im constantly thinking about everything; my scent, the time of the year, the time, the wind, how will I lure them in and it goes on and on. So when I eventually leave the house I am so exhausted from the mental mind #&^! that all I want to do when get to my stand is sleep. But who am I kidding, it's hunting season and the deer are starting there Pre-Rut. I know that as the sun rises movement will shift from the feeding grounds to the bedding grounds and Bucks young and old will begin sizing one another up for full rights to the breeding ground. It's a fantastic time of the year, until your in your tree stand at O-dark-thirty and rain clouds pull over and deliver a torrential downpour all day. All I can do is just lower my head and shake it from side to side. But luckily I came prepared. I stored my poncho in my hunting bag and as most hunters would retreat to back home, this hunter started a stalk. I know from past experience that hunting while it's raining in the dense woods can have it's advantages. First deer will have a very hard time hearing you as you walk through the woods and second, the rain keeps scent dispersal to a minimum. So as I stalked I found areas in my hunting area that I didn't know existed like a deer highway that had multiple scrapes along the path. I poured some doe urine in the fresh scrape and sat back aways. As I sat I noticed movement from the corner of my eye. It was a very young doe working her way up the path. As I shifted she caught site of me and turned around and ran the other way. But nevertheless, I turned an uneventful day into an eventful day and latter on this week I will again wait in ambush for some unwary deer to walk by. For now its deer 1- wet hunter 0.