This is my 100th entry. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to mark this first milestone with a giveaway as a thank-you to all my readers. I spent a lot of time trying to think of the perfect giveaway, but wasn’t coming up with anything good. So I’ve decided that instead of giving you something, we’d all give someone else something. I’m going to donate an animal or animals to the charity Heifer International on behalf of all the readers of Unintended Housewife.
Before you sigh that you’re not getting anything, YOU ARE! You get to choose which kind of animal(s) we give! Please vote in the poll on the right of your screen. (If you follow using a reader, you’ll need to come to the site to vote.) If you’re having trouble voting, please vote in the comments. You have from now until Thanksgiving to cast your vote.
The nominees are:
Bees help struggling families earn income through the sale of honey, beeswax and pollen. Beehives require almost no space and, once established, are inexpensive to maintain. As bees search for nectar, they pollinate plants. Placed strategically, beehives can as much as double some fruit and vegetable yields. In this way, a beehive can be a boost to a whole village.
Flock of Chickens
Heifer helps many hungry families with a starter flock of 10 to 50 chicks. A good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year - plenty to eat, share or sell. Because chickens require little space and can thrive on readily available food scraps, families can make money from the birds without spending much. And chickens help control insects and fertilize gardens.
Flock of Geese
Some geese can lay up to 75 eggs a year. Geese are easy to care for because they don't require much shelter and can adapt to hot, wet or cold weather. Geese can also find a good portion of their food by themselves, and they efficiently dispose of weed seeds and gobble up insects, slugs and snails. And they're vigilant "watchdogs," loudly warning when uninvited guests arrive at the homestead.
Two Shares of Goat
Goats can thrive in extreme climates and on poor, dry land by eating grass and leaves. The gift of a dairy goat can supply a family with up to several quarts of nutritious milk a day - a ton of milk a year. Extra milk can be sold or used to make cheese, butter or yogurt. Families learn to use goat manure to fertilize gardens.
Two Shares of Pig
Pigs are a valuable source of protein, income from the sale of offspring & manure to nourish crops. Pigs need little land & can thrive on crop and garden by-product scraps. An average sow can provide a family with up to 16 piglets a year. Pigs usually double their birth weight in their first week & can grow to more than 200 pounds in six months! This fast-growing gift means communities can be quickly transformed as offspring and training are passed on and on.
Two Shares of Rabbits
Rabbits are easy to care for; they eat simple foods, such as carrot tops, sweet potato vines and grasses. Rabbit manure can be applied directly on gardens without composting. And because rabbits have so many offspring, the process of passing on the gift multiplies each gift quickly and helps many other impoverished families better their lives.
Two Shares of Sheep
Entire communities depend on wool and meat from sheep. Struggling families use sheep's wool to make clothes, or sell it for extra income. Sheep often give birth to twins or triplets and can graze even the hilliest, rockiest pastures unsuitable for other livestock.