Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Expanding the Offerings here at the Farm

There are certain things I've insisted I had no interest in raising.
I do not want to grow potatoes or carrots, for instance.
I've firmly said I would not be interested in raising rabbits
or pigs, and here I stand, contradicting my own words. 

As I believe there is a resurgence, which is hard to deny,
of the farmer, the homesteader, the urban sustainable family
and so forth, everywhere!

I believe giving people in my area quality options
for living this lifestyle is a wise choice.  
I know that I am dedicated to seeing people succeed
in a life of farming and/or sustainability . 

As I've sat down and continued to read
the articles on some of the rarest livestock in 
America and found so few breeders in a 200 mile radius of
Huntington, WV, we've decided to bring
in some of the most endangered rabbits in
America, the Silver Fox. They are Heritage, non-
industrialized meat rabbits, but since their status is so rare,
they are not typically used for meat at this time in large
numbers, and I admit, as a vegetarian, the more
I can raise to work toward conserving the 
breeds that homesteading families used in the days
of old and not need to use an animal for meat
as a result, very often, the better I feel. 



The Silver Fox rabbit is critically endangered.

"The Silver Fox Rabbit is truly a multi-purposed breed whose genetic make-up has never been divulged. Today it is critically endangered with fewer than fifty annual North American registrations
and there is a global population of less than 500."

A global population of less than 500, folks!
There are more Mountain Gorillas in the wild than there
are of this breed of Rabbit in Captivity. 

We also have applied for an Animal Welfare Approved Grant
(pending our approval for AWA)
to possibly purchase and start a breeding program for the critically
endangered Red Wattle Pig.


Red Wattle piglet - photo by Marian Van Beever

"The Red Wattle hog is listed on the ALBC Conservation Priority List as being critically endangered 
meaning there are fewer than 200 annual registrations in the U.S. and estimated to have fewer than 2,000
 individuals of this breed globally."

2,000 world wide!!!

If we do not get approval for this grant, we will still work toward, at a slower pace,
a breeding program, on a very small scale, for Red Wattle Pigs.

I believe it is imperative that those who farm
and are able, try to preserve the non-industrial breeds
of livestock that our grandparents or great-grandparents knew and 
felt were important to farming and survival.

This includes the use of heirloom seeds in gardening!


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LUCAS FARM

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27




"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington