Greenhorn Excitement

I am just so excited about everything that’s going on here at the Frühlingskabine. Mostly the wonderful unexpected things.

20120331-211527.jpg

A year ago Trevor would have never guessed that he would ever be the caretaker of a beehive, not to mention two! It actually all started in the bookstore. I had seen Ashley English’s book on beekeeping online in a giveaway a few weeks prior and when I saw it in our local bookstore I suggested buying it. Trevor didn’t want to spend the twenty-something dollars on it, but I convinced him that if once he read it he still wasn’t interested, I would drop it. A month later we were ordering supplies online and looking for someone with bees to give away.

I have never known a beekeeper or even someone who is a friend of a beekeeper so it was fun to watch Trevor become enamored with the little winged ones. I also have never learned so much about an insect and it’s behaviors and culture as I have with the honey bee. Now I can make an educated guess as to the type of honey bee (Carneolan or Italian or Russian) just by looking at it. We both have grown by learning to care for an apiary.

20120331-211753.jpg

A year ago I would have never guessed that I would ever own rabbits! My brother and I had guinea pigs as kids and a family dog, but rabbits (and angoras especially) are a whole other animal. The idea of rabbits started when I was reading Jenna’s blog Cold Antler Farm and all about her flock of sheep. I didn’t particularly want sheep, but the idea of raising and harvesting my own wool seemed like something I wanted to try. I didn’t even really knit and I certainly had never operated a spinning wheel before! But, I wanted to try and if I’m not stubborn, I’m determined. Even once we made the move into the Frühlingskabine there was no way I would have room for sheep, but what else produces wool? Angora rabbits! Small, quiet, and discreet. Perfect.

I settled on French angoras after deciding that German angoras were too large and only “showable” in white and English angoras would be harder to groom and care for. We had to drive about 12-hours further to get them, but I know I made the right choice. I figured French angoras would be a manageable size yet big enough to produce a good amount of wool and if I had litters, I could sell them to local 4-H kids. Apparently I underestimated the demand for Frenchies as my upcoming litter with Clementine is all but sold. My waiting list actually has names on it! Five people for a total of six rabbits are already on hold. Craziness! This really just means I have a good excuse for my husband as to why I need to breed for more litters. I can’t wait to see what kind of babies show up in the nest box!

A year ago neither of us would have ever guessed that we would be holding our breath for baby rabbits, or taking phone calls from perfect strangers to talk about wool production, or that we would be saving our pennies for that beautiful hand-crank honey extractor, or crossing our fingers that that new hive of honey bees in the yard will call the Frühlingskabine home. We didn’t know how fun this would be. Or how exciting.

2 thoughts on “Greenhorn Excitement

  1. I just discovered your blog. Thank you for journaling your backyard homesteading adventure! I’ve been a follower of the Dervaes family for many years and have similar dreams for myself and my partner. I used to be an urban farmer-in-progress in Pittsburgh, then moved to Oregon where I’m hoping to find an inexpensive slice of land to build a straw bale house someday. I never thought of rabbits for wool–thanks for posting this!!

    • The Dervaes family gets a lot of slack, but I think what they are doing is admirable. All we can do is our best and they are doing their part. We started off using them as -not a model because we live in a much different area- but as inspiration. Good people.

      I would love a straw bale house! Trevor and I are always looking at little cob cottages too… how grounding would it be to live in a form of earthen house?! I’m dreamin’ right along with you on that one!

      Thanks for reading and if you’re back on this post, we have done a lot since then. Happy farming!

Leave a Reply :: may be held for moderation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s