Friday, October 30, 2015

Playing in dirt and prepping for winter-

It is most definitely Fall!  It has finally started to cool off, and it feels like it is time to begin chores to ready ourselves for the winter.  In our area, we hope the winter will bring more rain than usual, hopefully with a little help from El Nino.  That means weatherproofing, planting, etc.

Our friends at Vicarious Ranch have been in need of help to prepare for the rains, and I have been happy to help.  It has been a great deal of fun to play in the dirt, see all the farm animals, and learn more about the workings of farm life.  My part in the project involved fertilizing and mulching each tree, and then spreading compost down the rows between the trees. Then Mike came in with the tractor to till up the very hard earth and mix in the compost so they can plant peas as a cover crop.  I learned much about fruiting trees, as well as some of the timing involved in planting in our area. 

I am a helper!

At Vicarious Ranch, they are conserving water as much as is possible.  By mulching, water as allowed better absorption into the soil with less evaporation.  The cover crop will be watered by the rains and what the trees don't use.  And in turn, these peas will replace much needed nitrogen into the soil and can also be used as food for people and their animals.  Like these wooly pigs!  I couldn't help taking some pictures of the piglets...

Here at Fiberton, we are taking all the cues and pointers we can from our friends at Vicarious.  It has been inspiring to see what they are working on (as well as getting actual experience) and I am hoping to get our few beds readied for the winter and add a few more.  I would love to plant more of the greens that both myself and the rabbits love for the winter, and use this winter as an opportunity to learn our local growing season better.  

Speaking of the rabbits, this week Penny and Rory got their 3 month trims.  Look at this before and after!

Super fluffy Penny! not a great haircut, but look how much smaller she looks!

This is a typical 'after grooming' scene.  I'm a bunny barber!

Sadly, Penny has taken a bit ill.  One of the things that angora rabbits can get is fur block or wool block.  Her trim was much needed not only to get the fiber off her for us to spin, but also because as it gets longer, the fur gets harder for them to pass and clogs their digestive tract.  Today I am starting her on some higher powered enzymes that can be found in papaya (papain) and pineapple (bromelain).  I usually give them some pineapple juice in their water to help maintain their digestive health, but Penny is at a point where eating and drinking are difficult for her, so we will be going with a strong enzymatic supplement mixed into a nutritional drink (the suggestion we have read about is using Ensure) and feeding it to her with a dropper, and keeping her on hay and greens.  Hopefully we will have her out of the woods asap.  More on her status soon!

What are you doing to prepare for winter?


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