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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Rabbit Files: New Mini Lop Kittens for Sale

We have a litter of baby rabbits (kittens) ready for new homes. Freckles (the dame) and Leonard (the sire) had 6 little kittens. Pure breed Mini Lop kittens, no papers.  We start house training them and they are handled by children.  They are $75 each. Here have a look at how cute they are...

This little one is a male black and white an very camera shy. Sex is yet to be determined. Look at those long ears!

I think this one is a little buck. He's got a pattern of light brown spots down his back, around the eyes and of course on his pretty long ears. He's mostly white and very soft.  SOLD

This little one is very camera savvy. Not afraid or timid at all. Very pretty tortoise broken mini lop. This little girl is very cute.

This little cutie was knocking down the nuts while we took pictures. Beautiful broken brown pattern mini lop.

This little mini lop likes to play with balls. Most rabbits do. Bananas are a favorite treat as well. This little one is mostly white with light brown (red) down back and around eyes. SOLD

The last little cutie has a mustache! Well spots on one side of the nose that look very cute. Lighter brown broken pattern mini lop kitten. Female

This breed has very soft fur, a friendly personality and grows up to be a small to medium size rabbit.

Here is a link to more information about the breed Mini Lop..

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Spring Creamed Honey Recipes

Now that Spring is here the bees are out gathering and many of us will have Spring honey to enjoy for the rest of the year. The Maple flow is on and the bees are out on those Sunny days gathering nectar for our favorite sweetener...HONEY!

One of my favorite things to do with my excess honey is to cream it and flavor with different lovely additions. My favorites include chocolate creamed honeys with orange, almond, or mint, plain creamed honey and of course vanilla bean infused honey. I'll provide recipes as we discuss how they are made.

Creaming honey is very easy and hard to get wrong. Raw honey will usually crystallize before you've used up a large amount of it, so creaming it is a way to stop it from having large crystals and keep it in a spreadable consistency for eating. 

Plain Creamed Honey
First pick your favorite creamed raw honey at the supermarket or farmers market. I of course love Babes. It has the same flavor of my own home grown honey which is nice. Your finished creamed honey will be similar if not identical to your 'seed' cream honey. To every pint of raw liquid honey I add 2 Tablespoons of creamed honey. I mix it very well (use a hand blender or mixer). Add flavorings if wanted.  Pour into your prepared jar, preferably a wide mouth container. I also save my leftover hexagonal jam jars because they are so pretty. Just make sure you can get a knife into the container for access to the honey---it isn't going to run out of the bottle any more. Place it in a cool place. In two days to 2 weeks it will harden and be a spreadable consistency. If you use more 'seed' creamed honey it will be faster in crystallizing.


Chocolate Creamed Honey

To every pint of newly creamed honey add 2 tablespoons of your favorite unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix it very well because any not mixed well will rise to the top of your honey as it creams.

Mint Chocolate Creamed Honey

To every pint of newly chocolate creamed honey add 1/4 teaspoon  of mint extract. Mix well and allow to sit somewhere cool to cream.

 Chocolate Orange Creamed Honey

To every pint of newly chocolate creamed honey add 1 tsp orange zest. Mix well and allow to set.

Cinnamon Creamed Honey

To every pint of newly creamed honey add up to 2 Tablespoons of good quality cinnamon (I like mine strong). If you grind it yourself it's even nicer. You can get cinnamon stick in the grocer or if you're lucky you can get Mexican cinnamon stick from your local ethnic stores (lucky you in Yakima, Washington with your Fiesta Foods).

You can add ground cinnamon to a chocolate creamed honey but use 1 teaspoon per pint.  

I've also been playing around with some Speculaas Spice blends. I really like it in the creamed honey. Speculaas is a type of gingerbread spice. I really like the blend that has a lot of ground anise seed. It reminds me of my Grandma Diemart's Peppernut cookies we make for Christmas.

 Peppernut Creamed Honey
 Like my cinnamon honey I add a lot of spice, again 2 T. per pint.  Check out this recipe if you are interested in making this spice or creamed honey...My Favorite Speculaas Recipe

Vanilla Bean Creamed Honey

To each pint of newly creamed honey add 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste. You can find this ingredient at specialty stores and right now the Bulk Barn downtown here in Victoria is carrying it! This is one special honey. It maintains the delicate distinct flavors of both the vanilla and the honey. It's amazing, you gotta try this. 

Or of course you can go to Babes Honey Farm here in Victoria and try out their Raspberry Chocolate Creamed Honey, Eggnog Honey etc. YUMMY! 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Rabbit Files- Rabbit Diapers

The Rabbit Files are where you can find tips and tricks for keeping your house rabbits happy and healthy. I breed rabbits for pets and show. One problem I've had with my male house bunnies is their tendency to 'mark everything' when they come indoors to play with us. It's messy and stinky and they love it but we do not. So instead of banning all male bunnies (which are so fun and friendly) we opted to diaper them while they are inside. Just like babies if they are wet we change them right away. Here is a you tube video on how to diaper your rabbit...

How to Put a Diaper on your Bunny

Here is our house bunny Leonard in his diaper and cuddling with me in my 'nest'...

He's not unhappy about it and hopped all over the house for about 2 hours. Plus he isn't at risk for getting my females preggers again unexpectedly, unless he manages to wiggle out of it of course so make sure it is fitted correctly and comfortably for your bunny.

Leonard loves to cuddle and he's such a softie he's great to cuddle with! Not all bunnies like to cuddle. I think the mini lop is one of the most cuddly of the breeds we have.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Spring Honey

As an avid and enthusiastic if not successful beekeeper I am so excited to have my new shipment of bees. This year as in previous years I got my bees from a local beekeeper.

  According to the locals the Spring Honey flow is one of the largest in Victoria (if there are enough sunny warm days for gathering of course). I've been impatient so I went to Babes Honey and got a big container of their creamed gold and started experimenting with adding my Speculaas spice mixes to the honeys.

Babes Honey has some amazing flavored honeys right now so if you are local get down to Galley's Farm Store before it's gone. I fell in love with the Pumpkin Spiced, Eggnog and Chocolate. BTW I just can't stay out of the Pumpkin Spiced honey---I bought the last jar and I really hope they make more (yum!).

Here is Babes Facebook link... Facebook Babes Honey Farm and their website Babes Honey Website

 For you beekeepers out there, here might be a place to start thinking about how you like your honey flavored for the new year and your Summer harvest if you still have any. My fresh from the hive combed honey (yes, I managed to have one frame of comb honey left over after the wasp attacks) is the best. I like eating it comb and all on toast and by the spoonful. Hopefully this year we'll have enough to play with natural flavorings and of course different cosmetic applications. See my bee post for recipes here.

We also carry Honey Bee Friendly Essential oils for you beekeepers out there. Right now I'm stocking steam distilled Peppermint...
Peppermint is used by beekeepers to mask the queen scent in a location that has swarmed. This Spring you may have swarms and even if you collect your queen bees will be drawn to the location she was last seen and make your neighbors nervous with the clusters of bees. It's also handy to stop recurrent swarm spots in ungainly or undesirable locations.

We also carry Wintergreen, Tea Tree and Lemongrass that are used for many different beekeeper applications including swarm lure and brood building...
I've also been requested by Beekeepers to stock Lavender and Red Thyme to boost health in bees. It's added in minute quantities to the syrup we feed our bees. I'd suggest diluting a few drops in a cup of syrup and then adding this mixture to your bee feed by the teaspoon to quart jars of syrup. Be careful with essential oils, they may be natural but can be toxic in too high concentrations, especially to tiny organisms like bees.

I also enjoy floral honeys and will add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a cup of nice creamed honey.

Making creamed honey is super easy. Just 'seed' your liquid honey with your favorite creamed honey and it will crystallize to the same tiny size as your original honey in a few weeks. I use 1/2 c. per quart of liquid honey. It keeps nice indefinitely for table use, unlike liquid honey which can granulate to large unpalatable sizes. Just melt it down again if this happens to your stored honey but don't heat it up too high or you'll destroy all the valuable natural nutrients that raw honey imparts.