Phew! The amount of projects going on at one time is somewhat staggering on the homestead. We feel like every day is full to bursting, and it is a joy to have such productive days, even if it results in us falling into bed, exhausted, at hours that would make a bingo granny say, "Isn't that a little early to go to bed, dearie?"
However, things ARE getting done, and infrastructure is slowly being built to accommodate our growing list of animals that are depending on us. One of those projects is our mobile rabbit tractor system, which, by the time I post this entry, will have been in use for more than a month! The rabbits we having living in there are really doing well, and are getting a fresh mix of browse (and the occasional treat!) every day.
If you missed part one of this build, check out the post HERE.
Every time we add an animal to our homestead, we endeavor to give it as natural and whole a life as possible. For us, that means free-ranging and pasture feeding, and treating with natural treatments whenever possible. We truly believe that these animals are well-designed, and that the best way to rear them is to let them function naturally!
We hope that through this practice, we'll be able to eventually breed and benefit from tough, robust animals that are specifically adapted to our specific land. The book Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard discusses this philosophy at length about plant-tending, but we are confident (and are backed up with the anecdotes from several other homesteaders) that this mentality also applies to livestock. We know there will be losses along the way as we inherit poor breeding choices, but our hearts are ready to take responsibility for the long-term health and vitality of our animals.
So, with all that in mind, when we decided to add rabbits to our homestead, we knew that they would be outside in the pasture to give them the best chance at living naturally. We're excited to benefit from their garden-ready manure (it doesn't need to compost before you add it!), we may someday be able to sell their offspring as wonderfully hardy pets, and we know our meat-eating animals can also benefit from a nutritious source of meat that doesn't come in GMO kibble form.
Andrew designed these rabbit tractors to give our rabbits daily access to fresh grass and herbs every day, while offering them protection from predators and weather. This video is actually several weeks old, and after observing the rabbits in their homes, I can attest that they are thriving in their little worlds. It's so nice seeing them munching on weeds in the morning, running up to greet us when we come by with treats, and lounging in the covered, back portion during the heat of the day.
This tractor can be built and moved by one person, so it's friendly to even the smallest homestead. Let us know if you have any questions about the design of this build, and we'd be happy to help!
Though there is so much going on at one time, especially during the summer, getting to share life with so many creatures really is a joy. In the middle of the building projects, wilderness-taming, and house building, seeing our foundling kitten starting to flourish and touch noses with all the other creatures (OH MY GOSH it's too much cuteness) is enough to give anyone pause for appreciation.
I hope you don't mind the short post. Back to work we go!
Go, Andrew, go! It's finally time to add an oven to our outdoor kitchen. In this video, he starts the base. Can you taste the wood-fired pizza yet?? Because I can, and when it is finally time to fire this sucker up, it's going to be SO DELICIOUS.
Have you seen this project from the beginning?
Click here for PART ONE.
Click here for PART TWO.
If you have any stories, recipes, or ideas about your own outdoor kitchen build, whether it exists on your land or in your future dreams, we'd love to hear about it! And if you are as excited for the next part of this series as we are, just give it a few days--part four is on its way!
Last time we saw the outdoor kitchen, it was just a level base with sand in it. Now, it's time to add some cooking and work surfaces!
A big thing on our hearts for our land is to use our given resources well. And in the case of this building project, we're trying to recycle as much of the stuff that was left behind from the previous owners as possible. Thankfully, with a little elbow-grease, paint, and scraping, we ended up finding a lot of useable lumber, concrete, and sand...all for free! That makes this build very cost-effective--everything we've done so far has cost less than $50. Click the picture to head over to the video!
If you're just tuning in, be sure to check out PART ONE for the introduction to this project. And thanks!
We are a husband and wife who are trying to live simply. We are learning much as we transition from life in the city to life in the country. Come along with us, and maybe you can also learn a thing or two as well.
We love writing for these fine folks as well!
|Simple Life Homestead||
Simple Life Homestead