Bambi is a a nigerian dwarf – perfect when you don’t need a ton of milk or have a small space. They also have some of the highest milk fat of all goats. Did you know that goat’s milk is naturally homogenized? …
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I know, I know…as gardeners we dread having rabbits in our garden; they eat tender greens and burrow holes. Let’s be honest, after becoming a gardener you started to sympathize with Mr. McGregor’s desire to off Peter Rabbit.
But a rabbit CAN be your garden’s best friend! Well at least his droppings can be!
Rabbit droppings are filled with nutrients like phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. Not to mention trace elements like sulfur, copper, calcium and magnesium for starters. It really is a natural super-sized fertilizer!
1. You can take it straight from the litter pan and into the garden. They will break down slowly releasing their super nutrients into the soil. You can toss a handful right on top or bury a few inches into the soil.
2. Rabbit waste composts like a dream. Add your pan droppings to your compost pile and give it a nitrogen infusion!!! This is my personal favorite. Why throw good fertilizer in the trash? We currently have 2 cooking compost bins that are mainly rabbit droppings. I have even used “half cooked” rabbit compost when I am filling a new garden bed.
3. Brew some rabbit “tea”. Similar to worm tea, a rabbit tea can be very beneficial to your garden. Soak about 1 – 2 cups of droppings in a 5 gallon bucket, stirring once a day for about 3 days. After the poop has settled to the bottom you can use the tea to water your plants. You can also dip a root ball into the tea before you transplant veggies; giving them a fertilizer boost before replanting. If you don’t want to continue soaking the poo after your tea is brewed put the droppings in muslin and create a sort of tea bag that can be removed after a few days (don’t forget to add that to the compost). Make sure to brew your tea away from the house…I learned this the hard way and the flies loved us. 😛
4. Make a warm sanctuary! Not only is rabbit poo great for your garden directly, it is also a prime material for growing red wigglers. Combine your rabbit droppings with other materials like straw, paper, peat moss, etc and you’ve got feed and bedding for those lovely worms. I have to admit this one is still on my to-do list…
5. Rabbits will happily eat some of the greens you won’t. When I pull carrots I reserved the lovely green foliage from the top for my rabbits. This is an awesome treat for them and they’d rather have the greens than the carrot itself.
Whether you decide to have one pet rabbit, a few show rabbits or a barn of meat rabbits; you can use their droppings as a positive and healthy contribution to your gardening efforts.
As I was out there in the beautiful sunny Phoenix weather I couldn’t help but feel blessed by this work. My garden is my place of solace. It is my rest when I am weary. There is nothing that teaches life like a garden does.
How often in life are we able to plant a tiny seed, protect it from evil cabbage worms and weeds and then watch it grow into a strong and vibrant plant? Then at the peek of its beauty it lovingly gives back to us in its harvest.
I know, it is very philosophic of my for a Monday. But if you aren’t gardening I encourage you to start. Pick a spot and build a 4×4 square foot garden. Fill it up with rich soil and little seeds; see if you aren’t blessed. Don’t let any failures get your discouraged because something will grow. You’ll learn what works for your garden and then you’ll plant, protect, feed and harvest.
On another note! I am excited to finally share that I am coordinating an awesome Backyard Homesteading Conference in Chandler, AZ with my partners at We Grow Ours! The teachers are awesome and the information is priceless. Come check it out – I hope to see you there!
A beautiful harvest today, my 8 year old even came out to help. I don’t know that I will ever get over (I hope I won’t) the beauty and wonder of planting a tiny seed and later harvesting a meal…just steps from my backdoor.
Radishes – 2 of them were HUGE, aka Radishes Gone Wild! Another white radish popped up among my purple.
Carrots – both the Yellow Amarillo and the Purple Cosmic.
Swiss Chard – I love love love my chard. It is taking spinach’s place in my heart…and tummy.
Kale – just a bit but this will be yummy in tonight’s salad.
Lettuce Greens – A nice variety of lettuce greens, the reds are hiding under the pile.
Herbs – Chocolate Mint; I intend to make some infused water today.