I am just so excited about everything that’s going on here at the Frühlingskabine. Mostly the wonderful unexpected things.
A year ago Trevor would have never guessed that he would ever be the caretaker of a beehive, not to mention two! It actually all started in the bookstore. I had seen Ashley English’s book on beekeeping online in a giveaway a few weeks prior and when I saw it in our local bookstore I suggested buying it. Trevor didn’t want to spend the twenty-something dollars on it, but I convinced him that if once he read it he still wasn’t interested, I would drop it. A month later we were ordering supplies online and looking for someone with bees to give away.
I have never known a beekeeper or even someone who is a friend of a beekeeper so it was fun to watch Trevor become enamored with the little winged ones. I also have never learned so much about an insect and it’s behaviors and culture as I have with the honey bee. Now I can make an educated guess as to the type of honey bee (Carneolan or Italian or Russian) just by looking at it. We both have grown by learning to care for an apiary.
A year ago I would have never guessed that I would ever own rabbits! My brother and I had guinea pigs as kids and a family dog, but rabbits (and angoras especially) are a whole other animal. The idea of rabbits started when I was reading Jenna’s blog Cold Antler Farm and all about her flock of sheep. I didn’t particularly want sheep, but the idea of raising and harvesting my own wool seemed like something I wanted to try. I didn’t even really knit and I certainly had never operated a spinning wheel before! But, I wanted to try and if I’m not stubborn, I’m determined. Even once we made the move into the Frühlingskabine there was no way I would have room for sheep, but what else produces wool? Angora rabbits! Small, quiet, and discreet. Perfect.
I settled on French angoras after deciding that German angoras were too large and only “showable” in white and English angoras would be harder to groom and care for. We had to drive about 12-hours further to get them, but I know I made the right choice. I figured French angoras would be a manageable size yet big enough to produce a good amount of wool and if I had litters, I could sell them to local 4-H kids. Apparently I underestimated the demand for Frenchies as my upcoming litter with Clementine is all but sold. My waiting list actually has names on it! Five people for a total of six rabbits are already on hold. Craziness! This really just means I have a good excuse for my husband as to why I need to breed for more litters. I can’t wait to see what kind of babies show up in the nest box!
A year ago neither of us would have ever guessed that we would be holding our breath for baby rabbits, or taking phone calls from perfect strangers to talk about wool production, or that we would be saving our pennies for that beautiful hand-crank honey extractor, or crossing our fingers that that new hive of honey bees in the yard will call the Frühlingskabine home. We didn’t know how fun this would be. Or how exciting.