Saturday, March 24, 2012

Giveaway, Rabbitry, and Apiary Updates!

Don't miss our Frühlingskabine GIVEAWAY! It just takes a quick comment for a chance to win.

And don't forget... We have a new website that we have been updating with posts about our Rabbitry, chickens, and bees! We would hate for you to miss out on any of our new D.I.Y. projects or when we start up planting in our garden in a week, so head on over to!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Frühlingskabine GIVEAWAY!

We are giving away some goodies here at the Frühlingskabine in celebration of launching our new website! Everything in our giveaway prize package was made (or photographed) here at Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm by us. Take a look at what you can win just by leaving a comment...

Buzz on over to our new website for the details!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chicken Beauty Shots

Please check out the full post at our new website:


These are the better pictures I picked out of those I snapped today of our feathered friends. Let me just say, it is not easy to take pictures of bobbing chickens.



Dandelion Builds a Nest? Again?

Please check out the full post at our new website:



It would seem like Dandelion is building a nest. When I checked in on the rabbits this afternoon I refilled their hay racks. Dandelion immediately pulled out hay and carried it around the cage in her mouth.


New Website!

We have officially launched our new website! Yay! Hop on over and check it out. Also be sure to change your bookmark for us to the new website. We will be double posting, here and on our new site, for the next few weeks so no one gets left behind in our changeover.

And don't forget about our giveaway this weekend featured on our new website!

Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm's NEW Website

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This Week At A Glance

We have been anxiously awaiting the day we get to plant our seeds in the garden. It's difficult to wait when you have fantastical visions of an over-abundant Eden-like garden full of delicious vegetables and fruits. But we have kept our minds elsewhere until the time comes to plant in a couple weeks.

I made a stamp for our honey jars this summer.

I received my membership packet from the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA... like the AKC of the rabbit world). It included my membership number and card, Rabbitry registration certificate (Frühlingskabine Rabbitry is ARBA #D1391), and the best book ever on anything and everything you could possibly need to know about raising rabbits titled Raising Better Rabbits and Cavies.

Cami and I have been eating pear and cheese sandwiches. A lot of them. I use sliced Anjou pears, Monterey jack cheese, sliced homemade Dutch-oven bread and then I broil them in the oven until crispy. It makes for a savory sweet sandwich without all the added fat of buttered and grilled bread. It may sound weird, but try it. You'll be hooked.

Today Cami and I spent the morning making easy-peezy pretzel sticks. I usually make them in the traditional "pretzel" shape, but they are easier to dip in stick form. I'll post the recipe separately.

Other things going on here on the farm:

The Turkens are laying eggs again. Not everyday. More like every other day. Molter's feathers have come in nicely after a molt... obviously.

Dutch-oven bread (aka magical bread) goes way too fast. Our family of three goes through almost a whole loaf everyday. That makes my baking two loaves every other day kind of annoying. What I need to do is get another 5-quart Dutch oven and bake four loaves a week. That way I can just freeze two if I need to.

I spent the whole day yesterday slaving over our new website and it should launch... tomorrow evening! It is mostly the blog with the same type of content as we have always had, but I have included specialty pages including one for selling rabbits through our Rabbitry. We also plan on having some sort of a giveaway this weekend on our new website in celebration. More details on all of that tomorrow.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

End of the Week, Start of Another

This week has been slow, fun, and relaxed. After being out of yeast for "Dutch Oven" bread for almost a month, I am happily back in my bread-making rut. We are also a couple weeks away from planting time around here so not much is going on in the garden other than regular weekly rabbit fertilizer dumps.

Speaking of rabbits, Clementine (and maybe even Dandelion) has another three weeks before we need to start looking for a litter, so again, not much going on in the Rabbitry either. I groomed everyone today and it would seem that Dandelion is beginning to "blow" or shed her coat. Prime spinning wool to come. And Thistle, if you are reading this, I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't insist on getting mats on your side that I have to comb out 3x weekly. The girls stay tidy... Why can't you?

Trevor applied his second "powdered sugar" treatment to the bees while the wind was elsewhere yesterday and it seems to be working well at getting rid of the varroa mites. I only put the words "powdered sugar" in quotes because I know if I were reading this and knew very little about bees, I would think this "treatment" was "made up". I use "air quotes" a lot in real life too.

We may be getting another "storm" (see?) this week. I'm thinking it will be on the wimpy side considering the last four "big storms" to roll through the Sierra Nevada foothills have been no more than a few hours worth of pin-sized rain drops and light breezes. We're used to trees on houses, a few feet of snow, and week-long power outages. I am certainly not saying anyone wants these things, but this year's winter has left a lot of people scratching their heads.

I was looking forward to watching Netflix with hot cocoa and a sleepy toddler curled up next to the fire. I guess I'll have to settle for watching chickens free-range with iced tea and a running/skipping/jumping toddler while planting seeds. One is just as good as the other.

Anyone else craving a luscious green garden yet?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hive Inspection :: March 2012

My comic

Two little snippets of video I took of Trevor doing his first hive inspection since closing it up for the winter. I'm missing the third part because the bees were very agitated after a 'powdered sugar treatment' for varroa mites. My daughter and I were not wearing appropriate beekeeper gear so we couldn't get too close.

Varroa mites can cause deformities and even death in a hive. We chose to treat them naturally and used powdered sugar in a shaker to sprinkle over the bees in the hive body. The sugar encourages the bees to clean each others hard to reach places on their backs where the mites hide. It also makes the bees too slippery for the mites to hold on.

Trevor checked back later and on the bottom board beneath the screen Trevor found many mites that fell off. Good sign! He will do another treatment and check the drone frame if the weather is nice and warm again later in the week.

Please excuse our neighbor's messy yard in the background... and the noisy and newly two-year old blabbering behind the camera.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rabbit Genetics :: Clementine's litter

Luckily, through Clementine's three-generation pedigree, I know almost her complete color gene sequence. I am missing just one space:
aa means "self" colored or completely one color
bb means chocolate ('b' is brown 'B' would be black)
Cc means dominantly full color, recessively albino
D_ means dominantly dense colored (non-diluted color) which keeps her color chocolate as opposed to the diluted version of lilac. The '_' blank space is an unknown gene.
ee means non-extension giving her a tortoiseshell pattern where a 'Ee' or 'EE' would make her appear darker over her whole body.

Clementine's color genes in combination with Thistle's albino color genes gives their litter a fairly limited amount of color possibilities.

50% chance of:
aa b_ cc DD e_ (color gene sequence)
Ruby Eyed White

37.5% chance of:
aa b_ Cc DD e_ (color gene sequence)
Black, Chocolate, Tortoise Shell, Chocolate Tortoise Shell

12.5% chance of:
aa b_ Cc d_ e_ (color gene sequence)
Black, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Tortoise Shell, Blue Tortoise Shell, Chocolate Tortoise Shell, Lilac Tortoise Shell

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Round Two

My comic

If you've been following along, you would remember that I bred our French angora doe Dandelion to our buck Thistle last month. Obviously that didn't take because it is well past her "day 31" due date. Yesterday I tried to breed her with Thistle again with marginal success. For the best results, you want the pair to breed at least twice... third time's a charm. Dandelion is very much against this little arrangement and refused to try more than once. That was my problem last month. Poor thing just isn't ready yet.

Today I decided to try my luck with our other doe Clementine. Thank goodness one of the girls wanted to cooperate! Thank goodness Thistle wasn't the problem!

Sure, there is a chance that Dandelion's potential pregnancy took after just one breeding, but I'm not counting on it. **Knock on wood.** Clementine was willing to breed twice since noon today and I think I will try to squeeze in a third tomorrow morning. Clemmie will give me a great chance of having a litter of little ones by Easter morn'. This also means I will be needing a second nest box for Clementine incase each doe needs one. Since I did breed Dandelion once, I have to assume that she is also pregnant and care for her accordingly.

Here is the break down on the Rabbitry calendar:

March 2: bred Dandelion 1 time
March 3: bred Clementine 3 times

March 13: palpate Dandelion (day 11)
March 14: palpate Clementine (day 11)

March 16: palpate Dandelion/ double check (day 14)
March 17: palpate Clementine/ double check (day 14)

March 29: put in nest box for Dandelion (day 27)
March 30: put in nest box for Clementine (day 27)

April 2: Dandelion due (day 31)
April 3: Clementine due (day 31)

Mark your calendars!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Big Things Coming

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit to those of you who are superstitious like me. If you aren't superstitious, disregard silly saying mentioned above.

We are working on upgrading our blog to official website status! Exciting, I know. The change over will hopefully be in effect by mid-March and will hopefully be a smooth transition for all of us.

Why the switch you ask? We finally feel like we have that magical trifecta of reasons: decent web traffic, substantial content to write about, and something to sell. In addition to our regular blog content of living the micro-farm life, we will be adding a "Rabbitry" page specifically to sell our pedigreed angora rabbit kits. We are now one of just two French Angora rabbitries registered with the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA is to rabbits what AKC is to dogs) for the whole state of California and one of eight in the nation.

Adding a Rabbitry page isn't the only reason we are upgrading. We would like to be more accessible and having a real life ".com" can do that for us. I promise we will be awesome. So keep an eye out for the thumbs up in a couple weeks and keep following our crazy journey in gardening, angora rabbits, beekeeping, and learning to be more self-sufficient.