Summer Projects

I’m starting to feel like a human again.

Exciting, right?

I have more energy, I don’t need a nap every two hours—thank goodness—and I can actually get excited about projects again.

Including my birthday project!

Something that I love to invest in—when I’m not so tired that I can’t string four words together—is farming on our 35 acres and moving my little family toward being as self-sustaining and independent—especially from grocery stores—as it is possible to be. Colorado makes this a difficult project, what with the garden-mowing deer, the endless drought, and the altitude that kills nearly every garden we attempt to plant, but I do my best. My family owns a substantial chicken flock, and my sister has several goats that will, eventually, become a large enough herd to provide milk for the three families living on our property.

Since they have eggs and milk covered, my husband and I decided to tackle finding a source of meat that isn’t wrapped in cellophane. We’ve discussed pigs and beef cows in the past, but with a baby on the way and limited energy while I finish creating my tiny human, big, pushy animals are a bit out of our reach. Instead, my husband brought several loads of reclaimed scrap wood home, and the two of us dedicated several of our evenings to building the cheapest—and safest—rabbit hutch we could manage.

To my shock, we actually finished it. The doors open and everything. I’m amazed, since it’s built completely of scrap wood and we started and finished without a real plan.

When it was—basically—finished, we drove down to Fort Collins and picked up our gorgeous breeder rabbits. As a general rule, a breeding trio—two does and a buck—can provide up to 600 pounds of meat in a year, especially if you’re willing to go the extra mile for a really solid meat breed instead of buying your ordinary, garden variety mixed rabbit. Which, coincidentally, we did.

I hesitated to post this particular story because of the negative reaction things like this tend to elicit. (What?? You eat your rabbits??) But I like to be real on my blog, especially about myself and the things I invest time and effort into. It is incredibly important to me that my children grow up knowing where food comes from, and that my family is as sustainable as it is possible to be. I don’t like to depend on the grocery store, and I like to know that—should something happen—we would not be relying on a dwindling store of processed and canned food that we are unable to replenish without the aid of corporations or government. We can’t produce everything we need, but we can do as much as possible, and meat rabbits are a step toward that.

Plus, after months of barely managing the minimum and sleeping more than I ever thought I would need to in a day, I’m excited to have the energy for some summer projects again. This is a good start!

What summer projects are you working on? Tell me about them in the comments!