Chinchillas might be one of the most adorable exotic pets you can find. However, they are not for the novice pet owner. Chinchillas are extremely timid, nervous, and shy creatures. They also tend to prefer to live alone and watch tv from this site. These little critters are great pets for those who enjoy staying at home more than they go out. While they can be purchased at pet stores, please look into your local shelters and on Craigslist.org or Petfinder.com to adopt first.
Chinchillas (or Chins) look like a very fluffy combination of a guinea pig, squirrel, rabbit, and kangaroo. There are many colors, but the standard is a salt-and-pepper gray. Chins require a very specific diet of specially formulated pellets (can be purchased in bulk online), timothy hay, and clean drinking water. Because chins are rodents and need to constantly trim their teeth, they will need a variety of chew toys such as “lava rocks” and uncolored, untreated wood. Lava rocks are cute little chew toys for chins and made of pumice stone. Because chins are from the Andes Mountains in Peru and Chile, it is in their nature to chew on pumice. In addition to chewing on pumice, the Andes provide a unique way for chins to bathe. They take dust baths. The dust in the dust bath is very, very, very finely ground pumice rock. They will roll in this powder over and over to help clean their delicate fur. Chins do not appreciate getting wet, so make sure you NEVER try to bathe them with water.
All in all, a chinchilla will make a wonderful addition to your life. They are sweet, cuddly, and lovable animals. The best part is they can live to be 20 years old (or older), so they will be a companion for many years!
This time of year in North Carolina is really a special time. The temperatures across the state drop to bearable highs and in some parts get down right chilly. With cooler temperatures, more outdoor festivals and excitement and people ready to experience more fall-like activities, it’s no wonder why so many people find themselves outside during the autumn months in North Carolina.
If you are a big fun of taking it outdoors during the fall, then you likely head out to a local pumpkin patch to enjoy some food, fun, and get some pumpkins for decorating the house and yard. Going to the pumpkin patch is fun for everyone. There are quite a few across the state of North Carolina, but some have a little more to offer families looking for activities to go along with the pumpkin picking. Some well known pumpkin farms in North Carolina include:
New River Corn Maze — Boone, North Carolina
Just outside of Boone on the banks of the New River you will find the New River Corn Maze. This corn maze twists and turns through 5 acres of planted corn and ends up being over a mile long. From Labor Day weekend through Halloween you and the family can come out and enjoy the maze, take a train ride, and pick out pumpkins for Halloween.
Gross Farms — Sanford, North Carolina
You might not have heard of Sanford, but if you look south of Raleigh just about in the middle of the state you’ll find it. Four miles south of Sanford is Gross Farms. For over five generations the Gross family has owned and farmed Gross Farms, and each fall the corn maze and pumpkin patch attract visitors from all over the state. The corn maze is on 15 acres and totals to more than 5 miles of maze fun. With games like FSI: Farm Scene Investigation you and your family will have a great time in the maze. You can venture into the pumpkin patch to find your own pumpkins or pick some from the pre-picked pumpkins. A large play area and hay rides are also available on the farm.
Justus Orchard — Hendersonville, North Carolina
At Justus Orchard you can pick or they will pick for you. Pumpkins are only one of the things offered up at this family owned orchard which has apples, blackberries, peaches and more. Everyone has fun when they can venture through the patch and pick out what they want to bring home.
There is something to be said about home grown food. Some people prefer the taste and quality over that which you find at the grocery stores and markets. Taste is definitely a good reason to make the switch to local or growing your own, but there are reasons beyond this that make home gardening such an important activity for us to take part in. Not only it is higher quality, but it helps cut down on chemicals that you put in your body, as well as chemicals placed in water systems. Below is why you should take up home gardening.
What you Put in Your Body
A lot should be said about what you decide to put in your body. When you get produce that has been grown by large agribusinesses, there is no telling what is going in your body. The chemicals are not safe to even be touched by the field workers, so why would it be good to put into your body? Also, tags like “organic” have become more or less hot phrases, but unfortunately don’t mean a lot. Really it means that the chemicals used shouldn’t be over a certain level, but what good is that? When you grow your own food, you know where the food comes from, and what has gone on it. This will ensure a healthier diet for you and your family.
Not only do those chemicals used on large farms bad for you, but they pose a great threat to the environment. If you aren’t careful, you could be supporting companies that but dangerous substances into water supplies. It could even be in your own community. When you have complete control over your growing habits, you can make sure you don’t use anything potentially harmful to you and others. You are making a solid decision to protect yourself and your neighbors.
In the end making decisions like growing your own produce can have long lasting impacts that will pay off greatly for you. You will eat better, high quality food, and spend less on groceries. On top of that you won’t be subjected yourself or your family to chemicals that can be potentially harmful. So remember, eating healthy is something more than the type of food you buy, but more about where it comes from.
Farmville to Table
Have you ever signed onto Facebook and been instantly swamped with invitations to play Farmville? Really, never? Yes, I’m being a tad snarky here, but it’s all in good fun, and I do have a point. The world has obviously been infected with farming fever. Symptoms include the sudden onset of a desperate need to farm. Usually, this presents as a preoccupation with produce that doesn’t really exist because it’s virtual, but the very real underlying psychological reasons behind the fascination are worth looking into. Could everyone’s love of Farmville really be traced back to our ancient purpose on the face of the earth, or linked with our inborn desires to grow fruits and vegetables and to be stewards of the goods of all creation? Continue reading
Home farming was as natural to our ancestors as wireless broadband is to us today, but growing a vegetable garden in the backyard is once again becoming a popular alternative for many Americans who want to insure that their produce is grown safely and organically. Growing your own garden comes with many challenges and rewards. One of the most common reasons people put off starting a home vegetable garden is a perceived lack of workable space in the yard. I was talking with my friend last week as she daydreamed about starting some cabbage rows in the spring, and maybe carrots, peas, and tomatoes. Continue reading
The federal Farm Spending Bill has come under fire from all sides, but no one is hotter under the collar over some egregious inequities uncovered by a recent in depth study of where those dollars are going than environmentalists. At a time when developing green resources and farming methods is the world’s obvious way out of unhealthy consumption and chemical contamination of our food supply, it is astounding to learn that most of the money set aside for farm spending is not going to farmers who focus on healthy, clean, green crops. Continue reading
We’ve all heard about the developments in genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and how they may be able to solve future food and energy needs, but how safe are they really? It’s difficult to make a fair evaluation at this early stage in the implementation of the program in farms and laboratories. But if you would like to avoid produce that has been genetically modified by chemicals or special seeds, the best thing to do is buy from your local farmers’ market. The family owned farms in your region do not introduce GMO’s like the corporate farms because they cannot produce on such a large scale and they are focused on preserving their land for future generations. This video provides a time line around the issue and some basic information so you can form your opinion and probably value the local farms in your area even more. Continue reading
Farming isn’t all about corn and potatoes. Located in the heart of the Yadkin Valley North Carolina, along the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains lies a fertile, sun-soaked landscape rich for growing grapes organically, which eventually wind up being pressed into some of North Carolina’s wine country’s most delicious wines. Several varieties of muscadines and hybrid American grapes, all organically raised and picked by hand, are used to produce naturally sumptuous wines for enjoying in all occasions.
Admit it: sometimes when your Facebook friends are all preoccupied with Farmville (especially when they resort to asking YOU for help) it grates on your nerves. You don’t really want to visit anyone’s wall and read all about the new vegetables they can grow, or how a rabbit is in the cabbage patch, etc… and yet, you can’t exactly do much about it, can you? Well, you can always completely block the Farmville App, which will put an end to most of your woes.
But if you’re the globally conscious, civic minded planetary citizen that I bet you are, you won’t be Continue reading
There is something to say for the men and women that live on farms. They are the most hard working and American people that are out there. Farming is one of the things that makes a huge difference in the lives of people everywhere, but its rarely recognized by how hard it really is. Continue reading