Susan Cerato wrote:I checked the garden and there are plenty I can send. The rate is $1.00 each and $7.15 for a priority flat rate box. You can use paypal to email@example.com. Just let me know what you decide and I can send them tomorrow.
I'll send you enough for 10, sorry I didn't see your message sooner. Thanks so much!
I also heard from someone at an event taking place at H.E.A.R.T. in Lake Wales, FL that they had heard of people feeding exclusively water spinach (considered invasive in water ways, but grows well and is also edible for humans in contained systems) and being quite healthy.
Not really looking to have one plant as a sole feed, just don't want to give too much of some vitamins, nutrients, etc. that might cause any health issues for the rabbits - hairballs, ulcers, eye problems, and so on. I know sometimes improper diet can lead to GI Stasis which is almost always fatal because by the time you realize they have it, they're too malnourished and sick to bring back from it.
I live in Tampa, zone 9b.
Trying to get my rabbits on a mostly forage/garden based diet. Anyone have diet balance needs to go off?
Protein needs? Etc.?
I'm pretty well covered on what's safe and not safe for them to eat and can look up nutritional values of different crops and wild plants we have available, but need to make their bundles of green goodies as balanced as possible.
Any help would be appreciated.
Also what specifically needs to change when a doe is nursing diet-wise? More protein? More of certain vitamins? T
All you need is to get one breeding pair that will breed healthy decenty sized litters. A good breeding pair will last for 3-5 years. And our does are mutts rather than purebred. We know the breed of our buck, but some of our strongest kits come from the moms who have not a lick of purebreed in em.
You can find a good metal cage for cheap at a farm auction. My husband and I have found several that are several cells in size, or you could gather materials from people getting rid of scrap on Craigslist or on a gardening group nearby.
Basically, we started with one doe and one buck. Now we only have 2 breeding does, but we usually have between 12-15 of their young aging up to the 8 week old mark when they're ready for slaughter. We don't always get to it right then and we do buy feed, but we've been growing things and harvesting from the yard more and more.
I wouldn't put the work in if all I got is one rabbit back after 2 months of keeping a whole litter. Slaughtering takes some learning, sure, but rabbits are among the easiest animals to dress out and after you get the hang of it you can take one from the cage to the pan in 10 minutes - not to mention you can feel good about the meat.
I read in some other forum (google searching sour honey) that it can be sabal palms (common here) or gallberry (also common). None in our yard but I'm sure the bees have access to it.
The honey was a fascinating red ale color. The sour flavor was only slight and definitely not bad or toxic tasting so we will hope it's just a crop. I'll have to do some more research and see what else is common this time of year for them.
We just got our first totally urban honey harvest.
Last year we got or hive and they had spent the majority of their honey making season in an orange grove so we harvested a full load of honey shortly after moving the hive.
Our honey tastes slightly sour. Anybody else raising bees in a city area (we're suburbs of Tampa, but close enough) and have this happen? We have used no pesticides, but are trying to make sure this isn't because of high pesticide use in the area by others.
Feedback appreciated. Honey is still delicious, just has a tang we haven't experienced before.
I am willing to let those people do their thing while I learn to do mine before I venture into that world.
It's true, I have heard it's local, but it still seems safe to advise a beginner to at least have face protection for the off chance that something goes wrong or the hive gets peeved for any reason since even if you aren't allergic to bees, too many stings in the face can make life extremely difficult for a while just from the normal swelling.
As someone who got a new hive a week and a half ago and hasn't even been in the hive yet (my husband did the transporting and I was just at a distance) and has already been stung twice (leg and above right eye) I would say a beginner shouldn't be without at least a veil and gloves.
The veil gloves and smoker would be the most expensive part though. You could build a top bar hive if you're handy from reclaimed materials pretty easily and cheaply. But from the little bit of experience we have, plan to pay around $100 in supplies and go from there. Try and find someone local who sells nucs or will teach you how to capture a swarm - again though, if you've no experience and don't have a mentor, then capturing a swarm on your own may not be the best start since you'd have to requeen also.
David Royal wrote: I'd like to gradually convert the property we have (a small lot in Temple Terrace -- just outside of Tampa Bay -- zone 9B) to more food-bearing plants. We've got collards, sweet potatoes, bananas and (I think) a pomegranate right now, and I've planted an avocado tree. For starters, I'd like to get blackberries (brazos), purple passion fruit and a celeste fig tree. Can anyone recommend a good nursery in the Tampa Bay area?
I take it you're not in a part of TT that has an HOA, because I know some people in Raintree who have had problems already trying to put in a garden and they have some tacky houses, but apparently plants are less ok. I'm in the Seminole Heights area and my husband and I have looked all around for a good nursery, but honestly I'd recommend the USF Plant Festivals for the best selection and plants. Most of the other nurseries have a slightly larger selection of plants from the same commercial places as Home Depot and Lowe's, but at the plant festival people come from different parts of FL and bring plants. The Fall Festival is this weekend. It's $5 if you aren't a botanical garden's member, but it's totally worth it. Tons of fruit trees, Florida natives, exotic fruit species, herbs, and the like. I go almost exclusively for edibles, though I did get some carnivorous plants last time that are just for fun.
I would be interested to know what you've had good luck with though, since certain things just don't seem to grow well in the Tampa area, but I know a decent network of people who at least grow some of their own food and are very interested in or involved in permaculture on some level.
My seed list is terribly long; 9 pages of size 12 font.
I'm in zone 9, so onions that are short day are on my wish list since I have a hard time with alliums so far. I'm also looking for edible flowers - sweet alyssum, black nasturtiums. I'm also all about weird varieties of the standards (carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.) - if it's normally green, but comes in purple, I'll probably opt for the purple variety.
Some of the seeds on my list I only have a few of, so they may not all be available to trade, since this is the list I keep for everything, including ones that I just traded for, but I'll let you know if that's the case with anything you want.
Amaranth, Golden Giant
Amaranth, Joseph's Coat
Amaranth, Love Lies Bleeding Green
Amaranth, Love Lies Bleeding Red
Amaranth, Molten Fire
Amaranth, Orange Giant
Angelica, Giant Purple
Artichoke, Imperial Star
Artichoke, Purple of Romagna
Basil, Culinary Blend
Basil, Dwarf Greek
Basil, Genovese Sweet
Basil, Lime, Lemon, and Purple
Bean, Chinese Red Noodle
Bean, Kentucky Wonder Pole
Bean, Purple Podded Pole
Bean, Sunset Runner
Bean, Tender Green Bush
Bean, Thai #3 Extra Long
Beet, Detroit Dark Red
Beet, Giant Yellow Eckendorf
Beet, Mammoth Red Mangel
Broccoli Raab, Super Rapini
Broccoli, De Cicco
Broccoli, Early Purple Sprouting
Brussels Sprouts, Catskill
Cabbage, Burpee Crisp n Cool
Cabbage, Tete Noire
Calaloo, Red Leaf Tampala
Calendula, Solis Sponsa
Cardoon, Artichoke Gobo di Nizzia
Carrot, Berlicum 2
Carrot, Burpee Kaleidescope Mix
Carrot, Burpee Orange
Carrot, Chantennay Red Core
Carrot, Paris Market
Carrot, White Belgian
Cauliflower, Violetta Italia
Celeriac, Large Smooth Prague
Celery, Pascal Giant
Chard, Five Color Silverbeet
Chard, Fordhook Giant
Chervil, Brussels Winter
Coffee, Dwarf Garden Berry
Coleus, Giant Exhibition
Collards, Georgia Green Southern
Corn, Golden Bantam
Corn, Hopi Blue
Corn, Tohono O'odham
Corn, Wade's Giant Indian
Cowpea, Blue Goose or Grey Crowder
Cowpea, California Black Eyed
Cowpea, Top Picked Pink Eye
Cucumber, Chinese Yellow
Cucumber, Crystal Apple
Cucumber, Japanese Climbing
Cucumber, Telegraph Improved
Cucumber, True Lemon
Dill, Dukat Leafy
Echinacea, Purple Coneflower
Eggplant, Japanese White Egg
Eggplant, Red Ruffled
Eggplant, Rosa Bianca
Eggplant, Thai Long Green
Eggplant, Thai Yellow Egg
Eggplant, Ukranian Beauty
Endive, Batavian Full Heart
Endive, de Louviers
Fennel, Smokey Bronze
Fennel, Wild Garden Fennel Mix
Garbanzo, Kabouli Black
Gourd, Large Bottle
Ground Cherry, Aunt Molly's
Ground Cherry, Husk Tomato
Huazontle, Red Aztec Spinach
Kale, Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch
Kale, Nero Toscana
Kale, Ornamental Fringed
Kale, Russian Red or Ragged Jack
Kohlrabi, Early White Vienna
Lavender, English Munstead
Leek, Giant Musselburgh
Lettuce, All Lettuce Mix
Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson
Lettuce, Grand Rapids
Lettuce, May Queen
Lettuce, New Red Fire
Lettuce, Red Iceberg
Love In A Mist
Luffa, Long Sponge Gourd
Marigold, Court Jester
Marigold, Sweet – Mexican Mint
Marigold, Tangerine Gem
Melon, Black Diamond Yellow Flesh
Melon, Blacktail Mountain
Melon, Cavaillon Espagnol
Melon, Cream of Saskatchewan
Melon, Crimson Sweet
Melon, Golden Honeymoon American
Melon, Moon and Stars
Melon, Mountain Sweet Yellow
Melon, Sivan F-1
Melon, Sweet Summer Mix
Mint, Licorice or Anise Hyssop
Nasturtium, Moonlight Trailing
Nasturtium, Spitfire Trailing
Nasturtium, Tall Trailing Mix
Nasturtium, Yellow Canary Creeper Trailing
New Zealand Spinach
Okra, Windy Wood Green
Onion, Alisa Craig
Onion, Australian Brown
Onion, Green Onions Burpee
Onion, Red Burgundy Burpee
Onion, Red Creole – short day
Onion, Violet de Galmi – short day
Onion, Yellow Granex
Onion, Yellow Onion Burpee
Pak Choy, Extra Dwarf
Pak Choy, Prize Choy
Parsley, Giant from Italy
Pea, Amish Snapp (Tall)
Pea, Blue Podded Garden
Pea, Desiree Dwarf Blauschokker
Pepper, Banana or Tequila Mystery Pack
Pepper, Garden Sunshine
Pepper, Ghost Pepper or Bhut Jolokia Chile
Pepper, Habanero Chile
Pepper, Jalapeno Burpee
Pepper, Jamaican Hot Chocolate
Pepper, King of the North
Pepper, Quadrato Asti Giallo
Pepper, Red Cheese
Pepper, Twilight Chile
Poppy, Hungarian Blue (breadseed)
Poppy, Mother of Pearls
Primrose, Tina James Magic
Pumpkin, Amish Pie
Pumpkin, Early Sweet Sugar Pie
Pumpkin, Juane Gros de Paris
Radish, Cherry Belle
Radish, Chinese Green Luobo
Radish, Pink Beauty
Radish, Round Black Spanish
Rapeseed, Dwarf Essex
Roselle, Thai Red
Salad Mix, Fall/Winter
Salad Mix, Spring
Salad Mix, Summer
Salsify, Mammoth Sandwich Island
Shallots, Ambition F-1
Sorghum, Honey Drip
Sorghum, White African
Spinach, Red Malabar
Spinach, Teton Hybrid
Squash, Australian Butter
Strawberry, Yellow Wonder Wild
Sunflower, Ornamental Mix
Thyme, Common Ferry Morse
Tobacco, Virginia Smoking
Tomato, Ananas Noire
Tomato, Arkansas Traveler
Tomato, Barnes Mountain Pink
Tomato, Egg Yolk
Tomato, Emerald Apple
Tomato, Gold Medal
Tomato, Matt's Wild
Tomato, Mortgage Lifter
Tomato, Orange Flesh Purple Smudge
Tomato, Roman Candle
Tomato, Wapsipinicon Peach
Tomato, White Tomesol
Turnip, Golden Glope
Wonderberry or Sunberry
Zucchini, Dark Star
I have only lived in Tampa, FL for about 6 years, but that's the longest I've lived anywhere in my life. I didn't start gardening until a coupe of years ago, here, and despite the fact that you can grow a lot of semi-tropicals and tropicals if you've got the right setup, it is much more difficult to grow things that need more temperate regions because of the heat.
My husband and I would like to get a bit more land eventually so we can have more animals with our small farm, and I definitely want to have an orchard with apples and pears, and a lot of varietieis simply won't produce well or won't produce at all because there are hardly any chill hours to speak of this far south. We got literally one night of freeze last year and only one other one that came close.
Our fall garden is everyone else's spring garden, so it's nice to know we can have tomatoes with other people can't, but we couldn't have a sweet cherry tree here for the life of us.
Yeah, the bugs, sandspurs, humidity, and sand can suck - but there are going to be things that suck no matter where you go. Viriginia was beautiful, but it had some temps and humidity worse than FL some years. I wouldn't say Tampa just sucks, I just know that Central Florida isn't the kind of climate that I'd want long term for the sort of things that are important for us to grow.
Thanks! We have a small pond and aquaponics system nearby and parts of it have rocks in running water so the bees wouldn't drown, so hopefully they'll prefer that always available and close-by water to that of neighbors bee baths. I'm also hoping that the wild hive we suspected lived in a tree has already gotten our neighbors used to seeing bees around, but only time will tell.
We aren't in a neighborhood, per say, there is no HOA for sure, but we do have neighbors and it's just a large corner lot. We just brought our hive home Saturday.
Wondering if anyone has experience with hives in more urban areas besides rooftops and the best ways to screen them off. They are blocked by a shed on one side, and a tall wooden fence on another, but we want to keep it so that they aren't flying directly into the garden from the hive so as to avoid the accidental sting from someone walking by to turn on the water spigot or something of that nature.
I have spaghetti squash and live in Seminole Heights, FLA. Not sure which part of FL you're in but I can't get squash to true without the squash bugs getting it all. I'll send you some of the spaghetti squash seeds. Can't help with the runners I don't think.
Would you be willing to trade sassafras, sage, scarlet runner, persimmon, orangesicle pepper, greensleeves cuc, and daylily for some sweet basil, chervil, lettuce (iceberg and romaine) and radishes if I have the round red ones like you want?
Let me know if you'd like more for that. Wish I had more on your wishlist.
I lied. I have seeds for Hibiscus sabdariffa. Are you only looking for cuttings? I don't have very many established perennials, as we've only been gardening on this plot for something close to 9 months.
I really wish I had something awesome to trade you for some kiwi.
But I am not familiar with most of the names on your list and the ones that seem even remotely similar to anything I'm familiar with, I have none of.
Which 9b of the country are you in? I love runner beans - the one time I tried them, though, we got mostly flowers and few beans. Maybe that will change since we are getting bees soon. What other species are you looking for? (I'll dig up in the thread and see if I missed a wishlist)
John Harris wrote:A big thank-you for Nicole Castle.
I got my 25 Scarlet/velvet runner beans in the mail this
morning. I am pleased to be 'gaining ground'
with the SASE seed exchange.
The beans are a welcome addition to
my Fall garden.
Only 30 more species to go!!!
John zone 9b hoping for rain!
I would like to participate, but I would not be able to list all the seeds I have right now. Ha!
I'll name basics, and no specific varieties:
-swiss chard (tons)
-mustard greens (tons)
-asian greens (pac choy, tatsoi)
-onions (some I can't grow in this zone and would like to pass further North)
-artichokes (apparently these also won't grow here ): sad...so if anyone is in a zone that can grow them, have at it!)
and...others...it'd be better to know what you want and then I'll see if I have it.
I'm looking for Sweet Alyssum seeds. Edible flowers of most sorts (though the heat kills a lot of flowers it seems), odd varieties of lettuce, love some good heirloom tomatoes (especially the non-red ones)
Basically if it's not the store-brand of fruit or veggie, I would like to try and grow it. Zone 9 limits me on certain things, or time of year, but I'll try anything and things that don't work, I'd like to pass along.
I'd assume you could, but to grow in water, watercress seems like something they would like more since it also spreads and it's similar to mustard greens - and our rabbits couldn't get enough of our mustards!
We've only done one goat, and it was slaughtered way earlier than intended due to an accidental death - so I can't answer on that one...
For rabbits, ducks, and chickens, we tend to let them reach what appears to be their full grown size (or as close as it appears they'll get, since it varies with the rabbits) and then we slaughter. We haven't done this as a hard and fast rule, since we are just 2 people slaughtering, and sometimes it's hard to kill too many bunnies or any animal at once, but as the guy at the animal auction says, "They don't eat any feed in the freezer." So that seems to always be a good general rule.
Please don't buy cypress mulch. In the interest of the natural habitats of FL and the fact that I know cypress mulch harvesting is severely devastating to the natural habitats in much of the FL coasts, it would be benefit my environment here if you didn't buy cypress mulch there. Try to get as much local from yard waste as you can. One county over we get mulch that the county processes from yard waste. We are lucky enough that they give it away for free and only charge the people that need to dispose of it, but even for a price, it would be a more sustainable system than the packaged mulch that is coming from torn down forests and habitats rather than from wasteful grass clippings and trimmings that will exist anyway.
I was always told, and thought based on reading, that the cardboard was only to kill weeds and was used as a layer underneath something that would build up the soil like mulch, compost, etc. Considering how thick cardboard is, and assuming you laid it in sheets, this doesn't surprise me terribly because if it was laid down by itself, it doesn't seem like it would generate enough heat from the layer of cardboard to actually break down and get into the soil by the time the cardboard has disintegrated.
Very cool story! Thanks for sharing that. I wish I had known this since my husband and I just went to SC for vacation - would've been nice to see if they'd let us stop in and meet them or at least look around.
I wish so much my husband and I were in a position to take you up on this. One day, that is exactly what we would like to do.
I do hope that you find someone to turn that area into a little homestead! Also, it's encouraging to see that there are people out that that want to do that since it makes our dream seem much more possible.
Judith Browning wrote:We are not in an area where you are looking, but I thought I could mention what we are thinking from a land owners perspective to possibly suggest it to others who could part with a few acres.
We have self surveyed a six acre corner of our forty that we have always thought looked like a good place to have a small homestead. Our hope is to find a young couple with kids (or not) who were looking to dig in and build a home and organic/permaculture gardens, etc. We are still dragging our feet about whether to lease to own or to owner finance...we have settled on $200 a month (with nothing down) for five years and the possibility of some part being for trade for work. We would prefer the five years instead of cash up front because some of our concerns are that when the land is owned by the new owner they could mortgage it and the bank could end up owning it or they could sell to a nightmare neighbor, but at some point we are just going to have to take a leap of faith. Actually your story (from the wandering "aging on the homestead" thread) got us thinking about how to make the deal more fair and secure for both parties. We still haven't worked out all of the implications. It seems like it should be so simple. We are trying to keep in view what would have made our path easier in our twenties and thirties....
Huzzah! Congrats! My husband and I started keeping rabbits in February. We aren't great at mating them yet (at least I'd say that considering how many does we've had and how many litters we've had compared to the number of does), but we have bought rabbits at auction and "harvested" them.
We use the broomstick method, too, though not with a broomstick - we've read several things recommending rebar or rods similar in strength. We just grab the back feet and put our weight on the broomstick in one fell swoop. The only person I've seen unable to make that happen was a 9 year old who learned how to slaughter a rabbit and she didn't seem to have the upper body strength to pull hard enough.
As far as the pruner, we upgraded to a pair of heavy kitchen shears that have a groove in one of the blades. I think they came from Home Depot, but they're nice because they come apart for cleaning. We sometimes have to destroy the head since we have been saving brains to try braintanning the hides later, but we have been burying the entrails rather than putting them in the compost bin. We figure it'll break down and fertilize wherever it is, so we just end up dumping the entrails we don't save for neighbors' appreciative dogs into the ground in various places.