Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaaaack!!!!

Yeah, I'm sure everyone is riveted.. Sorry, nothing to update though.. I was going to tell you about our family get together.. But you don't want to hear me complain about my relatives and it has nothing to do with the farm anyway.. Let's just say it was..... pleasant.. But I still felt like the white trash of the family.. But I don't care! I am me! Deal with it! = )

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Somebody Slap the Piss Outta Me!!!

I forgot Pam and Hugh.. I am so thankful for all the kindness, generosity, and help they've given me.. This farm idea would have never gotten anywhere if it wasn't for the time I spent working on their farm, learning, earning the beautiful does they offered me, all the supplies they gave me to help with the fencing, the last couple weeks they paid me to help me buy the fencing when they don't have a whole lot of money to spare, the milk filter and bucket Pam has waiting for me when I go to pick up my girls, the goats milk they gave us to try, the blackberry jelly they made themselves, etc etc etc.. Not to mention all the help I'm sure they'll give in the future.. They are my truly local friends and will be for many many years..

Somebody else I'd like to give personal thanks to are Michael and his wife Kelley.. I thank them for the gift cards and seeds they sent me to help get the veggie garden going.. For all the advice they gave with my younger son's behavioral problems in school.. And many other things I can't think of right now..

I will always be eternally grateful to these people for helping to make something very important to me to become a reality..

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope everybody has a good Thanksgiving.. The kids and I will be going down to south Florida to my mom's.. Well, actually we're going to a park down there for a family get together.. I'm going to see aunts, uncles, and cousins I haven't seen in a while.. That will be good and bad because there are some members missing from the family this year.. Every year we lose somebody else.. Old age and cancer suck.. But I do believe in God so I do believe they've gone on to a better place.. I'm thankful for that..

Speaking of being thankful, here I go.. I'm thankful for my wonderful husband and great children.. I'm thankful for our family, his parents and my parents and everybody in between.. I'm thankful to have a home, food, electricity, water, etc on the other things we have to pay too much for.. I'm thankful to be able to be starting my farm.. I'm thankful for all our animals.. I'm thankful for my husband's job to be able to pay for most of that stuff.. It's not the best job in the world but it gets us by.. Hopefully now that he's trained in something else he'll be making better money.. I think that's all the major things I'm thankful for right now.. I'm sure there are other things but it's 3:30 a.m. so you'll have to give me a break if I can't remember more..

Oh crap! Forgot a big one! Please forgive me this one guys.. Hey, I could have just backspaced and nobody would have known.. But I'm just that honest.. I forgot to say I was thankful for all my online friends! And I really am.. Because honestly, you guys are my only friends.. I only have one local friend anymore and she isn't even really that local.. She's in south Florida.. But I hate saying my online friends and my real life friends because my online friends are real and alive.. Just because I've never met any of you in person doesn't make a difference to me.. Best thing about having online friends is that I don't have to clean my house when I talk to yall online.. :D

Anyway, better get back to sleep.. I will, of course, be taking my computer with me.. (I love my laptop..) But doubt I'll be online until I get back because for 1) I'll be at the park and doubt they have wifi, and 2) my mom's home network won't let me in and I ain't inclined to argue with it just to check my email.. What I need to do is get one of those broadband ethernet cards with the wireless service.. It's sort of like the wireless service for a cell phone, but its for a computer.. I can just open my computer and be online ANYWHERE!!!!!!! My next goal after that will be an IV with wifi.. Nite!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hutch Design

K, here's the basic layout of the hutch.. The grey stuff is the wire, of course, and the green stuff is the tposts.. Click on the image to see it bigger..
rabbit hutch

Sunday, November 23, 2008


K, so meat rabbits is one thing I plan on raising.. I'd also like to get my oldest son into 4-h with them but we'll have to see about that.. He wants dutch rabbits.. But we're going to start with the meat rabbits since they are useful as more than just cute pets.. I was going to start with a breed called American Chinchillas.. I'd posted my interest on a forum months back and a breeder in Ohio said she was going to come down to Florida in October and would bring me a trio for a very decent price.. We'll that fell through because her truck broke down and she had to fly down instead of drive and couldn't bring the rabbits with her.. So not sure when I'll get my hands on American Chinchillas.. They are a heritage breed since they were developed in the US and are on the endangered list since there are so few of them.. But we shall keep trying and I shall keep looking..

While I was waiting for October to come around I built this..
rabbit cage
This is as far as I got because then hubby came home from his over-the-road truck driver training and he was out of work for about a month and a half.. If it weren't for his parents we would have been royally screwed.. But since then I've been concentrating on other projects so this one has kind of fallen to the wayside.. Besides, don't have any rabbits yet to need cages.. This one is also too small according to other rabbit people I've talked to.. A doe with kits needs at least 1/4 to 1/2 bigger.. Probably twice as big is even better..

Also while I waited for October, I admired a breed called red New Zealands.. New Zealand whites are a common meat breed.. But, of course, the red New Zealands are a lot harder to find.. When I found out the lady wouldn't be able to bring the rabbits from Ohio, I put out a feeler message on a New Zealand rabbit yahoo group.. I got a response almost right away.. A lady said she knew somebody that had red New Zealands and gave me her phone number.. Now, I prefer email because I always feel like such a dunce on the phone.. So I was hesitant to call the lady with the New Zealands.. But I really loved the color of the red New Zealands so I buckled down and made the call.. I call a voicemail so left a message.. The lady called me back later that day and we talked in length about rabbits and made plans to get them from north Florida to here in central Florida.. So in January I should have some lovely red New Zealands.. They'll be young and it'll be some months before I'll be able to breed them and have the first litter.. But I can't wait to get that part of my mini farm going..

I will probably finish that cage I was building and use it for an extra or quarantine cage or something.. But for the main cages I plan on getting some tposts that have sort of hooks up the front of them.. I'm going to use the tposts as legs and use whole rolls of wire to make a sort of hutch design.. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to try some sort of temporary dividers so I can make the lengths of each cage changeable or not.. Or if I'm going to just make each cage a standard length.. I'll probably have to go with a standard length because of door and feeder locations.. Maybe make each cage 3X5' since most rolls of wire are 3X10'.. 3X5' should be plenty of space for all except the biggest breeds.. And I don't plan on getting anything bigger than the amchins and red nz's, so that shouldn't be a problem..

Anyway, I need to get some sleep.. I need to go into photoshop and make up a design for my wire hutch.. I like actually creating a design.. Helps me work out details.. My next project I'll discuss is the goats.. Don't bet on seeing that before Thanksgiving.. It's going to be a really long one since its also the one I've put the most work into so far.. But you never know.. Maybe I'll get really bored one day and I'll break down and tell you all about it.. You know, I used to be able to do blog entries in my personal blog almost every day.. But anymore I'm so occupied with actually life stuff that I just don't have the time or patience to do it anymore.. Hopefully this blog will help me to get back into it since its discussing the things I'm actually working on..

Anyway, see ya next post..

About Me

I figure I should give a background story about me and why I'm starting a mini farm.. So here goes..

Every since I was little I've wanted my own land.. Whenever we'd go visit any relatives that were out in the country, I loved it.. We lived in North Carolina for a little while and I loved the quiet and open spaces.. My trouble is that I was born and (mostly) raised in south Florida which has no quiet and open spaces except for parks and other such public places..

After my husband got let go from his internet job in 2003, our lease on our rental house expired and we stayed with my parents for a little while until we found another place.. We wanted to buy a house because we were tired of renting but everything in south Florida was way out of our current price range.. Even rental places where too much.. So I expanded my search.. My mother wasn't happy I was looking at places out of south Florida but its not like we had a whole lot of choice..

With my desire for land in mind I included acreage in my searches.. Also at the same time we looked for a job for hubby in central Florida which seemed to be our best option to find a house.. We found a job for him at a 911 center and came up for an interview and look at the area.. He got the job so we really started looking harder at this area.. We finally found our house and it had 1.73 acres with it.. I was ecstatic, of course.. We moved up here the day after Hurricane Charley hit..

Being a city girl, I thought you had to have a lot of land to have a farm.. But I figured I could at least have chickens.. That brought me to a few forums.. Backyard Chickens, Homesteading Today, a couple others.. All fed my chicken addiction.. I was interested in what else people had but of course, most people that had more than that also had more land then I did.. Then I found the Urban Sustainable Living website and Patti Moreno.. This was a woman that had veggie gardens, goats, rabbits, and chickens in the middle of Boston.. I knew if she could make all of that work inside a city and without a big yard then I could make mine work too..

So I started researching.. And researching and researching and researching.. You get the point.. I did a lot of reading.. I asked a lot of questions on forums.. The only thing that held me back was money.. How to get this thing started without gobs of money.. I'll address each obstacle with each of the things I want to incorporate into my mini farm.. The first thing I'll talk about is the rabbits since that's what I tried first.. I already had some chickens, guineas, and ducks.. But they're all gone now and were before I actually got the farm thing realized.. I do plan on doing chickens etc again, but the rabbits, goats, and veggie garden are what I'm actually working on now.. I'll do the rabbit post later today or tomorrow.. Or the next day.. I get distracted with my projects and other things in life.. Like Thanksgiving coming up.. But I'll try to sit down and at least do that rabbits post soon..

Saturday, November 22, 2008

First post.. duh!

Well, I figured since a lot of my projects for my minifarm are starting to come together that I should document my triumphs and pitfalls.. It will also provide me a place to place my ideas without having to annoy a bunch of people on forums.. But right now its almost 1 am so I need to get back to sleep (yeah right).. I'll do a nice big entry later with lots of pics about what I've done so far..