Traditions

We don’t have many holiday traditions in our family, but we do have two really important ones that really makes or breaks a holiday.

1. Gather as many loud, outspoken, dark-humored aunts as possible around one table and then fill them with cider and booze.
2. Lefse. Lefse is like a Norwegian tortilla made from potatoes… that’s how I think of it anyway.

– Sarah

"Farmer"

Sometimes I feel I’m just being naive about my little “farm”. My family jokes about it quite a bit, not out of spite, but because they don’t believe what I am working towards could be considered a farm. It’s hard not to let things like this get to you once in awhile. Am I just kidding myself with this “farm” business?This is what I was thinking about as I lay in bed this morning.

What is a farm?

Wikipedia says: ‘A farm is an area of land, including various structures, devoted primarily to the practice of producing and managing food (produce, grains, or livestock) [and] fibres… A farm can be a holding of any size from a fraction of a hectare (2.47 acres) to several thousand hectares.

Frühlingskabine surely meets all of those requirements already. We have a large garden used solely for family food production, chickens that will hopefully start laying eggs for food soon, an Apiary for honey, and soon rabbits for wool or fiber. We are on much less than 2.47 acres… more like 0.23 acres, but it works.

I guess I (and others) associate “farms” with pastures full of cows, a big red barn, and rows upon rows of crops as far as the eye can see. Wikipedia doesn’t seem to think all of that is necessary so why should I? We may not be able to add my dream milk goats, but we do plan to start fish farming and growing some grain in the next year. Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm is growing slowly but surely. Maybe someday I will wake up in the morning and feel like we really are on a little farm.

– Sarah

Work = Warmth

This morning I could see my breath in the house, which means it’s too cold. My daughter and I went out to check on the chickens after breakfast, and their water was frozen solid. I guess this is the point in the year when we’re going to have to start checking their water early every morning. After visiting the animals we came back inside and started a fire.

A few weeks ago, Cold Antler Farm’s Jenna was blogging about “farmer’s heat”. Let me tell you, it exists. All I had to do this morning was feed the chickens, check on their litter, refill their water, and rake up their run. Just those few things warmed me up enough to tolerate the cold outside. Mind you, these few things only take 10 minutes max to get through and are nothing compared to my daily chores when we first moved in a few months ago. It seems like you can produce more “farmer’s heat” in the summer when there’s more to do, which is a pity, because who needs more heat in the summer? We need more chores in the winter!

Now, I know it’s not quite winter yet, but in our neck of the woods there really are only two seasons. Summer and winter. Our summers may not be as hot and humid as it is down south and our winters may not be as harsh as the far northern states, but we don’t have any seasons in between. It is freezing cold and snowing from November until May and tank top/air-conditioning weather from June until October. No kidding.

In any case, our winter chores will double one we bring our wool-producing rabbits home in a few weeks.

And on a side note:
Cami and I were watching Amazing Race at my parents house last week and one challenge(?) was to guide a rabbit to jump a course of hurdles. Now whenever she sees a picture of a rabbit her response is automatically, “Jump! Jump!” followed by a little jolt mimicking the jumping action. She’s absolutely obsessed with jumping animals now. Thanks Amazing Race.

Well… I’m out to finally paint the door of the rabbit shed so I can share some finished product pictures with you. Between the rain and a mild case of food poisoning, I haven’t gotten around to it until now. That’s life. Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it!

– Sarah

Picking Up Rabbits December 10th

I apologize for all the rabbit posts, but it is practically winter around here and there isn’t much else going on around the “farm”. Some people around here think I’m silly for being so excited about finally having a date to bring home my our rabbits. I think I’ve been patient enough to warrant such excitement.

On December 10th, Trevor and I will hop in the car at around 3:00 am and take the seven hour drive to Eureka, California. The breeder will give us a quick grooming demonstration and then we will get back in the car for a long drive home. We don’t expect to be home until about 6:00 pm. This is what Trevor is least excited about. Fourteen hours of rabbit talk in the confinement of our tiny car.

Three weeks! That’s it!

My mom thinks I should send out birth announcements after I bring them home. I seriously considered it.

– Sarah

The Rabbit Shed :: Do-It-Ourselves

My comic

Let me walk you through our Saturday. I would have posted this sooner, but I took the kiddo down to the Bay Area for a much needed Ikea shopping trip.

So… Saturday. I had already picked up all our lumber Friday and drawn out the shed plans so we were ready to go first thing in the morning. I cleared out a pretty level spot next to our deck to put the rabbit shed.

Then we measured out all of our pieces so that they were ready for Trevor to cut with the skill saw. The plans required a 10-degree angle to make the roof go from 8-feet at its highest point and 7-feet at its lowest point. Keep in mind this is an 8 foot wide x 8 foot long shed.

In total the plywood we had was: the front top piece with a 10-degree slope for the roof and a piece cut out for the top of the door, two front bottom pieces to go on either side of the door, one whole 4’x8′ piece for the bottom left side, one whole 4’x8′ piece for the bottom right side, one rear top piece with a 10-degree angle for the roof, and one whole 4’x8′ piece for the rear bottom.
The lattice we had were two pieces: one was a whole 4’x8′ piece for the top left side and one 3’x8′ piece for the top right side.
See?

Then I was kicked off the construction crew. My brother and Trevor took over and started putting everything together using 2″x3″ studs for supports and framing. [Per my instructions] they framed up the doorway, the seams where the tops and bottom pieces of each side met, and used 4″x4″ posts as the corners. Sorry for the lack of technical terms here, but I was kicked off the construction team.

My budding graffiti artist struck again.

Here the boys are putting in the support beams for the roof and the squiggly things the corrugated roofing sits on.

Here’s a photo montage of what got done on Saturday.

The door is now attached and the whole shed has two coats of exterior paint that matches the Frühlingskabine on it. We just need one more piece of roofing to overhang the front and rear walls better and I need to paint the door. But all in all, lookin’ good!

Total cost: $320 (after additional roofing piece)

Still over $100 cheaper than buying one of those ugly aluminum sheds with no ventilation and about $1,000 cheaper than a nice wooden shed built by someone else.

– Sarah