Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Turning the HHA (Happy-Half-Acre) into a Small Farm - the Beginning

Today in the News:  Whoa!  Where did all of these extra hits come from?  If you're new, welcome!  Please feel free to comment in the comment section below the blog.  You can also drop me an email at  I joined Twitter last night as well.  I don't understand it, but I'm working on to figure it out.  I heard John Mayer is actually writing a book about his Twitter experience called, My Stupid Mouth;  Tales of a Twitterpated Rock Star.  Be sure not to read it.

Link of the Day:  - This discussion forum was recently started by Tim Smith, founder of Jack Mountain Bushcraft in Masardis, Maine.  It is in its infancy, only being online a few days.  I don't know Tim personally, but I've read a  few things written by him and have heard nothing but good reviews about his school.  I was a member of his Ning discussion group and found it very educational.  Please check out the site and start an account.  Tim and the people that participated in the Ning group have vast amounts of knowledge and enjoy sharing and learning.  Jack Mountain Bushcraft also has a You Tube channel.  Search for JMBushcraft.  You'll be entertained!

Turning the HHA into a Small Farm - the Beginning

Mrs. Hotel and I have decided that we're going to do the best with what we have.  When we moved to our house six years ago, we didn't really know what we wanted.  We're on a half acre, when now we'd like ten.  We're on town water, when now we'd like a well.  We have neighbors within a short distance, when I really don't like neighbors (I'm working on it, though.  Haven't shot any with my pellet gun.....lately).  We have watering restrictions, so I've set up a water harvesting system.  We have natural predators and no real means of keeping them off of our property, so I'm going to have bear spray for the animals and still carry a .45 for the just-in-case situation.  We don't want to sell our house because we'll lose the "almighty" equity.  So we're going to stay here.  We're going to make it work for us.

Mrs. Hotel wants sheep for their fiber.  Can't do it here, so instead, we're going to get angora rabbits and harvest their fiber.  Mrs. Hotel is going to take a spinning class and I am quite excited about that.  I'd like to have a few meat rabbits as well, but first we'll see how the angoras work out.  I raised rabbits when I was a kid for pets, but that was a long time ago.  I have forgotten much of what I learned.

This guy is a little out of hand.  Bring on the clippers.  Or the dreadlocks.  Rastafarian rabbits, mon!  'Day smoke 'da same grass 'day eat, 'bra!
This guy is a little more tame.  I think he needs sunglasses.

From Wikipedia: 

Angora wool or Angora fibre refers to the downy coat produced by the Angora rabbit. While their names are similar, Angora fibre is distinct from mohair, which comes from the Angora goat. Angora is known for its softness, thin fibres, and what knitters refer to as a halo (fluffiness). It is also known for its silky texture.
Angora rabbits produce coats in a variety of colors, from white to black. Good quality Angora fibre is around 12-16 micrometres in diameter, and can cost around $ 10 - 16 per ounce (35 to 50 cents/gram). It felts very easily, even on the animal itself if it is not groomed frequently.
The fibre is normally blended with wool to give the yarn elasticity, as Angora fibre is not naturally elastic. The blend decreases the softness and halo as well as the price of the finished object. Angora fibres are hollow, which gives them their characteristic floating feel.[citation needed]

We also want chickens.  Until recently, we believed that our residential covenants barred chickens.  What we learned is that our H.O.A. is defunct - therefore, unless someone wants to A.) Revive the H.O.A. (I'll run for president) or B.) Sue us, the covenants don't matter. The H.O.A. is not in power to enforce the rules and, by county law, we are zoned for chickens.  I think as a gift of good will, we'll drop a carton of eggs off at each neighbor's house.  I hope none of them are vegans. Vegans sadden me. I'm thinking Rhode Island Reds. If you have another suggestion, please chime in.  We want eggs to start with, but I......want......MEAT!

From Wikipedia:

The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). They are a utility bird, raised for meat and eggs, and also as show birds. They are a popular choice for backyard flocks because of their egg laying abilities and hardiness. Non-industrial strains of the Rhode Island Red are listed as recovering by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.[1] It is the state bird of Rhode Island.[2]

So the starting point begins.  We've given ourselves time to think and plan the process.  We aren't jumping in without research.  We will get the details in order and execute the plan step by step.  You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might just find.........

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel.....out.


  1. You and the missus are wise to be looking out for your food sources. I've got a question, though. Are you SURE that's the front end of that Rastafarian?

  2. Well, I accidentally kissed the south end of a north bound moose one time. Didn't work out for him. As for the rabbit, I think I'll shave the face and the rear end so I know which way is coming and which way was going. As Snuffy used to say about my uncle Scotty, "If I had a dog that was that ugly, I'd shave his butt and make him walk backwards.

  3. A wise move with the garden, things are not looking good worldwide!
    Good post.

  4. New reader stopping by. I'm a wee bit better off than you - got a whole acre, zoned for whatever, with live-and-let-live neighbors. I have a horse, three dairy goats, and a little flock of chickens. My advice on the chicken front is to run two flocks - get production egg-layers AND a flock of meaties. Cornish Crosses take 6-8 weeks to mature to a good size, Freedom Rangers take a week or two longer. Any "dual purpose" bird will take 16-24 weeks to get to the same size. And layers take 16 weeks to start laying - you'll be feeding your chickens for a long time before you see any eggs or meat.

    I started last fall with a flock of Leghorns. The flock is shrinking steadily, due to hawks and their own immense stupidity, but I'm learning a lot. I'll be ready to try Cornish X's in the spring! The Backyard Chickens meatie subforum will teach you a lot!

    Good luck - hope you keep us updated!