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THE NOURISH LETTER
Meet the Men Behind Your Meals APRIL 2018
www.OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd, Manchester, CT 06042
Remembering the Family Warren HARE-RAISING ADVENTURES
Once the rabbits got a taste of freedom, getting them back in their hutch was difficult. I developed a game to solve the problem: I would challenge Audriana to see who could catch
We started the month of April with Easter, and I can think of no better topic to write about than the Easter Bunny. However, since I’ve never met the Easter Bunny, I’ll share the story of the many, many rabbits I raised with my wife and daughter. Just before Audriana started first grade, a new neighbor moved in next door. He would become lovingly known as “Uncle Fred,” and he was an old school country vet and a true bunny whisperer. He raised rabbits (as pets only!) for decades and knew everything there is to know about caring for them. My daughter was magnetically drawn to the rabbits, so of course we knew we’d have to get our own bunny. On the first day of first grade, Audriana got Bean and Nibbles. Those rabbits were a handful. We thought we’d learned everything we needed to about caring for rabbits and maintaining the hutch. Unfortunately we hadn’t learned how to tell whether a rabbit was a boy or a girl. Turns out, we had one of each, and 31 days later we had six more bunnies in the hutch. We built more hutches to house Snow, Jingles, Holly, Junior, Pearl and Cloud, but we successfully separated the boys and girls this time. We created a daily routine to care for the rabbits, going out every morning to feed them and providing fresh water and hay. Back then we had a big fenced-in garden, and sometimes we’d let the rabbits run wild. Did you know the bunny hop is a real thing? When we turned the rabbits loose in the garden, they would go crazy, hopping high into the air as if they were on a trampoline.
Audriana with her furry friends
the most rabbits and get them back in their hutches the fastest. She had so much fun and she never seemed to notice that she always beat me by a wide margin. Audriana adored her bunnies. Once you get to know them, you realize rabbits all have different personalities, and they make really great pets. At one point, our warren was home to 13 rabbits. Raising rabbits is truly a labor of love. The last thing we wanted to do in the dead of winter was go outside early in morning to thaw the rabbits’ water bottles, but they relied on us and we always took good care of them. The average lifespan for a rabbit is 4–6 years. Our rabbits lasted 13 years. Audriana was in college when the last of the rabbits went to heaven. It’s been 20 years since Audriana got her first rabbits. She’s in veterinary school at Purdue University, and she definitely knows her way around animals, both great and small. Rabbits will always hold a special place in her heart. And I’ll admit I liked having them around, too.
“When we’d turn the rabbits loose in the garden, they would go crazy, hopping high into the air as if they were on a trampoline.”
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