1) A big event is on the horizon! Sunday, October 10th there will be an alternative energy expo as the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach. But its not limited to alternative energy only but anything that will help us on the path toward a more sustainable existence. And another cool aspect is that the businesses represented are all LOCAL! If you have or know of a business you'd like to see there, let me know and I can connect you with the organizers. Anything from bat boxes to builders to landscapers. Very low vendor fee. Great opportunities for everyone!
See you at the Marine Discovery Center, 162 N. Causeway, New Smyrna Beach from 11am to 3pm.
2) Bringing back home, last Sunday, late afternoon, we were all outside. The family was playing on the swingset, sheep were grazing nearby, turkeys running in the pasture... and the dog went on red alert. A casual attempt to try to figure out what she was jumpy about sent us into a panic. I (with my less than perfect vision) thought it was a BIG black wild pig running up our neighbors driveway. We went running with the kids to the house, Husbandman grabbed the sheep, I herded up the turkeys and wondered if I should grab Dobie, our small, not quite yearling goat. I called everyone on the street with kids, guts or amo. Husbandman went out to check over the area with a, um, .22. He didn't see anything then but the more we got talking about what we saw, its shape, the way it moved and its sheer size, we determined it was more likely a bear, its brown face tricking my near-sighted eyes into looking like tusks.
I started researching and the more I learned the more it must have been a bear. To sum it up, black bears don't attack people, even little people, unless provoked. They will eat chickens, turkeys and even small goats and sheep and come back night after night. The dog may be enough of a deterent that it could pass by and not even come on the property. But just to be safe, we've decided to hold off another year on starting honey bees just to make sure this cub kicked from the nest isn't making its home near us. The smell of honey is strong and luring. We could easily protect the hives but not everything else that a hungry bear would find delectable!
3) So instead of honey we're thinking of rabbits. What started out as a conversation of getting the little farm girl her own animal/s to care for, show at the county fair, pet and play with, ended up being a full-fledged rabbit operation. The more we read, the more we wondered why we're raising chickens. Now I'm not ready to give up on poultry all together. We'll always raise egg-layers, but it would be nice if we could, between the turkeys and the rabbits, replace the meat bird operation. Turkeys and rabbits are all things we plan to breed here where chickens... just not going to do a rooster again. More thinking and planning to do. We won't be doing anything until well after Husbandman's exam next month. And the new barn needs to be finished first. And we're thinking of creating a "bachelor pad" or breeding pen mostly because Copper has been jumping on Helen since the moment that baby came out. A farmer's work is never done.