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Small scale integration of gardens and animals

 
                        
Posts: 66
Location: San Diego
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I raise rabbits as food animals and occasional sales. I also grow a garden. I live in a typical California tract house with a postage stamp sized back yard. Nevertheless I have managed to work out a system that produces more vegetables than I can eat and as many rabbits as I want to eat while spending very little money after the initial investment of cages and rabbits. My garden feeds my rabbits and the rabbit manure feeds my garden. If you live in an area that also allows chickens in an urban environment then God bless your city council.
At first glance I would seem to be self sustaining but actually complete self sustainability is a myth. Even if you use humanure your system will slowly run down without some outside input. In my case it comes from the rabbits. Even though most of their feed is greens from the garden, that alone is not a sufficient diet. It must be suplemented with either pellets or grains, both of which come from outside my system and provide the extra nutrients to take care of the inevitable waste of resources. Give your neighbor some tomatos or zuchini? You have just given away a bit of your soil resources. That has to be made up somewhere.
I also gather wild greens such as burr clover to feed my rabbits. That is another source of soil nutrients when the rabbits process it into manure to put on my garden. I no longer drive but when riding the bus I always have an eye peeled for patches of wild greens I can gather. Sometimes I carry a large shopping bag with a small sickle in it to hop off the bus at likely spots to fill the shopping bag with rabbit greens. I get some odd looks but who cares? Here in San Diego I can ride the bus for $18 a month on a senior citizens pass and I get that back in greens I cut along the bus routes.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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you might find the following book interesting to read, Tyler led me to it and I just finished it..very interesting.
http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010122king/ffc.html
 
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