Triangle Rabbits of North Carolina Now Stocking Bunny Biscotti

The smart bunnies of the Research Triangle did their research and decided they want Bunny Biscotti Hay Treats! Triangle Rabbits of central North Carolina now sells Bunny Biscotti at their events. They sold out at the first event before we even had a chance to post this.

We had to revise our labels to meet the North Carolina State Agriculture standards, so be on the look out for the new look as it rolls out. Below is the label for our treats with apples (Washington, of course!) and blueberries.

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They currently stock the Banana treats and the Apple with Blueberries treats.

Find Triangle Rabbits at  Facebook, MeetUp, and Twitter.

Gardening tower

At a recent gathering of budding companies, we met the owner of these vertical gardens. Needing only 20″ diameter for the pot itself (your plant needs may differ) they can stack up to 62″ high, and grow everything from basil to carrots to lavender. It uses a hydroponic system to water and nourish the plants. A base mounted on ball bearings allows it to turn readily for even light.

foody garden tower

We would imagine that our testers would pretty much decimate the lower level.

A makeover for bunny housing

When Rose, Lily, Buttercup, Flower, and Maddie joined the household, there was a major shift in the house layout. Rose gets along with everyone, but the trio (Lily, Buttercup, Flower) do not care for Maddie, especially the sister Lily and Flower. So we had to use the X-pens to accommodate everyone.

Here are some before and after pictures. RIP living room.

 

Living room before the bunnies took over
Living room before the bunnies took over
Living room after the bunnies took over with carpet squares and floor mats
Living room after the bunnies took over with carpet squares and floor mats

 

Violet guards the gate to make sure no one escapes and invades her kingdom
Violet guards the gate to make sure no one escapes and invades her kingdom

 

An updated look

We are in the throes of revising this website so it appears on all sorts of devices, from your desktop while working to your cell phone while driving.

Tilbert chewing fresh fennel will no longer be our featured bunny at the top of the page, especially since so many others have joined the warren.

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Rabbits Making Mochi on the Moon

The myth of the rabbit making mochi on the moon is a favorite one in Japan, and seems to be as pervasive as the Easter Rabbit dying eggs story. It shows up in culture as toys, art, cartoons, religious art, and pop art.

I have created a gallery of images I have collected over the years. And you can see more pictures of the bunny, mochi, and moon quilt made for my niece here as well as find sources for fabrics.

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Rabbits, Moon, Grass, and Clouds: symbols of Japanese Autumn

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Last Autumn, we attended a little lecture on the Japanese tea ceremony and the Four Seasonal Icons of Japanese autumn culture – “Mangetsu (full moon), Oborozuki (moon obscured by clouds), Susuki (autumn grass), and of course, Usagi (rabbits). We learned why rabbits and autumn grass are paired and why the moon hides behind clouds in so many images of autumn, just as we Westerners will depict Autumn with dried corn, falling leaves, a pumpkin, or turkey.

At the tea ceremony, we were even given a sweet shaped like a rabbit.

Mochi bunny for autumn moon viewing tea ceremony
Mochi bunny for autumn moon viewing tea ceremony

Long blog short, the grass produces the seed heads at about the same time as the full moon, clouds are common at the time but also serve as a means of enhancing the fullness and brightness of the moon. The rabbit, meanwhile, is seen on the moon itself in many cultures, including Asian, indigenous Latin American, and native Pacific Northwest tribes.  In Japanese culture, the rabbit pounds rice into mochi.

Rabbit pounds mochi
Rabbit pounds mochi

The Japanese celebrate this full autumn moon much as we have Harvest Moon parties. Not surprisingly, the festival tend to be hundreds of years old and much more zen.

Tsukimi or Otsukimi, literally moon-viewing, refers to Japanese festivals honoring the autumn moon. The celebration of the full moon typically takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese lunisolar calendar; the waxing moon is celebrated on the 13th day of the ninth month. These days normally fall in September and October of the modern solar calendar.

The tradition dates to the Heian era, and is now so popular in Japan that some people repeat the activities for several evenings following the appearance of the full moon during the eighth lunisolar month.

Tsukimi traditions include displaying decorations made from Japanese pampas grass (susuki) and eating rice dumplings called Tsukimi dango in order to celebrate the beauty of the moon. Seasonal produce are also displayed as offerings to the moon. Sweet potatoes are offered to the full moon, while beans or chestnuts are offered to the waxing moon the following month. The alternate names of the celebrations, Imomeigetsu (literally “potato harvest moon”) and Mamemeigetsu (“bean harvest moon”) or Kurimeigetsu (“chestnut harvest moon”) are derived from these offerings.

Tsukimi refers to the Japanese tradition of holding parties to view the harvest moon. The custom is thought to have originated with Japanese aristocrats during theHeian period, who would gather to recite poetry under the full moon of the eighth month of the lunisolar calendar, known as the “Mid-Autumn Moon.” Since ancient times, Japanese people have described the eighth lunisolar month (corresponding to September on the contemporary Gregorian calendar) as the best time for looking at the moon, since the relative positions of the earth, sun, and moon cause the moon to appear especially bright. On the evening of the full moon, it is traditional to gather in a place where the moon can be seen clearly, decorate the scene with Japanese pampas grass, and to serve white rice dumplings (known as Tsukimi dango), taro, edamame, chestnuts and other seasonal foods, plus sake as offerings to the moon in order to pray for an abundant harvest. These dishes are known collectively as Tsukimi dishes (???? tsukimi ry?ri)

As International Rabbit Day (4th Saturday of September) falls so close to the same period, we would like to get bunny lovers better acquainted with this fascinating celebration.

Is Organic Better? Ask a Fruit Fly

The NY Times featured an article today about the effects of organic produce on fruit flies v conventional produce on fruit flies.

When Ria Chhabra, a middle school student near Dallas, heard her parents arguing about the value of organic foods, she was inspired to create a science fair project to try to resolve the debate.

Three years later, Ria’s exploration of fruit flies and organic foods has not only raised some provocative questions about the health benefits of organic eating, it has also earned the 16-year-old top honors in a national science competition, publication in a respected scientific journal and university laboratory privileges normally reserved for graduate students.

Photo Researchers
Ria Chhabra stands in front of her project.Courtesy of Ria ChhabraRia Chhabra stands in front of her project.

The research, titled “Organically Grown Food Provides Health Benefits toDrosophila melanogaster,” tracked the effects of organic and conventional diets on the health of fruit flies. By nearly every measure, including fertility, stress resistance and longevity, flies that fed on organic bananas and potatoes fared better than those who dined on conventionally raised produce.

Read more here.

 

Frosted Biscotti

Our “frosted” biscotti are now available at Bunny Bytes. Banana Bunny Biscotti is frosted with a puree of carrot, beet, or parsley in our new flower shape. Our testers seem to prefer this shape as it is easier to grab and run–talking to you Tilbert, Flower and Buttercup!

 

Bunny quilt for our new niece

My friend at Bunny Bytes made this quilt for me to give to my brother and his wife for their first born. The quilt loosely tells a story of a little bunny who after a day of playing, makes mochi (rice cakes) and then watches the moon rise with her parents before drifting to sleep and moon dreams. The rabbit and the moon is a myth found in many cultures. In Japan, the rabbit makes mochi on the moon. A friend explained: in Japanese “rice pounding bunny” is written as ????, which reads “mochi tsuki usagi” and translates literally as “mochi-making rabbit.” Mochi-tsuki is the traditional ceremony/process where mochi is made by pounding rice. The funny thing is that the rabbit actually appears to be in the moon, appearing to make mochi. And the reading of the word for “making” is the same as “moon” (“tsuki”).

Fabric can be purchased at Shibori Dragon.

(And I have to apologize both to Jenny and to my brother that I had no idea how dusty and furry this was when I took the photos!)