Tag Archives: compost

combining the rabbit hutch & the compost system


Last weekend, we completed the compost/ rabbit hutch combo. Matt and Chris built a roof over the compost so we were able to slide our rabbit hutch right in above the bins, ensuring protection against the elements for the rabbits.

Combining a rabbit hutch with a compost (aka ‘worm bin’) is a great way to create rich compost by combining the strenths of the rabbit manure and the worms below. Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home=Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway puts it (and the overall benefits of working in tandem with animals) like this:

“…they employ rabbits in the garden by combining rabbit hutches with worm bins to naturally process manure into a perfect compost. This technique links two animals together and, like all well-connected relationships, provides benefits – great compost and fat worms – and solves problems, by conscientiously using rabbit manure and urine.

With animals, we extend the reach of our garden into yet another kingdom of nature. In the rich soil teem the unseen wonders that bring the dead back to life, the decomposers who work their magic on wood and leaf, on bone and chitin. Above ground are the plants, green marvels that capture the sunlight and build sugar and sap, the flowers, fruits, and seeds that feed us all. And now we bring in the animals that flit and buzz, scamper and scratch, nibble and manure. Animals are the final link in nature’s cycle. They are nature’s mechanics, accelerating growth here with seed disperal and fertilizer, retarding it there with a vigorous browse and trample. They haul nutrients and seeds great distances, from a lush nook to a dry care patch used for a dust bath, inoculating the barren soil. They process seedheads through their bodies and hoovers, mash seed into the soil, trim branches, thin the hordes of bugs. Without animals, our labour is doubled and redoubled, and we must pollinate, spray, dig, cart and spread fertilizer and fill the thousand others tasks easily and cherrfully done by our marvelous cousins. Without animals, nature just limps along, and in a garden lacking animals we must supply the crutches. By creating a garden that nurtures our two-, four-, and more-legged friends, we close the cycle and shift the burden more evenly, letting nature carry her share.” (pg. 171-172)


my first bear sighting on the farm

We got a special treat at lunchtime today – a big momma black bear and her cub having a good feast at the farm compost!


I attempted to take photos with my iPhone, but this was the best thing I could get after doing some online editing (click on the photo to see it in full size). It gives you a bit of a sense of where they were in relation to the rest of us. We all watched them from the balcony at the back at the house. This view is looking across the backyard towards the barn. In case you can’t see them, they’re to the left of the barn behind the fence, probably feeling like they’d hit the jackpot (the compost is full of cherries right now). And if you look to the right of the barn, you’ll see farm family member Matt walking towards, yes towards, the bears – hoping to get some good photos. Momma bear caught his scent pretty quick though, stood up on her hind legs and started towards him to check him out. Matt got out of there pretty quick after that.


This photo is a much better one – taken by Murray (farm family Opa), who has a real camera.  Thanks Murray!

Speaking of real cameras, I need one.  Anyone got a good one lying around they’d like to donate to the farm so we can better document exciting events like this one?  ;)

And now time for our lunch.  Bon appetit!