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Good-bye Summer!

I know! I know! It’s been THREE months since my last post, but something always took priority. Rabbits, kids, rabbits, garden, rabbits, pigs, and more rabbits. Piper had two litters this summer, both unplanned. It’s now October, time to put the garden to bed, get the fish and chickens ready for winter, and figure out what to do with all the bunnies (yes, we are keeping all NINE of Piper’s baby bunnies). Will be back soon, after I break the news to Hubby! In the meantime, here’s a quick snippet of what we’ve been up to this summer.

“Pretty please can we keep them?”

After cuddling them all summer, and naming each one, how can you decide who gets to stay and who has to go?

So YES, I guess we’ll have to keep them all.

I am now an expert at sexing rabbits. Out of nine kits born, there were two does and seven bucks.

The first litter was born in the back of the garage, discovered by hubby while cleaning up.

The second litter was born just 31 days after. Yes, Piper got knocked up the morning after she had her first litter. The white fluff you see is fur that Piper pulled out of her tummy to line her nest. Kits are born hairless and burrow under the fur to kept warm.

Does can be housed together when raised together without fighting. Males will start to fight when they reach sexual maturity between 3-6 months, which is right about now! They free range in the backyard, but will have to be caged once the fur starts flying.

Rabbits need a lot of room, not just a tiny little cage. That’s why I’m reluctant to give them away. Most rabbits end up in a little cage and then eventually in shelters.

Bunnies are very social creatures and will come to greet you and make chatter noises when happy.

Liquorice going on a boat ride.

Hubby built a chicken coop and rabbit hutch this summer at the cottage. There were lovely green vegetables growing in the little fenced off garden until Henry and Rocco snuck in and ate it all.

The floor and walls are covered in hardware cloth to keep predators out and to keep digging rabbits in. The great thing about an outdoor hutch is you don’t need to clean cages twice a day!

Rocco sneaking out of the chicken house after helping himself to their feed.

Cutie Pie at about 11 days old.

Popcorn, Russel, Moustache, and Panda at 2-1/2 weeks old in an Easter shoot.

This summer has been incredibly hot. Henry and Rocco would often wander down to the beach and have a drink and cool off in the lake.

Henry finds himself a nice little place for an afternoon nap. He’s not stupid.

What a good boy. Yes, pigs can swim, but they prefer to just wade tummy deep and roll around in the sand.

The boys roam freely at the cottage and follow us on hikes in the woods.

On one walk we discovered these gorgeous wild oyster mushrooms. I regret not picking them. When I returned the next day, they were all gone!

July was raspberry season, followed by blackberries in August. Henry and Rocco went picking daily, disappearing for the whole day and coming home with very full bellies.

We picked about 25 litres of berries for the freezer.

And the rest for pie.

Jump over to this Blackberry Peach Pie recipe on Eat Boutique, where I did a few guest posts this summer.

Henry and Rocco love you and thank you Maggie, for sending us some wonderful honey for this Summer Appetizer Plate.

The garden did well this summer, despite the record-hot temperatures.

Three types of kale are doing extremely well and have been producing since spring.

A forage in the garden produced this stunning Family Style Salad. Thank you Marigold, my golden laced wyandotte banty, for these tiny wee eggs.

Remember the tomato seeds I saved last year? Here they are, with some new varieties (white, pink pear and red currant tomatoes) thrown in.

Saving seeds for next year before making Tomato Basil Jam on Eat Boutique.

This jam is so delicious on just about anything. Everyone should have a few jars tucked in their pantry.

Hubby and I were one of several chicken outlaws featured in Jan Keck’s documentary/mockumentary “Crackdown!”. Here’s me interrupting Hubby.

After searching all of Canada this past year for a supplier of tilapia fingerlings, I was thrilled to find a new fishery opened not far from home! Noa Fisheries, hand delivered twenty Blue Tilapia to my door in thirty minutes. I love the internet! They have been thriving in the greenhouse all summer, and recently moved indoors to power the new aquaponics bed in the basement. Will post soon on its progress.

Rocco got a job with a cameo role on a TV show (will post a link when it airs later this year). All he had to do was walk into a room, and EAT! Dream job for any pig. Henry didn’t go. When we returned home after a very long day, Henry was very jealous and — ANGRY — charging and attacking Rocco whenever he came near. Henry could smell all the delicious treats on Rocco and knew he had missed something GREAT. That night, Henry got to spend a lot of one on five time with us as we showered him with apples and belly rubs. The next morning, he forgave Rocco and they were brothers again.

Paul Hurren - That’s a lovely post Jill :)

Jill - Thank you Paul, it’s been a long time coming!

Janet - Thanks for the update Jill – busy busy busy! Such lovely pics too.

Jill - Thank you Janet for the peach pie inspiration!

carol lee - Please do keep posting. It’s been so long since the last one, all summer long first thing in the morning I’d click the site and hope I can read something which I enjoy so much. I even complained to Edith about not having it.
Thank you Jill, for providing such wonderful reading articles.
Carol

Denise - Jill, I have missed you. I look in my RSS feed daily .. hoping for a new post. Joy!!! Love the summer you have had – sounds amazing and from the looks of it adventurous. The babes are too adorable. I would have said yes as well. :)

Lindsay - So glad you’re back! The bunnies are absolutely adorable!

Mary - Hi Jill,

I was so happy to read your latest post and update on your family of humans and pets, along with more of your culinary delights. Rocco and Henry are so intelligent and naughty and the bunnies are the cutest.

We have a little wild bunny who comes around for a feast of shelled peanuts, along with the squirrels and birds. We also had a surprise squirrel houseguest who got in before the storm door shut, wandered around the main floor and then left through the patio door. Good thing he didn’t go squirrelly!

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