Category Archives: Miscellaneous Goings On

Now it’s African Violet Time!

box of African violets packed for shipment

So my friend got three boxes packed just like this.  The plants that you can see the leaves of are standard African violets.  Each one is a small plant and each one is different.  The white packages have semi-miniature to full miniature plants in them.  He got three boxes like this!  Over 100 different African violets!

So, of course he drops by to open the boxes at my house and it took hours to unpack them all.  However, occasionally there would be a leaf which had broken off or had a bent stem.  So those leaves were potted up and will hopefully sprout a new plant.

Aftrican violet leaves being started

Mine!  If they all sprout a new plant I have no idea where they will all go.  Maybe outside somewhere in the shade.  African violets can grow outside since we’re in Hawaii as long as they don’t get sun burnt or eaten by the chickens.   All of these leaves are from the standard sized African violets.

small leaves being started

These nine leaves are either ‘semi-miniature’ or ‘miniature’ African violets.  Some of them are fully grown and flowering in a two in pot and their leaves don’t go over the edge of the pot.  Way too tiny, but really cute.  The tiny leaf in the middle with the white edges is from a miniature African violet called “Bunny Hop”.

tiny pink African violet

Isn’t that just the cutest thing?  It’s the one called ‘Bunny Hop’.  That’s a two inch Dixie cup that it is planted in.  The leaf being started from this plant is in a small terrarium.  That may increase the odds of it surviving.  These aren’t my plants, I just got some leaves from some of them.  He got them from a place called ‘VioletBarn’, I’m sure there’s an online link somewhere if you need African violets, too.  https://www.violetbarn.com/    Aha!  Thought there would be one.

So we will see how many of these sprout into new plants.  If they all sprout, then we will have to find a place to put them all, but one thing at a time.

close up of black bunny showing fiber quality

I don’t know if your screen is big enough, but can you see the utterly soft fiber on that bunny?  I’m pretty sure that’s Ziggy and the undercoat is the really soft fiber that we harvest to make into Hula Bunny yarn.   Ziggy is going to make fiber for ‘Moonlit Dance’ color.

Little black bunny eating grass to make into fiber

Ha!  Those gourmet folks are always enthusing about grass fed beef.  What do they know?  We’ve got grass fed yarn, that’s gotta be better, don’tcha think?

Here’s our Grass Fed Yarn video

 

 

 

Gargoyle Bunny

Dunno as if Zeus thinks it’s near Halloween or what, but he’s been practicing his gargoyle moves.

white bunny imitating a gargoyle

He was right up on the front edge of the nest box just about falling off.  Dunno as if fluffy and white quite goes along with the whole gargoyle theme, but he’s just a beginning fashionista and still needs to work on a few details.

Zelda was trying out the gargoyle thing too, but nowhere near as convincingly as Zeus.

black bunny trying to be a gargoyle

She just doesn’t have the whole gargoyle thing figured out yet.

Other than fuzzy bunnies, there’s been fuzzy scarves being knit.  I’ve started writing out the pattern for it since it may turn out well enough to be knit by other folks perhaps.

detail of a knitted scarf

This is the front side of the scarf.  It’s being knit out of Hula Bunny’s ‘Beach Bunny’ color of yarn.  It’s mostly ‘Old Shale’ or ‘Old Shell’ pattern which is sometimes erroneously called feather-n-fan.  This is NOT feather and fan, it is Old Shell.  Which is sometimes called ‘Old Shale’ because of the accent from when it’s spoken.  So, now that we have that clarified, here’s the back of it.

back side detail f scarf

This is the back and because the Hula Bunny yarn gets so soft and fuzzy, a lot of the fine details in a pattern will get lost in the fluff.  Which is why a big broad pattern is best with Hula Bunny yarn.

If it were made with an unmodified Old Shell pattern, the back of the scarf would sort of have an overall pebbly texture and no real interest, IMHO.  The vertical stripes were added in to make the back nice to look at, too.

At the moment, it’s only half knit since it’s only about three feet long.  I’m thinking maybe six or seven feet would be the nicest length.

Not that we need a scarf in the middle of June, but I have to start knitting now so there will be things ready for folks in the fall and winter.  More bunny haircuts tomorrow!  The bunnies have to help or all kinds of folks will be missing out on toasty ears, necks and noses come next winter.

Grapefruit tree oopsie!

grapefruit tree taken out with moneytree

Ooops!  The roots of the grapefruit tree were all tangled with the moneytree being taken out next door.  When one fell over they both went.  Oh wellos!  Guess we will have to get a new grapefruit tree.  Maybe the next one can be a ruby red grapefruit tree.  I like those much better than the white grapefruits.

last grapefruit and first beans

So this is our last grapefruit, but we did pick the first beans today from the Mother Stallard vines.  They are producing about a week before the other bean vine.

We’ve been eating the lettuce and beet greens for over a week now, too.  The little garden is going well even if excavators got the grapefruits.

The Power of Stacked Concrete Blocks

Well, we’ve been eating salad now for a few weeks and I don’t think all the garden construction pictures were ever assembled in a tidy manner.  There’s been some interest in it on an online garden forum so I thought I’d put the pictures here, too.

This is the fifth stacked concrete block garden so far.  The first three were on flat land and the same height all around.  The fourth is just off the side of this newest one, although I planted too many ‘permanent’ plants there (grapes, cotton, papaya, mulberry) so it is too full to plant lettuce and salad greens.

This newest garden is not only a garden, but also a terrace to hold back the hillside.  I’m planning to make another garden behind this one to continue terracing up the hillside.  Perhaps for that one, a much longer but narrower one which wouldn’t be accessible from the back.  We’ll see when it gets built what it ends up looking like.

 

This is the beginning picture with the problem hillside.  It’s too steep to mow very easily and we have things growing 24/7 around here so it is a continual problem.  Turning it into small terraces will hopefully make a problem into a benefit.

This new salad garden is very close to the kitchen door, so that will be handy for greens and herbs.  In the picture, the digging has already started a little bit.

I should have taken more pictures at this stage, but we were busy digging in the dirt and hauling concrete blocks around.  We were using whatever blocks we had laying about, it’d be easier with all the same size blocks.

When choosing the final size of your garden,  layout the first layer of blocks where you’d like your new garden.  That will give you an idea of how big it will be.  Then stack up a column of blocks as high as you’re planning on building the sides.  Reach into to the middle of the garden area over the column to see how easy it will be to garden in the middle.  It’s easy enough at this point to make the garden a half block narrower or wider depending on how far you can reach.  Since it’s accessed from the front and the back, you can make it as long as you like.

When building multiple gardens, leave a walkway wide enough after the plants have reached their mature size to still fit through between the gardens.  I had one set of raised beds that were too close together and after the rosemary had gotten large in the garden on one side and the asparagus on the other, there wasn’t much room between them.

At this stage in the picture, we’d dug down to the level of the lowest concrete block and spread weed mat across the bottom to keep weeds from growing up inside.  There’s also weed mat along the sides to keep weeds from growing in from there, too.  Depending on how aggressive your weeds are, you may not need to do this part.  If you’re in a dry area or concerned about anything in the concrete blocks leaching into your soil, then a layer of plastic would be an option there.

Notice the rebar stakes stuck in the blocks.  It would be better if it were every hole but we didn’t have that many of the rebar stakes.  You could also use old pieces f metal pipe, short fence posts, pretty much whatever metal reinforcement you can find.   The wire bunny cage in the middle is being used to screen out miscellaneous roots and rocks from the soil being shoveled back into the garden.

That’s 1/2″ x 1″ screen for the bottom of the cage which is a nice size for screening garden soil.  Being part of a cage, it holds it up nicely, too.  If you don’t happen to have a small animal cage handy, you could make a wood frame and nail the screen to that.  It’s rather a lot of soil, buying screened soil would possibly get expensive.  For this particular garden, it was made with stuff laying around so we didn’t have to go buy anything specific for it.

Well, we did get some new seeds while on vacation.  There’s a seed bank in Petaluma, California which is just an astonishing place.  All heirloom and open pollinated seeds and varieties I’ve never heard of before!  Woot!  I don’t know if you enjoy seeds as souvenirs, but I think they’re great.

view looking out of the seed bank's windows

This was one of the highlights of my vacation in Napa, California.

interior view of the Petaluma seed bank

It used to be an old bank building, now it’s full of seeds.  All of them heirloom and open pollinated so I can grow them and save seeds and continue growing the same varieties.  Having all these seeds and nowhere to plant them had been a driving factor in building the new garden.  Okay, back to the garden now!

garden helper co-opted with a bribe of new seeds

All those new varieties of seeds were useful in bribing our local youth to help shift soil and blocks around.  We added in some bunny manure from the bunnies we have here along with the bribe of seeds so he was enthusiastic in helping.  A bit disrespectful sticking his tongue out at the camera, though.  Ah, youth these days, eh?  It’s so hard to get good help, too.   (insert grins and snickers here)

pile of soil behind garden being built

It was rather a lot of soil to move around, the pile there is what was dug out of the area to start with and still needs to be moved back into the raised bed area.  It was a lot of moving of soil.  Fortunately, once it’s built, it doesn’t need that level of effort again.

almost filled new raised bed garden

It doesn’t look all that much different from the previous picture, but it was hours of work to screen and fill.  These gardens have more soil in them than you’d expect.

I’d thought about lining the top row with solid flat concrete blocks, but didn’t have enough of them and decided to plant small plants in the concrete block holes instead.  Small low herbs like thyme will go well there.

At this point when the added soil was several inches down from the top, we started adding in the best soil as well as the amendments.   We have acidic soil, so crushed oyster shell was added.  We have really high rainfall which washes out the nutrients, so we added bio-char (crushed charcoal) to trap and hold the nutrients for the plant roots to find.  There’s also a lot of bunny manure added.  We have a whole herd of English angora bunnies who are very interested in garden greens so they do their part to help.

Planted five types of lettuce only three showed up
Missing two lettuces

All the little round things at the top of the soil is bunny manure.  It is a ‘cold’ manure and doesn’t need to be composted although by the time the greens are big enough to harvest it will have broken down quite a bit.

picture of a raised bed garden
New garden April 22nd, 2017

This is the garden after it’s been seeded and we put the little fence around it to keep the chickens out.  At least, we thought it’d keep the chickens out.  One still got in and scratched things around and ate a lot of the hulless oats we’d planted.  So now we have a fence across the front, too.  I may make one big fence panel to make it easier to put the fence up and down.  Or build a fence about six inches shorter so it can be gardened over easier.  I can reach and weed the front several feet but can’t reach the middle with the fence up.

That picture was taken on April 22nd, just after putting in the new seeds from the seed bank and a thyme plant at the front and Joey’s Tomato at the back.  The same person who gave me the Bleak Hall Sea Island White cotton seedlings also gave me what he swears is the world’s best tomato.  He had been growing it for ages so it’s acclimatized to the islands, but he was down to only six seeds so I’m growing it out for him and will hopefully get some new seed.

picture of tomato seedling

Interesting leaf shape and he says it’s an indeterminate variety so we should continue to get a lot of tomatoes from it once it starts.  I put it in the back corner so it can grow huge and escape out the side.

The other little sprig of green in the beginning garden is a small thyme plant.

the new garden at six weeks later

This is the garden about six weeks later.  As usual, I put in too much seed.  The lettuce still needs some severe thinning and the beans are at war with the tomato.  The ‘mater will last longer, though, so in a couple months the beans will die off and the ‘mater will still be there.  The beans provide nitrogen for the growth stage of the tomato.  They provide beans, too.

growing beans

These are ‘Good Mother Stallard’ soup beans, I should mark the first pods to be saved for seed later.  With things like beans that I want to make pods early on, I’ll save the first seeds.  With lettuces, which I want to take awhile before bolting, I’ll save the last seeds.

I should take another picture from the same angle as the first, I suppose.  Just to show what six weeks and a small excavator can do.

six weeks later

 

Little bunners and excavators

Gayle still has her four little bunnies.  They’re fat and full, so she’d a good mum bunny.

They’re doing well and staying warm.  It’s kinda nice for baby bunnies to be summer babies since it’s not as cold at night.  Although, around here ‘cold’ is anything below sixty.

The other three does who were supposed to have babies this round, Suzie, Sirocco and Jessie, don’t seem to be in the mood.  I’ll give them another day or two before letting them meet up with the boy bunnies again, but it’s looking less likely that they will have any.

baby white bunny on nest box looking down on the four black ones

Didn’t want to forget the first batch of babies now that there’s four new ones.   We may have Zookie Schwartz and Zeus.   The white one may be Zeus since he’s a male and will probably be staying here and the name starts with a ‘Z’?

Hopefully this upcoming week will have a lot of bunny time.  Shear everybunny who needs a haircut, do a deep cleaning on the hutch and maybe start on the buck hutch?  It’s hard to know if it’s worthwhile getting started when the bunnies will be moving yet again sometime soonish maybe.

view after the excavator cleared things

The excavator cleared the line of trees that used to be between us and the neighbors.  That’s going to be a mock orange hedge  now, I think.  Too bad bunnies can’t eat mock orange.

Yay Gayle! Way to go Phineus!

nest with four newborn baby bunnies
Fresh baby bunnies!

Yay Gayl!  Good job, Phineus!  Woot!  Four more baby bunnies!

There’s one pink one (most likely a Ruby Eyed White), one chocolate and two black ones.  This is Gayle’s first litter as well as Phineus’ first litter so we have two first time parents.  Gayle built a nest and put the babies in it.  Although she also put the ti leaf in there, too, so she’s still at the fill the nest stage, I guess.  I gave her some more grasses so she can eat the ti leaf and put the grasses in there.

I had hoped Jessie, Suzie & Sirocco were going to have babies, too, but they don’t seem to have any.  Sirocco hasn’t even bothered to make a nest but Jessie & Suzie had made nests.  There’s still a day or two left before we can figure there won’t be any, but if they do have them they will be taking longer than usual.

another view of the newborn baby bunnies

I didn’t want to take them all out of the nest since they’re still so new, but I think at least some part of all four of them is visible.

So with these babies, we now know that Gayle has the recessives for chocolate and REW and we know that Phineus has the recessive for REW, too.  Yay!  It’s always good to find out more about a bunnies color genetics so we can figure out which colors to expect.

And there’s an excavator in the back yard!

excavator up behind a house with an ocean view in the background

The big pile of brush and trees that had been piled up there earlier is all gone now.  Yay!  Now we just need to figure out what sort of house to build there.   The bunnies will get a bigger and better bunny yard, too.

One Month Old!

One month old today!  They’re all still here and doing well, Cheiri is a good mum bunny.  They aren’t quite weaned, but almost.  Within another week or so, they’ll be entirely eating solid foods.

The little white one likes to sit on the nest box.  Either he’s part vulture or he wants to be in charge, I’m not sure which.

This is Gayle three days before hopefully there will be baby bunnies.  She’s kinda looking plump in the middle and she’s laying about instead of nibbling on the grasses.  She’s already built a nest so she doesn’t need to put the grasses into the nest.  Frequently does will get real lethargic a couple of days before birth.  Resting up for the big event, perhaps?  Three more days before we find out if there will be baby bunnies!  Hopefully the change in diet is working, we will see.

So other than bunnies, there was an Orchid Show in Hilo today.

Some of these orchids looked like inter-planetary aliens.

Others looked like flocks of butterflies.

 

Some were pretty orchids

big hot pink orchids

Some were pretty outrageously colored

big display of orchids

And there were just piles of them everywhere.  The whole Edith Kanakaole stadium (where they hold the Merrie Monarch hula competition) was full of orchids everywhere.  It smelled really nice.

And they were selling the orchids, too!  Folks were taking loads of them home.

They do this in Hilo every year, should you feel the need to get orchids to go with fuzzy bunnies.

Three Weeks Old!

These pictures are from are yesterday (Saturday), but I didn’t get them posted until today.   I’ll take more pictures later today to see how much they’ve grown in another 24 hours.

baby bunnies eating grass and feed out of a dish
3 Weeks Old

They’re eating pretty well on their own these days, although the do get a snack from mom bun when she will put up with it.

mom bun on nest box with babies eating grasses and feed below

Cheiri likes to be up on the box away from the kids if she can.  She seems to be weaning them about a week early, it seems, but she knows more about this sort of timing than I do.

small gecko on computer screen
computer helper

We have a small helper with today’s Daily Bunny report.  He’s about two inches long and is a very young gold dust day gecko.  They live around the house and eat bugs for us.  This one seems to have some sort of editorial ambitions.

Two Weeks and Six Days

The baby bunnies are getting more adventuresome and are out of the nest more often wandering around.

all out and about

About the only place mom bun can get away from the little ones now is up on top of her box.  She comes down to get the supplement treats and then she gets mobbed by the babies.

Cheiri is trying to eat, there’s one black baby helping her eat out of the dish and a couple more trying to drink milk while she’s within reach.  She will grab a couple mouth fulls of food and then jump back on top of the box.  A little bit of food was put up there so she could eat in peace.

They will be three weeks old tomorrow and they’re already nibbling on grasses.  Probably because mom bun is hiding on top of the nest box and is tired of feeding them?

Today was the parade and block party for Western Week in Honokaa.  The bunnies weren’t in the parade this year since we don’t have the parade car anymore.  Maybe next year we will get some sort of a bunny cart so they can be in the parade.  Maybe the bunnies would rather be in the Peace Parade that happens in the fall, though.  Bunnies believe in peace, happiness and dandelions for all.

Two weeks and a day

Stellar bunny day today!  Grandma came to visit!  Gomie’s mum dropped by to visit with her grandbunnies.

Grandbunny mum admiring the little white bunny
Grandbunny mum

The babies were thrilled to meet their grandma and one of the little black ones learned about ear scritches.  Total bliss!  Grandma brought Auntie, too, so there were enough hands for all the necessary pettings.   Poor Gomie had to share.

bunny bliss ear rubs

He just shut his eyes, relaxed and smiled.  Now he wants more ear rubs all the time, Grandma spoils the grandbunnies really quick!

tiny black baby bunny nibbling on grasses
first nibbles on grasses

It’s a little early, but they took from experimental nibbles on the grasses.  In a week or two, they’ll be eating grass right along with mum bunny.

black doe with a mouth full of wool in her nest box
Gayle building a nest

Gayle has gathered up all the wool that she’d tossed out of the nest area and is building a nest with it now.  I’ll give her some more nesting materials tomorrow and see what she does with it.   She’s awfully early for nest building, she’s not due until June 6th.

very red leaf lettuce

red leaf lettuceIt’s easy to weed red lettuce!  This is some of the reddest lettuce I’ve ever had in the garden.  Hopefully soon we will be able to make some salads.

 

Two Weeks old

It’s not all bunnies, sometimes we go to the beach, too

Hapuna beach

It was a beauty beach day although there weren’t any waves to play in.  There were almost waves, but not big enough to surf.  It was graduation day for the local high school, too, so there weren’t many people on the beach in the early afternoon, I think they were all at the graduation since we saw a huge line of traffic on our way home and there wasn’t anything else to make traffic other than graduation being finished.

little white bunny walking around
Two weeks old going walkabout

Today is Saturday so the bunnies are two weeks old today.  It’s also yard sale day, but there weren’t very many of those since everyone was at the school graduation.  We did find one and we now have a dozen concrete blocks so there is a start on the next garden.  Yay!  By the time we get enough bricks, hopefully we will have enough bunny berries from feed that hasn’t been tainted by herbicide to fertilize the new garden.

baby bunny going into the nest
Into the nest

They are still small enough to fit under the slots at the base of the nest so they can go in and out of the nest on three sides.  They’re getting enough fur on them now that they can stay out for quite some time without getting chilled.  They can also get in and out on their own so when they get cold, they go back inside the nest.

little white bunny looking out of the nest
2 weeks old today

There’s four other baby bunnies in there hiding under all that fluff.  Every once in awhile, there will be ears popping up in the back or little noses hiding in the wool.

There has been a significant increase in baby bunny sizes today.  Each one of them gained at least half an ounce if not more.  The Ruby Eyed White gained .8 ounce to 7.8 ounces.  The next biggest black went from 6.9 to 7.3 followed by the third largest from 6.4 to 6.7, next to smallest went from 5.6 to 6.6 and the smallest from 4.8 to 6.2.  Which is a lot of weight gain for the smallest, I may have weighed somebunny twice.  They keep wiggling around, it’s hard to keep them sorted.  .8 + .4 + .3 + 1 + 1.4.  If these numbers are correct, then collectively they gained 3.9 ounces.  That’s gotta be a lot of work for Cheiri and it’s just going to continue for another week and a half.  She will start weaning them at just under four weeks old, so they’re halfway there.

Day Seven Baby Bunnies

six days old English angora bunny sleeping while getting weighed
seven days old English angora bunny sleeping while getting weighed

The little Ruby Eyed White is now the biggest baby.  He/she is 4.3 ounces while the next largest black one is 3.8 ounces.  They’d been tied for the past several days but now the REW is solidly ahead.  We will see if that changes in the upcoming days.   The little REW started at 2.3 ounces so there’s been an increase of almost double the starting weight.  This one will be a keeper.

Six days old and sleeping with their feet in the air
Seven days old and sleeping with their feet in the air

There’s everybunny in their nest, sound asleep with their little feet in the air and all in a heap.  The REW is now pretty much solid white with undertones of pink instead of bright pink all over.  The blacks area also starting to grow in their coat, but it’s not as obvious.

Seems every day something strange can happen in Bunny Land.  Sydney and Gomez live in a hutch off to the side that isn’t connected to the automatic water system.  They’re the only two who have water bottles which if the whole herd was on water bottles would take a long time to fill twice a day.  Anyway, so I get their water bottle, unscrew the cap and start filling it up at the water spigot at the end of the hutch.  And a house gecko pops out of the water bottle!  How did he get in there?  He’s not the biggest house gecko I’ve ever seen, but he’s no baby, either.

gecko who was in the water bottle
gecko who was in the water bottle

It’s been dry lately, so probably the gecko was looking for water and pushed up past the steel ball at the end of the water spout?

Spout and gecko, guess he'd fit
Spout and gecko, guess he’d fit

The spout is closer to the camera so it looks pretty large in relationship to the gecko but I think the gecko could get his head in the spout.  Not sure how he managed to get himself past the steel ball that’s in the spout, though.  I put him in the garden, the house already has a lot of the newer green geckos that are pretty aggressive towards the brown ones.

I think it's been about twenty days since the garden was seeded. It's starting to begin to look like a garden.
I think it’s been about twenty days since the garden was seeded. It’s starting to begin to look like a garden.

The raised bed garden has started taking off and is beginning to look like a garden.  I think it’s been about twenty days since it was seeded.  I did have to replant two of the lettuce varieties and some of the hull less oats although the oats was because a chicken got in and ate the seeds the day after they were sown.

We have roller to make rolled oats (oatmeal) we just need oats that don’t have hulls on them to use it.  It will be interesting to see if these oats will be able to be grown and  used for oatmeal.  The bunnies will like the leaves, I’ll get the oatmeal, although they can have some too.  At the moment, it’s just being grown to increase the seed and not grown for consumption just yet.

orchids growing by the bunny hutch
orchids growing by the bunny hutch

Gratuitous flower picture.  This is the orchid growing in front of the bunny hutch so it gets quite a bit of bunny manure washed down onto it.  It’s an ‘oncidium’  orchid and fairly common in Hawaii.  Folks call them ‘dancing lady’ orchids (partly because that’s a LOT easier to spell AND pronounce than ‘oncidium’) because the flowers look like little dancing ladies.  This version doesn’t have a scent, although the purple and white version smells like chocolate.

Happy Spring!

Not that we pay all that much attention to seasons, but spring is a good time of year.  More sunshine = more happiness!

Hillside Farm bunny hutches April 2017
Hillside Farm bunny hutches April 2017

It almost looks like they have lights in their hutch now.  Some new neighbors moved into the deserted house next door and they’ve been cleaning and clearing.  They’ve thinned the mock orange hedge behind the bunny hutch so now light comes through.   The bunnies should have more ventilation and a better view now.

CMU block garden dug into hillside
New really raised bed garden

It being springtime and all, it seems a good time to set up a new garden area.  I’ve found raised bed gardens to be really productive.  Not only is it a smaller area to water and fertilize, but harvesting is much easier when you don’t have to fuss around at ground level.

The wire bunny cage is in there being used as a screen to screen out rocks and roots and such from the soil that was dug out of there to make room for the new garden.   The soil was dug out of the area and weed mat was spread across the bottom and sides of the raised bed.  Makes it ever to much easier to maintain when there’s not weeds moving in from the bottom and sides later.  The new garden area will be the area inside the black liner.  It’s roughly eight and a half by four and a half feet so it’s a pretty small garden, but with enough water and fertilizer, it can grow quite a bit.

The other good thing about these particular raised beds is that they are also terracing the hillside.   We are ‘Hillside Farm’ after all, one would expect some hillside in there somewhere and the gardens are going in pretty much the steepest part of the yard.  This is just the backyard ‘farm’, we did used to have a real farm on a hillside, but the bunnies were the only productive thing on the leased farm land so we gave up the farmland lease and now are backyard bunny micro-farmers.  Much closer to home and easier to take care of and no tractors necessary, although I do miss the backhoe.  Anyway, enough of history and now back to the new garden.

The front of the garden is four layers of bricks.  Each layer is 8″ tall, so that’s 32″ in front.  A lovely height to pick lettuce, don’t you think?  The back of the garden will be one layer high, all of 8″.  Considering the garden is only about three and a half concrete blocks deep, it rises two feet in four and a half feet.  Guess I should put some steps along the sides going up.  There may be another raised garden bed on the hillside behind it.  Either that or a short retaining wall of some sort.  Not sure what the overall rise is up to that mac nut tree, maybe thirty foot rise?

the start of a raised bed garden dug into the side of a hill as a terrace
New Garden April 2017

That’s as high as the front wall of the new garden will be and you can’t see from the photo, but it’s halfway full of soil.  The big pile in the picture is actually behind the new garden.  The new bunny hutch will eventually be up the hill under that dark tree up there.  That’s a macadamia nut tree and makes nice dense shade.  We’ve got a road to up there on the other side of the property and will be building a house up there at some point, but all of this is eventual sorts of stuff.

If the rain would stop today, then more work could be done on the garden, but it may be several days before more gardening gets done.  Fortunately, we don’t have much deadline on when to plant around here.

Early morning excavators

DSCN9223Well, it may not actually have been that much ‘early morning’ but it’s later in the year and the sun gets up later so I do, too.  Around 8:30 this morning, though, there was a diesel burring sound near to the front bedroom.  Not a loud diesel noise, a nice quiet burrrrr.  Well, that wasn’t too bad until there was a back up beeper.  Ick!   So with the annoying sound of back up beepers before morning coffee, I awoke.

 

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Dec. 12, 2016

This is three and a half hours of Mark & Excavator.  There used to be a hillside covered with trees and brush where the boys are standing.

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This is the view from the other direction.  There’s still thirty or forty feet of uncleared area behind and the excavator is near the front.  It’s rather a bit of a hillside, but hey, we’re Hillside Farm, after all.  Although, this wasn’t the hillside we started on, the original hillside was rather a bit bigger.  But, even though we’ve gone townside & residential, we’re still sticking to our Hillside roots.

A grapefruit tree and a macadamia nut tree were found, along with a lot of jacaranda, although the jacaranda are not going to be able to stay.  I would have liked one for the back yard, but they’re pretty much where we have to put the house.  Residential lots are pretty small and with only a third of an acre, there’s not much leeway on where things can go.

The bunnies can live up under the macadamia nut tree, though.  Eventually, it will take awhile before they have to move, probably a year or two.  The new hutches are movable, though, not like last move where we had to rebuild from the beginning.  I’ll draw in the place for the bunny hutches when drawing up the new house.  Not sure what that’s gonna look like just yet.  Once Mark gets done with the excavation, it will probably be easier to see how it should go.

We’re hoping for a lot of baby bunnies this upcoming January.  There have been six girls who have or are visiting Joey & Phineus.  Sydney has come down mountain for a Christmas vacation, although we don’t know if he’s going to visit with any girls over his vacation or not.  With six possible litters, if they all happened and if each one had six babies, that would be thirty new baby bunnies!  I’m not expecting more than one or maybe two litters of four to maybe six babies each, but with bunnies, you never know.

Let’s see, who met up with whom?  There’s only two of the bucks who met up with girls.  Phineus Phogge, our newest young buck met up with Suzie, Myste and Sirocco.

Since three of them have ‘atmospheric’ names, they were all born earlier this year.  This is the year of names that have something to do with weather or atmospheric conditions.  Joey and Suzie were from the year before where the bunnies were named after famous people, although I’m the one who gets to choose who is famous or not.  Joey is named for a friend on Maui who does some background acting in Hawaii 5-0 and other movies so he’s a famous movie star – at least, the bunnies think so but they don’t watch much TV.  Suzie is named after the Suzie who wrote ‘The Nervous New Owners Guide to Angora Rabbits’, a very famous person indeed!  Well, at least, if you’re an angora bunny.  Next year we may name them after textures or soft things.  Fluffy, Squooshie, Silky, Crimpy, Charmin; hmm, maybe we won’t.  Well, some sort of name theme will pop up, no doubt.

Other than Phineus, the other buck who met up with girl bunnies is Joey.  He’s a Ruby Eyed White with really nice shoulders and a cocky attitude.  An angora with an attitude somewhat reminds me of an angry butterfly, but it’s hard to be a tough guy when you’re soft and fluffy.  Joey met up with Cocoa Puff, Ginger & Sandy Storm.

We are hoping for more than one or two litters, but we will have to see how things go.  Sometimes the litters don’t show up in the late summer and early winter.

 

 

 

Waiting for the photographer

Hula Bunny Yarn
Hula Bunny Yarn

It’s a rainy day, so of course that’s when the magazine photographer is supposed to show up to take pictures of bunnies and things.  Sigh!

There is an article being worked on about fiber critters in Hawaii or some such, not quite sure what their exact topic is, but the journalist visited the bunnies last week.  It was, of course, a gorgeous sunny day but she didn’t have her photographer with her that day.  Ooops!  So, he’s supposed to visit today and see the bunnies and it is a miserable wet rainy day.

Guess they will have to be inside bunnies instead of out in the sunshine bunnies.

We gathered up some of the yarns and things from Vera’s Treasures so the photographer can see them since it seems like it’s gonna be an inside kinda day.

Hillside Gayle
Hillside Gayle

Baby Gayle got weighed and came in at one pound nine ounces at three weeks old.  Gayle is a singleton and is the only one in her litter so she’s getting what would be enough food to feed up to ten baby bunnies.  When she’s fully adult, she will be just over five pounds, so to be a pound and three quarters at three weeks old seems pretty plump to me!  I’ve not closely tracked weights of baby buns though, to know by how much more plump she may be over a ‘normal’ weight at this age.

I think baby Gayle is a girl bunny, though, so she will get to stay here if she is female.  We need more buns to make the ‘Moonlit Dance’ color of Hula Bunny yarn.

Well, soon as the rain slows down, I’ll go out and feed the herd and set up the nest boxes for the possible three litters we may be having later this week.  Not sure if the photographer is gonna want to visit bunnies in the rain or not.

Staggering Around

Website developers we aren’t but we’re working on it anyway.  Hopefully this new site will become better than the free site on Google Sites, but this is the very beginning so it’s still pretty rough.

I’ll try putting some pictures in this post:

9 day old bunny
9 day old bunny

That is Hillside Joey & Hirata’s Cocoa Puff’s new black baby bunny.  She/he is about nine days old now and since it’s a litter of one, this baby bunny has been very well fed.  He’s huge and fat!  

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This is some red gladious blooming by the bunny hutch.  Flowers like living next to the bunny hutches.  Even though it’s November, it’s blooming.  I dunno why now, but who’s complaining?

Hula Bunny Socks

Hula Bunny Socks

When we’re not thrashing around trying to figure out how to make a website, there’s knitting therapy.  Whew!  Thank goodness for fuzzy yarn and fast needles.  This is a pair of socks sitting on the Merino fleece which is being prepped to be sent to the mill to be made into the next batch of Hula Bunny yarn.  

Guess I should put this new post away and go do that, huh?