Well, with 6 days to spare I got the stuff to the accountant! So some thrifting was in order. While wandering around Lucky Finds in East Rochester I ran into Virginia, a fellow, local blogger. We chatted around the store, where she helped me find a great crock. Thank you Virginia, good eyes!
I also found some fun old spoons for a little project that I'll share in a minute. From there we headed over to another place called Trinkets and Treasures, or something like that, it's on the road that Lone Oak Ice Cream is on...if you're local. It's a great little spot, and I picked up some vintage Pyrex custard cups, An enamel pasta canister, a pastry fork, a very cool old spatula and a slotted spoon...I'm a real sucker for vintage kitchen utensils. The basket was a great find when I stopped in a different shop a few days ago, but it goes with the other items, so nicely.
I started the process to tan the rabbit hides. They've been in the freezer for the past couple weeks while I got the alum I needed to tan them. Basically it's a salting process, so they are currently soaking in a solution of 2 gallons of water, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of alum. They will be there for 2 days, while I stir them a couple times a day. Then I change the solution and do a couple things, after which they will soak for 7 more days. So in a little over a week I will have 3 tanned rabbit hides...if all goes well.
I'm pretty excited. I find this one of the cool things about raising the rabbits for meat. The chicken feathers are useless...well beyond the fact they can be composted. Some of the duck feathers can be cleaned and used, but most are composted, but the rabbit fir can be tanned and sold, or used. I'm think that is pretty cool. I found the information on how to tan them, using the salt method, which is one of many, on the Mother Earth News Website. I love that site, and magazine.
The other project I did tonight involved those spoons. I had seen this idea in a magazine so started looking for the spoons and getting the necessary equipment together. It's a perfect combo of the old things I love, and an adorably practical application. Little herb labels for the garden.
I worked up the Sage, Basil, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary. I'm not sure what else I'm going to grow, but I have a few more spoons for when I figure it out. I am working on my seed order and hope to be done tomorrow. My goal for this year is to really concentrate on the garden, both to beautify the space and make it more productive. I am going to devote one raised bed to some herbs, and maybe cutting flowers, and I think these will be great. For now the Rosemary is hanging out in the Rosemary plant I have on my window sill.
Another little addition, that I'm considering for the garden, is ducks. I might get some mini ducks and have them reside in the garden. Mini ducks are great foragers, and will eat the many annoying bugs in the garden, but they don't tend to eat the plants, and unlike chickens, they don't scratch, so they shouldn't cause much damage, though I'm expecting some is likely. I also think it would be fun to have the silly little things to hang out with while I tend to the garden.
I'm still researching to see if this idea is sound...not all my ideas do pan out. I'm looking at the Silver Headed Australian Spotted Mini Duck. Of all the mini, or bantam, ducks they lay the most eggs, which is about 50-120 per year, and I love the coloring. I'm going to call Holderread Waterfowl Farm and find out if they have experience to share concerning ducks in the garden. I'm also curious what size eggs these little ducks lay. Aren't they adorable!