This week, we are finally getting rabbits for David to raise. His plan is to raise them for meat, like he did in high school. I went to school in the city so we did not raise animals, but David grew up in the Texas Hill Country, specifically in Leakey, Texas where farming clubs were the norm.
David's family lived on a 300 acre ranch and they had chickens, goats, sheep, rabbits, and cattle. It was a great place to grow up. David was born in San Antonio, but when he was 12, they moved to the ranch as his mom inherited land. They sold 150 acres off right before I joined the family over 33 years ago and then in 2001, they sold off the rest except for seven acres.
The rabbits will be David's project, or so he says right now. I want to get some sheep and/or goats for my next project. (Actually, I want a horse and a cow, but David said no to both.)
Good morning! I got up and got all of the animals fed and watered, including the chickens. Then I realized that we are getting rabbits tomorrow! I wonder if David will actually feed them since they are his project, or if he will leave that to me...
Back in the house, I got ready for work and then I realized that I would have to clean our food dehydrator. When we moved to the farm a year ago, we put it in a shed since there was no room for it in the kitchen. It got pretty dusty and dirty. I had to take it all apart and clean every square inch of it--nine shelves, nine shelf liners, the door that detaches and the unit itself which is massive, inside and out. Then I had to dry it all.
We are going to dehydrate dozens of Texas 1015Y onions that we grew in our garden. We have given a bunch away and we have sold some in the store but I think we went overboard when we planted! So at lunch, I will start chopping and get some going today. We will keep the dried ones in Mason jars. I am excited.
Our contractor showed up at lunchtime to start putting a cover over our front deck. It gets the hot afternoon sun so we cannot enjoy sitting out there at all in the summer until it is dark.
My father-in-law is on his way to see us with some friends who are visiting him. I am sure they will check out the store and get a complete business tour. Right now, we do that for friends and family only. We still have a lot more to do before we are ready for tours for the general public.
My father-in-law showed up with his guests. We gave them a tour and they left. This is the only photo I took. It shows David and Bill (one of the guests) up in the front of David's truck. I completely forgot to take photos.
Since we are getting rabbits tomorrow, we need to find some sort of carrier for them to come home in. David says they need to be kept in separate boxes and they can't get hot so I guess they will be transported inside of our brand new truck. I wonder how we will keep them from going through their boxes. Fun times for sure. It is 2:40pm and no father-in-law and friends yet. The heat is horrible out there. The Weather Channel app says it is 98° but it feels like 104°.
The front porch contractor left early and the plumber showed up to install the water heater in the new building.
Good Tuesday morning! Today is the day we are getting rabbits. This morning we are heading up past Seguin to see David's cousin Becky for lunch and then we will head to the largest rabbit farm in Texas to pick up David's starter rabbits. David is going to raise rabbits for meat. He did this in a farming club in high school and now he wants to do it again. We have an air conditioned rabbit hutch all ready for them. We have three books on raising rabbits. One is specifically for raising rabbits for meat. So we are getting rabbits.
I know, it is gross to think about eating cuddly bunny rabbits, but the meat goes for $16 a pound and rabbit number two goes for $5 a pound so there is money to be made in rabbits.
The chickens are doing well, enjoying life. I have to figure out what to do as far as the rooster goes. He is looking beautiful with those shiny, green feathers coming in.
David put a can of Pepsi in our freezer last night and forgot about it. This morning, it exploded throughout the whole freezer and is a mess.
We went up past Seguin and met David's cousin, Becky and her husband at a Mexican eatery. It was very good. Then we went to visit them at their place for a bit. Of course, our main purpose to be in Seguin today is getting rabbits. After our fun visit with Becky and Ronnie, we went to Mondin Farms and got three beautiful white rabbits with brown tails and ears, one male and two females. They are Californian rabbits. We borrowed a carrier specifically made by the farm to transport rabbits. They were so quiet in the backseat of the truck. Who knew that getting rabbits would be so quiet? They did not smell bad at all. We got them home and put them in their new cages.
It seems extra hot here today and I am so uncomfortable with the heat and humidity. It is 5:48pm and everyone has gone home. I need to go to the house and make dinner, but I am still working since I missed most of the day at work.
I went outside to put the chickens away at 8:30pm. I closed them up for the night without a problem and then decided to check on the rabbits, who now live next door to the chicks. I opened the door and the first rabbit, whose cage is next to the door, freaked and started running in circles. She knocked her water over. This scared the holiness right out of me. The other two rabbits just sat in their cages, not moving. I went in and told David and he handled it. I was just too spooked to go anywhere near that rabbit! Getting rabbits was not my idea.
Good morning and happy Wednesday! Today, the chicks are 15 weeks old. I counted 25 again this morning, but they move around, so maybe there still are 26. I have not been able to count 26 for about two months now. I wonder what, if anything, happened. Maybe one escaped and whoever opened the door never told me--I just don't know.
Anyway, after I took care of the chicks, I went in to see the bunnies. Getting rabbits was David's idea, but guess who fed them? They were fine, but none of them appears to have eaten much or to have touched their water. Interesting, huh? They were all calm this morning.
My helper could not be here this morning, so it is just me in the store for now. She may come in this afternoon. Jeremy, David's son, is on his way with the kids to do some more electrical work since our regular electrician could not finish the job this week.
They arrived at 11:44am. The kids were with me all afternoon. Jeremy did some electrical work in the new building. The kids watched some old cartoons and played with Legos. Once their father came in, David and I cooked dinner and the kids went in the pool while Jeremy watched them. They spent the night with us.
They wanted to see the chickens and they heard we were getting rabbits so I let Grandpa David take them out to see the bunnies.
Happy Thursday! The chickens are doing well now that they are weeks old. Getting rabbits is keeping David busy going out there each morning. They seem to be doing well. We have been so busy with a lot of customers today. There are two contractors here, working on the new building and on the front deck of our home. The orders are pouring in and most of them are $50 and up, with the largest one today being just under $300. Thank you to everyone who has ordered seeds from us.
Jeremy and the two kids left around 11am. We had ordered lunch for them but they did not want to stay so we have dinner for tonight already made.
We are selling the Texas 1015Y onions from our garden for $2 a pound. A gentleman came in this afternoon and bought ten pounds of them. But don't worry. We still have plenty. At this time, this is the only fresh produce we have.
We also have pickled beets, dill pickles, and bread and butter pickles that David canned with produce from our garden this summer. They have been selling very well. Soon, we will have fall garden starter plants from our greenhouse. In fact, we sold six of the beefsteak tomato starter plants this afternoon as well.
Now a word about our location. As most of you know, last year we sold our home in San Antonio and we moved to the farm in Rossville, Texas, just outside of Poteet. We moved the business from San Antonio to the farm this summer and when we opened our store here on the farm, I personally updated the website with the new address so you could find us. When I say "the website", I mean David's Garden Seeds®.
So today, a gentleman came in and told me that he has a problem with our website because we did not update the address. I told him that it is updated and that I did it myself. He again told me that it is not updated. I then brought the website up on my computer and showed him the address is updated. He said that the page I showed him is not our website. He says he googled our website and came up with one of those review pages that shows one of our San Antonio addresses and he said that is our website. What? I told him again that it was not our website and that we have no control if some review website has our address wrong.
The front deck roof is coming along but he was only here for the afternoon. Hopefully, he will finish up on Monday.
This morning, I had to show Matthew how to feed and water and flush the number twos, all part of getting rabbits. David has rigged up a pretty good system so we don't have rabbit manure all over the shed floor. Getting rabbits with this system is actually pretty cool because there is no nastiness to clean up and soon we will be selling the rabbit manure for your gardens in our store as it does not burn your plants like chicken manure does.
This morning, some of the fall starter plants from the greenhouse went into the raised garden beds. Others were brought to the store to be sold at $2 a piece for this weekend only. Starting on Monday, the 17th of August, they will be $3 a piece. This is just a sale for today. Not sure if we can open on Saturday as the electrician is supposed to come and he will turn off the electricity. If he does that, we cannot open because we have no way of taking payment.
The contractor has not come yet today to finish the roof over the front deck. He said he would finish today. He doesn't do weekends.
I have been busy weeding our store plants and getting rid of the ones that didn't make it because of the direct sun.
Getting rabbits this week was David's decision but he did not take care of him again this morning. Matthew graciously took care of them this morning. He was already doing garden work outside early this morning. I fed and watered the chickens and rooster.
The electrician arrived early and said he would be turning off the store electricity again. Yesterday, David told me that the electrician would not be turning off the store electricity so I should open the store today. So I sent out a tweet saying it would be open today. We told the electrician to leave it on from 9am to noon so I could take care of customers.
I filled orders, took care of customers and did computer work. When it was close to noon, I started shutting things down and bam! He turned off the electricity before I could even get the cash out of the cash register. So I packed it up and went home. He did not leave until 8:45pm. He will be back again next Saturday so don't plan on coming out to shop then as the electricity will be off again.
Back to earlier today, I did laundry, changed sheets, and peeled and sliced onions. I then put them in our food dehydrator and they are drying right now. They should be done by a little after midnight. The house smells good.
I also sliced onions, tomatoes, and potatoes up for dinner and drizzled them with olive oil. I roasted them in the oven at 425° for 50 minutes. I served them with some leftover meat and they were delicious. The onions and tomatoes were from our garden. In fact, I went out this afternoon in the heat and found a lot of ripened tomatoes. My plan is to start roasting a lot more vegetables. They were delicious.
Getting chickens and getting rabbits means a lot more responsibility. For instance, I always go and feed and water the chickens in the morning and I put them to bed in the evening at sunset. Most days, in the afternoon, I check on their water and even take them a cool treat, like some melon or other fruits and vegetables. Now we need to make sure that the rabbit air conditioner does not go out and that the rabbit food and water is not all gone throughout the day.
Still, I want to get some goats next, despite the extra work of getting rabbits. I put my chickens to bed and then checked on the rabbits. The first one was completely out of water. I started to give her more water and she started doing laps around her cage, scared.
David is planning on canning Texas 1015Y onions tomorrow after church. I have some Texas 1015Y onions drying in the food dehydrator. They are a mild flavored yellow onion that you should definitely try to grow.
Happy Sunday! We went to church this morning. After church, we drove through a McDonald's for lunch. I have been reading my chicken book this afternoon.Then I took some corn on the cob out to the chicks.
I also checked on the rabbits. The first one's water was empty again because she gets startled and runs all over her cage, bouncing the water out. On Tuesday, a water line with drinking nipples will be run into the rabbit cages so they will have a constant supply of fresh water with no more spilling it. Hopefully, it will make getting rabbits a bit easier instead of lugging gallons of water out to the rabbit hutch.
This weekend, we picked up a supply of drinks for the store refrigerator. These are not free like the ones we supply for our employees in the other building. I need to go over and price them and put them in the fridge but I just have not felt like doing any real work. Once in a while, a girl needs a day off.
It hit 102° Fahrenheit today out here. It is just miserable, but it is August. According to the Weather Channel, it will be 100° or more every day next week. Ragweed pollen has been in the air all week long including today. So many of our fall seeds and starts have been planted. I hope the extreme heat doesn't kill them.
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