No such thing as a simple life on my one acre in Tasmania with my two dogs.I try to grow food, wrangle chickens and the native and non native wildlife share the land I call home. Life with CPTSD and ADHD not been easy so I share about it all. Low income, a bit frugal, real life My Life.
Uncertainty is not a great thing in my life, it does tend to impact my CPTSD. I have not been in my beloved garden a huge amount in the last few weeks, and even so what I had put into it in Springtime is bobbing along slowly this year yet productively without me quite well. So I feel happy about that.
My tomatoes are very late in developing,
Lots of flowers on the first plant. quite a few on the next with some tomatoes forming on both and one tomato and a few fruits on the third. In this bed I have two eggplant/aubergines I have one flower on one plant.
My peppers and capsicums are varied, the old pepper from last year is doing well, the capsicums are getting flowers and the peppers are I guess settling in.
I have more tomatoes vines in another bed, that does get 8 hours of sunshine but less than the first bed and these are really delayed. I thought they would be, and was just wanting to see if they would grow here.
Miss Treacle and Busby enjoy being outside too.
Now for some reason I have planted pumpkins and zucchinis, along with the possibility of a cucumber or two in two beds. I lost all bar one label, and I had labelled the seedlings. I only know one variety of pumpkin that is Peter Cundall’s . Peter was a long time presenter on the Australian Broadcasting (ABC TV) Gardening Australia a weekly. If you are interested in knowing more about Australian Gardens and all sorts of things to do with gardening and veggie growing well worth checking out show (which still is running Gardening Australia now hosted by Costa). https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/ Peter hosted the show from 1989-2008 and as a fellow Tasmanian is an incredible gardener, who even now at 82 is enjoying his gardening and good health. He only gave up his weekly radio show a few years ago. His pumpkin variety is great faviourite in the taste test so I am told. Fingers crossed these plants will be much better producers than last years. Oh the memories not a zucchini and one tiny butternut.
Asparagus spears still shoot every so often, and I enjoy picking them and eating them right away. My jostaberries and red currants did well. I harvested very few, between the birds, wallabies possums and my chooks it was their year this year. I was also not up to canning or freezing any of them and realised that I am not a huge fan of the jostaberries. They really are only good stewed, made into a crumble or perhaps a sponge pudding and of course jam.
My blueberries are also being grabbed by by all the critters and again I feel blase about it. I still have a fair few in the freezer. I always have such plans of all I will do with them. I usually harvest them and then often end up not eating them even when frozen. So instead of pushing myself when I have not been firing on all cylinders, I have just accepted for many years of my life I had never tasted a blue berry, a jostaberry or a red currant. If I am being really honest the only one I feel I would plant again are the blue berries.
My peach tree is amazing now that is something I have been enjoying the last couple of days.
As you can see they are a good size this year and once ripe juicy and even a bit green so sweet Love the feeling of the juice running down my chin. I did eat a few cherries off my trees. It has been a late beginning to the cherry season with the local orchards only opening full time this week.
My red crab apple does not have a lot of fruit on it sadly this year. I do recall there were not a lot of blossoms on it. Added to this the chooks had been dust bathing about its roots. (A job still in process excluding them from my doing this). I have managed to stop them from the espaliered apple by putting bike wheels about the root area.
The chooks had been laying really well and I was very happy to share with my neighbours. Sadly at the moment I am only averaging two eggs a day. I have not located a hidden nest anywhere as yet. I realised I may have been failing them in providing enough food for them. Though when I do provide seed they very rarely eat it all and usually pick the tastiest seeds out first. Grass is a bit in short supply so I have began to supplement their diet with pureed green vegies. They are on a free range 16%seed mix and have access to grubs and all sorts of things as they free range. I will be keeping an eye on them and fingers crossed the girls will be all laying again. Though the two -3 eggs I get are enough for just us. I did have hope to water glass enough for winter.
The Chook run has been slashed finally and the spiky native grass has been cut down. I am not sure the chooks appreciated that and so as their is not a lot of shade in their run at present they are free ranging and love hanging out under the jostaberries and my blackwoods. If they stayed there we would be living in harmony. I can only dream.
My thoughts are with those of you in areas where Covid continues to impact your lives, especially those of you overseas. I am so incredibly fortunate to have been born here in Australia and to live on the island state. where we have had no active cases of this illness for a few weeks now. My thoughts for those of you impacted by the bush fires in Western Australia.
I am thankful that I am coming out of a period of feeling out of control, I am thankful that I am again able to see the beauty of my home, and garden and how very fortunate I am. I am thankful for the clean water, clean air and abundance I have in my life. I am so very thankful for my dogs.
Today has been a day of cooking, it was cold and wet. So perfect. I made ‘french’ style easy bread today. It is lovely bread however the amount of time for rising is several hours, with some small work on it periods.
Compared to my other bread which is kneaded twice and only requires about 1 1/2 half hours or so rising time. It can be extended longer as in overnight but you just leave it. You do not have to work it during that time.
I also decided to make nettle soup. The Nettles are from my own garden so I know they are safe. I cut off the tips of the nettles about 10cms in length. I did not wear gloves as I had a container that when I cut the tips they fell directly into the container.
My soup had vegetable stock which seemed to be quite salty. It had onion rice and nettles. I did also add a garlic clove. The recipe I chose, was for four people. I decided to make half of the recipe. I picked a cup plus of nettles well packed.
I pan fried onions in olive oil and than the nettles which removes the
You then add stock and rice. I then bought the soup to the boil for a few minutes, and then used the absorption method for cooking the rice. I used my hand blender to puree it.
I did not have enough nettles, in the ‘soup’ The recipe has 500gms of nettles. That is a lot of nettles, I did not weigh my nettles.
I also added too much rice. So my soup was more like a risotto.
I ate it with one of my bread rolls. It was really interesting and I did enjoy it. It has a rich flavour. I have read elsewhere that nettle soup tastes earthy. It certainly had a flavour reminiscent of mushrooms I know go figure! I was assuming it would be green tasting. How do I describe that. hmmm fresh and light perhaps.
Stinging nettles are considered as a weed today by so many. In the past stinging nettles have been used to make fibre, sail cloth, sacking and fishing nets. Fibres have also been used to make cloth similar in appearance and feel to silky linen. In the Second World War the Germans used it to make cotton like fabric. The British used stinging nettles for the dye it makes for camouflage. It has/is also used as a food colourant.
The 18th Centuary English poet, Thomas Campbell, complained of the little attention paid to the nettle in England. He says, “In Scotland, I have eaten nettles, I have slept in nettle sheets, and I have dined off a nettle tablecloth. The young and tender nettle is an excellent potherb. The stalks of the old nettle are as good as flax for making cloth. I have heard my mother say that she thought nettle cloth more durable than any other species of linen.” (Plants and People: Choices and Diversity through Time 6.2 Humble Plants p273 edited by Alexandre Chevalier, Elena Marinova, Leonor Pena-Chocarro)
I will make it again, it was quick and easy. Tasty and simple. I would add more nettles and less rice. I was looking forward to a thin soup but as I said mine was like a poor risotto (I am not a huge fan of risotto).
I enjoyed the rich and hearty flavour. I intend to try more recipes using my nettles.
Such a low cost tasty hearty meal. I could imagine a vegetable soup with nettles would be delicious too. A quick soup to make.
I did not sow the nettles in my garden, they have come up in a good size patch. I know many people will look at them and see weeds. Mother Earth has provided me with this wonderful plant and I will enjoy and use it. It dies off each year and in Autumn it grows again as the cooler weather begins.
Polyphenols: Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids
Pigments: Beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin and other carotenoids
What’s more, many of these nutrients act as antioxidants inside your body.
Antioxidants are molecules that help defend your cells against damage from free radicals. Damage caused by free radicals is linked to aging, as well as cancer and other harmful diseases (3Trusted Source).
Studies indicate that stinging nettle extract can raise blood antioxidant levels.
There is evidence based benefits that stinging nettles may be benificial in arthritis, and other inflammations within the body.
Stinging nettle may help reduce prostate size and treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland in men with BPH.
Stinging nettle may reduce hay fever symptoms. Yet, some research indicates that it may not be much more effective than a placebo. More studies are needed on stinging nettle’s effects on hay fever.
Stinging nettle may help lower blood pressure by allowing your blood vessels to relax and reducing the force of your heart’s contractions. Yet, more human studies are needed to confirm these effects.
While stinging nettle may help lower blood sugar levels, more human studies are crucial before recommendations can be made.
There are some potential side effects
Consuming dried or cooked stinging nettle is generally safe. There are few, if any, side effects.
However, be careful when handling fresh stinging nettle leaves, as their hair-like barbs can harm your skin.
As things rapidly change here in Australia, and life for us all will be quite different. I know I am so very fortunate.
The weather during the day time has been really lovely sunny with puffs of cloud and gentle breezes. I love using my solar powered clothes dryer. And sat reading a book having a cup of coffee before I headed out to do one or two things. This was on Monday 23/03/2020 Australia.
The photos above are of my drive to some friends, a lovely couples who live about 13 kms from my home. They grow wonderful vegetables and fruit for their stall at the Cygnet markets.
Unfortunately the market has been closed due to the Covid-19 virus. It is not just our local market Fanklin, Geeveston, Cygnet the Wonderful Salamanca Markets an institution that commenced operating 48 years ago, and the Farmers Market in Hobart, have also closed as all markets across Australia have. Leaving many growers, producers, and artisans with no customers and a lot of produce.
This wonderful couple work so hard and are pretty savvy. They just got on to the local community pages on facebook and were inundated with people who wanted to buy their organic tomatoes. I have bought 3kgs/6.16lbs at $4AUS/$2.39USA/2.03 poundsUK a kg for my own bottling. They were red in colour (but picked for eating as I had forgotten to say I wanted to bottle them). It was lovely that they had picked the tomatoes in various stages of ripening for me.
My dilema was how to ripen them all so I could bottle them. My solution is leaving them in my car. A easy and cheap green house. Problem solved.
The above photos are of their house and gardens, no one is currently allowed in their vegetable growing area. They had also staggered the time people were to come and pick up their ordered tomatoes. They had tried to meet all the current hygiene and social distancing guidelines. Your tomatoes were packed ready to go.
The other photo graphs are of the drive home. On the way I wanted to check to see if there was any mushroom compost from the mushroom farm. They grow oyster mushrooms and other oriental style mushrooms. When they no longer use their bags, they put them in the old apple crates below and sell them on the side of the road. They really just ask for a gold coin donation to cover the cost of moving them with the tractor and driver to the side of the road. I had been keeping an eye out for a few weeks. I was thrilled when I saw them and that they were full. I got out and rummaged through the crates, looking for the ones I hoped would keep growing mushrooms for me for some time to come. I have grown from some over the years several kgs/lbs of basically free mushrooms. Once no more mushrooms grow, the leftover compost, gets added to my vegetable garden. Win:win. Cygnet Mushroom Farm uses a zero waste model. They even have bags on the side of the apple crates to put the plastic the mushroom compost comes in can be left behind. More information at the site below. https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2016-10-06/cygnet-mushroom-farm-success-tasmania/7907960
The drive back home was pleasant and grey clouds were moving in. All in all it was a very enjoyable day.
As the pace of life is slowing and closing down on many of us due to being perhaps not able to work, to being unemployed suddenly and unexpectedly. To having your children home all the time and your partner, to those in share accommodation. Be kind to each other and thankful to have each other. Everyone of us is under more and more strain and stress and worry. Remember these feelings are appropriate for the situation.
What many of us may be feeling is grief. The sudden loss of our jobs, studies, being able to do things that make us happy and feel connected. The loss of social life and sports life. Going out and chatting over a coffee with friend or to a restaurant. Weddings now in Australia can only occur if no more than 5 people including bridal party are present. Funerals can have 10 people.
We here in Australia are being told to stay at home (not enforced as yet) and to only go out for essential things, groceries chemist/pharmacy, petrol, work, taking children to school and picking them up. Nail and beauty shops are closed, general massage are closed but ones for medical reasons can go ahead. Hair dressers are still open as long as appointment is less than 30 minutes. Food courts are closed. The list is long. Queues around the Centrelink offices (benefits) grow each day and their phone and computer services seem to be not able to handle it. This changed overnight. I imagine that tomorrow we will see more changes. The change has happened so fast. No time for anyone to catch his or her breath.
I know I am one of the most fortunate people in Australia. I will still have to deal with changes and uncertainty. I can only know how it was for me in the 90s interest rates went so high unemployment back then was extreme, stress, anxiety were extreme. As hard as it was to try to keep me going I would look for anything that made me smile, and make me see the beauty about me while my world was crashing around me. No control no money, lost my home, and almost homeless, but for the kindness of a friend of a friend.
I am thankful that Australia has had so few deaths, I am thankful for the financial assistance I and many other Australians are being given to assist us. I am thankful that it seems the Federal and State Governments are working more cohesively. I am thankful that ultimately I am so fortunate if one can be with a mental illness. Having CPTSD sees my life basically the way it has been for the last three years. I was working on being more social as both my psychologist and the psychiatrist I saw recently were concerned I was becoming agoraphobic. I am thankful that I am really aware of this now and am making a concentrated efffort to leave my home and go for a walk about my acre. I am working up to get back to taking my dogs for a walk everyday. We are allowed to do this as long as we keep social distance. As I live in a rural area this should be no problem for me. I am thankful to have access to such great local producers and services. I am thankful to be able to make some tomato sauce base for over winter. I only had two jars left from my sauce from last year. I am thankful for being able to dry my clothes in the sunshine and breeze. I am thankful for the rain that fell over night filling my rain water tanks and watering my gardens. I am thankful for all I have especially my dogs who have seen me through and have been my company constantly. They make me laugh and give me something to hug. I am also thankful for having commenced this blog, and found so many other interesting bloggers out there whom I have connected with.
Today it is quite mild only reaching a maximum of 15dC/59dF with showers, wind and tonight a minimum of 4dC/39.2. This weather will continue slowly warming back up again mid week.
Yesterday I was enjoying coffee and a book in the sunshine on my deck getting my vitamin D. I sat outdoors on my deck marveling at how lovely a day it was. Watching the little puffs of clouds float bye. The brown butterflies and white butterflied, bumble bees, honey bees and native bees buzzed about. Birds chatter and song filled the air. Caw of crows, and songs of blackbirds. Wrens and pardolottes.
My washing was drying in my solar drier. Whilst doonas, dog beds and blankets all aired in the gentle breeze and sunshine. So lovely to snuggle under last night. To me that is the perfect scent to go to sleep with. Bliss.
It is has been a while since I wrote about the veggie garden. So the dogs and I ventured outside in between showers. It is not really as cold as I thought lol. Just going from a beautiful sunny 28dC/82.4dF yesterday to this is a bit of a shock to my system.
I shall start with the deck. There is still quite a lot happening on the deck as you will be able to see. So many flowers still going. Cornflowers and sweet peas which I have had since late spring. A beautiful long period.
Things on the deck are doing OK even though they may be getting a bit wind blown and the chillier nights may not be to all the plants liking.
Herbs such as sage and thyme are still growing new leaves, as is the Greek oregano I have that grows about the wine barrels and path. I still live in hope that some of my tomatoes still on the vine will develop enough to ripen as temperatures are to warm up again next week.
I have been getting tomatoes off both areas. The deck ones I have had to pick a bit greener as some critter has been getting in under or between the netting gaps, the night before I have decided I will have those couple for breakfast in the morning. I now I should have learnt by now never ever think let alone say out loud that you are going to pick that fuit/vegetable tomorrow. Exact same thing happened with the grapes. I did score a few and they were delicious.
I have been picking a few beans every day, often eating quite a few as I wander about the garden watering or looking. Similarly with the broccoli I just eat it raw at the time or in salad raw. Too nice to cook.
The corn is swelling. I did try my first cob last night for part of my dinner. It was so sweet and tasty, some of it not so developed. I picked it because I could see something had been trying to get into it. I have a few cobs left. I know that if I were to grow corn next spring summer I will not be doing it in a three season bed. Same thing with the pumpkin. Everything grew well. Everything has produced is producing something but in tiny amounts apart from the beans. The only thing that I feel was really successful and I feel it would have been on it is own is the bean tripod.
I have self sown rocket, red sorrel and a brassica of unknown origin or type just popping up about the beds on the paths of the Vegetable garden. I have not had plantain in my vegetable garden for years and this year I have it. I am so happy about this. This does not bother me in the slightest. Gaia is so generous if we allow her.
I keep thinking I should pick some Rosehips, and make some Rosehip syrup.
The dogs enjoyed being outside between showers, and sniffed, played and rolled about in delight. As I picked and ate some blackberries. I also looked at the wild apple tree in the hedgerow and picked a couple of apples off it. They look a bit green to me.
The middle photograph in the top row is of a watermelon plant that was planted as a seedling back in November. It is only just flowering now. I do not like my chances of getting any fruit. Oh you have to gamble some times. I feel the position of this bed and the metal walls protecting it were to much contributing to it not doing well.
The middle row shows the dogs and I looking at the hazelnut shrubs. I was picking hazel nuts off the branches, and off the ground. Noting that some thing has been eating them. It is interesting to note that almost every nut on the ground still has no nut inside. How do these critters know this? Busby likes chewing the shell and seeing if their is a nut inside. The two he got that I had dropped on the deck both had nuts in them. I can find it hard to distinguish if there is a nut or not. I have four different types of hazelnuts so do not understand why I am not getting fertillised nuts. Something to research.
As the garden heads further into Autumn I am thinking of what I need to do to prepare for next spring.
I have to soon plant garlic. Possibly in the next week. Peter Cundall who was one of the long term presenters of Gardening Australia on the Australian Broadcasting Commission TV. He happens to live up in Tamar Valley in the North of the state. Used to say plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest. This worked for the first few years I grew garlic but no longer. The season has changed.
These final photos are back on the deck some garlic that was sprouting (not my home grown ones but some I had bought as locally grown) I placed in the pots. The bounty of hazel nuts and all that was left on my Huonvalley Crab Apple tree. The rest show a hodge podge of pots on the deck with cos lettuce, mints, sage, brassica, flowering strawberry plants, cape gooseberry, a small pot with a self sown broad bean and pea.
I personally find gardening wonderful, challenging, and constantly requiring evaluation. I find for my mental well being it is a wonderful place to be. I rarely wear gloves (even with risks of Scorpion stings and Jack Jumper Ant bites) preferring to have my hands connect to the soil. I call it being earthed. For me it brings a sense of well being of contentedness to Gaia. That perhaps things are not so bad in the world.
I had been fortunate to get 3 rather large raw chooks each about 2.5kgs/5.51lbs in weight. I boiled one, and roasted the other two as the use bye date was in two days. At $3.50 a kg/2.2lbs it was a very cheap form of meat for my dogs. I was also able to get winter vegetable frozen blend in 1kg/2.2lbs bags. Australian grown for $3.95kg/2.2lbs The bag of frozen vegetables provided me enough veggies for 5 meals. The contained beans, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli. I boiled some in the stock made by the boiled chicken, and took apart the chicken that was boiled ensuring I had removed all the bones.
When the stock had boiled I first add the frozen vegetables, and turn the heat off. A short time later I added a cup and half of oats to it and several garlic bubils (the tiny garlic bulbs that develop at the end of the scape.) They can be planted out and will develop into bulbs. I use them in dogs food and salads, but will plant some out in my tubs perhaps this year. I also added some turmeric about 3 teaspoons.
I end up blitzing the vegetable/oat chicken soup sort of mix before I add the chicken. As Miss Treacle will spit out the vegetables if they are too big.
I will freeze the rest which will mean from this one chicken my dogs had a raw meal the night I bought the whole chickens home. They had their meal today, and I will get three more meals for them which I will freeze as ready to go meals.
I will do similar with the two roast chickens that are cooling in the fridge. I may do one with boiled rice, and the other with oats. These will also go in my freezer giving me in total 13 frozen meals for my two dogs so 13 days of food. Because I roasted these two chooks I will make stock out of the bones. Perhaps for me to have available for soups or whatever in the freezer.
In comparison Optimum for example at Woolworth’s is $35 for 7.5kgs/16.53lbs of kibble style food. It would take 450gms /15.9oz of dry feed a day for Busby and 160gms/5.6oz for Miss Treacle. Total per day 610gms/21.5ozs, at a cost of $2.91 a day. Sounds great. You could get a deal if ordered online for 2 bags for $52 a big saving of $18. but not if your dog has issues with what is in the ingredients.
Comparing my chicken oats, and veggie meals for my dogs and the Optimum is going to be an interesting thing. I paid $9.35 for almost 3kgs of whole raw chicken. Cooked weight with all bones removed was 2.45 Kgs plus I had the chicken stock from cooking the whole chook in.
I added two cups of frozen vegetables about 1kg, plus some broccoli leaves shredded from my garden. I added garlic pearls/bulbils also free from my garden. I did not add any extras to the basic mix at this point in time. But tomorrow night they will have beef mince with brewers yeast. Oh and turmeric was added at about 3tspns in total, so $1 worth. Oats at $3.95kg and I used about 250gms of oats for this volume so $1.00 2450gms of chicken meat will provide 5 meals for both my dogs as they get 500gms of meat per meal. (because they also get regular fresh raw bones ).
Chicken $9.35 Oats $1.00 Veggies $4.50 Tumeric $1.00 Chicken stock free bulbils garlic free $15.85 Cost of 5 meals $3.17each for two dogs =$0.06 cents per kg of dog.
Busby 41Kgs/90.4lbs $2.60per meal of pure chicken veggies and oats with turmeric in a chicken stock. Miss Treacle 8.5kgs/18.74lbs . 48 cents per meal (rounded up)
My ingredients, human grade chicken 100% , chicken stock (no added salt made with water and whole chicken from whole human edible grade product) cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, beans, frozen. Fresh broccoli leaves my garden, oats or rice. both human grade, garlic bulbils my garden, turmeric powder. Everything was fit for human consumption. The three chicken meals that are left will be frozen. I will add once a meal is defrosted for dinner either egg or sardines, and brewers yeast to the meals for each dog. If I had used rice it would have been cheaper as my brown rice was cheaper than my Oats to buy when I purchased them.
Compared to the ingredients in the Optimum dried kibble Chicken, Rice and vegetables, off the Woolworth’s site :Poultry And Poultry By-products; Sorghum And/or Rice And/or Wheat; Barley And/or Corn; Chicken Digest; Cereal Protein; Beet Pulp; Vegetables; Salt; Vegetable Oil; Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulphate, Ferrous Sulphate, Copper Sulphate, Potassium Iodide And Selenium); Sodium Tripolyphosphate; Vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E And Choline) And Antioxidants
Sodium tripolyphosphate, also known as pentasodium triphosphate, pentasodium tripolyphosphate or sodium triphosphate, is used in a wide range of applications in the manufacture of cleaning products and food preservatives as well as in water treatment facilities.
https://www.chefsteps.com/ingredients/sodium-tripolyphosphateSodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) is an alkaline salt that will raise the pH of meats and seafood, enough to increase their water-holding capacity. So if you see this on human grade foods you have to wonder how much extra water is being added to the product to give more weight.
https://www.dogingtonpost.com/a-guide-to-understanding-dog-food-ingredients/Sodium tripolyphosphate works as a preservative in your pet’s food. According to a fact sheet by the Food & Water Watch, sodium tripolyphosphate can be harmful if inhaled and is a skin irritant (MSDS). … Let’s leave this unnecessary, non-nutritive ingredient out of our dog food. Watch for STPP in your fish, too.Sep 29, 2015 beet pulp Fiber/filler, stills contains enough sugar for rush/addiction to food and hyperactivity. corn This controversial cereal grain typically used in dog food is feed-grade (not for human consumption) and can include mold or fungus. Corn is typically considered a cheap filler which is both difficult for dogs to digest and can increase a dog’s blood sugar, leading to diabetes, weight gain, and joint dysfunction.
https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_pet_food_for_your_pets_sake By-products (for example, chicken by-products or beef by-products): clean non-rendered “parts”, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, blood, bone, fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. This is a cheap way for pet food companies to keep the protein levels “high” (although not high quality) while keeping food production costs low.
These are enough to cause me concern. So many dogs and cats have allergies and skin issues. Non of my animals have on the raw, home cooked and Vets all Natural, diets I have had them on . I personally loved the Vets all natural raw diet adult mix but sadly of late the cost of the 15kg bag is becoming so expensive and at present I am finding my home made raw and cooked meat meals cheaper.
So for me the fact my animals are incredibly healthy. Miss Treacle is 12, 1/2,she has a aging condition that makes her eyes look like they are developing cataracts the vet has assured me she can see well. That these are not human cataracts. Busby will be 5 on the 8th May.
I currently spend $6 .99for a kg/2.20lbs of pet mince premium (no preservatives, or colours or food enhancers as can be used in sausage meat which is also included in the cheaper pet mince at my butcher) I buy my meat at a local butchers, and they have their own farm/s so much of the meat is usually local. Unless specified.
I buy usually 14 kgs/30.86/lbs for $6.99 for a total of $97.86 but this will actually provide my dogs for over a month of food when I add the chicken necks once a week $3.50kg/2.20lbs. I also buy bones 5kgs bones $5.00 They will get sardines once a week with their meal. I will also add to two meals one egg for Miss Treacle and two eggs for Busby. They get less meat in those meals. Which extend the meat longer.
125gm tin of headless whole sardines usually 3 in a tin, costs $0.75. I usually buy in spring water unless it they have them in olive oil.
I will also give them eggs two for Miss Treacle and four for Busby a week, total cost of $3.25 I buy oats at $3.95per Kg from a bulk wholefoods they may be less as these may have been organic ones, and the frozen vegetables usually at about $4.50 a kg.
Once a week I will use 1kg of chicken necks for a meal.
I will make six meals of beef pet mince 3.6kgs of meat. which cost me $25.16 plus $4.95 for the vegetables. Eggs cost me $6.50a dozen $0.54 per egg $3.25 for the dogs 6 eggs and $0.75cents a tin of sardines.
I will also add turmeric and brewers yeast alternately. I use turmeric powder that I get from a local supplier for about $4.50 for 375gms/13.28ozs and the yeast I get from a pet supply company for a lot less than from any supermarket. I have had my supply for ages and as I use only a small amount for each dog it has been very economical. lets say $0.30 a week turmeric say similar as it is small doses.
A cost of $34.71 a week for my dogs to eat a home made raw diet that includes beef, eggs, vegetables, fish, turmeric and brewers yeast. All Human grade. Plus bones which $5 bag lasts me two weeks so another $2.50 total of $34.71 for a 41Kg dog and a 8.5kg dog. They are both really healthy with shiny soft coats, they have no skin issues. Fleas and ticks are very rarely a problem and I live in the bush and they have wallabies, rabbits and other macro pods about all who can carry fleas and ticks. I do not use any chemicals to control these critters.
Note I do say human grade meat for my dogs in regard to beef. As it from the butchers. It has no preservatives in it and is made generally every week from off cuts and scraps. It is from human grade edible beef though I may not wish to eat it.
Also note my recipe is using oats and not rice this time. I buy my rice from an Indian store in Hobart and my last bag of brown rice (Australian) was $18 for 15kgs. Both dogs and I eat this too. My dogs also eat apples and carrots as treats. I also will grate both in their raw food which is how I do their beef mince. Along with frozen veggies that I have just defrosted and pureed.
A total of $5 a day. So yes more expensive but when I compare what is in the dried kibble from optimum the ingredients list off the Woolworth’s site and the possibilities that some conditions that some dogs seem to have. I will stick with my perhaps slightly more expensive food but definitely cheaper regarding vets visits and after care costs.
I chose Optimum because it is at Woolworth’s and seems to be endorsed by a TV Vet Dr Chris Brown whom appears to have been involved in the design and development of their Grain free food. See their website https://www.optimumpet.com.au/ While looking at the company website I noted in small writing on their Daily feeding guide. Research shows that feeding your dog a mix of both wet and dry products has a broad range of health benefits. OPTIMUM™ has created a variety of both wet and dry formulations to suit your dog at every life stage. When feeding both, simply halve the recommended quantities of each product. I would need to feed Busby one full can $3.75 per day and 1,1/2cups of the kibble. As I am not sure how much weight that is I can not price it. It would have to be at least $1.25 OH I just found it I would have to feed him 130gms of the kibble at $0.50 per 100gms so 80cents for the kibble making it $4.55 for Busby For Miss Treacle 8.5kgs I would have to feed her 300gms of wet food and 70 gms of kibble so $0.75 for the kibble and $3.75 700gms tin so $0.54 c/100gms $1.62 for the wet so $2.37 for her bringing the total to $6.92 to feed this food to both my dogs as per the recommendations of the company.
Making it almost $2 a day more expensive than my fresh human grade chicken and beef scraps and off cuts.
I am also aware that for some their is concerns in regard to Brewers Yeast, What are the risks of brewer’s yeast for dogs? In large dogs, the amount of brewer’s yeast needed to have an effect may cause stomach and intestinal upset. Gas is the most commonly reported side effect in all dogs. Brewer’s yeast can interact with some types of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/brewers-yeast-dogs-understanding-benefits-and-risks
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11108195 the research article that states potential for toxicity of garlic but the amount given was massive the research paper mentioned below can be found in the link at the beginning of the paragragh.
ttps://www.petguide.com/health/dog/the-shocking-truth-about-dogs-and-garlic/Garlic got a bad rap in 2000, when a research paper was published that was based on garlic’s effect on dogs. Even though the dogs tested didn’t show any outward appearance of toxicity symptoms, there was an effect on the red blood cells. The researchers stated: “we believe that foods containing garlic should be avoided for use in dogs.” From that point on, the rumour spread that garlic could be deadly for dogs. However, that reaction was a little hasty and harsh. Most people read summaries of the study and jumped to conclusions. Reading the results in detail reveals a more complicated story.
Let’s take a closer look into the study itself, not just one quote. This study, which was undertaken at Hokkaido University, was conducted on four dogs. Each of these dogs given 1.25 ml of garlic extract per kg of body weight for seven straight days. As an example, if the dog weighed 40 pounds, it would be given about 20 cloves of garlic. That’s a staggering amount of garlic that no dog or human would ever actually consume in that time frame! Don’t believe us? Then Calculate how much garlic you’d be eating using that formula. It would be more than enough garlic to make anyone ill.
So this is my food for my dogs, they do not get treats (with the exception of when they visit A dear friend Billy she is like their Aunt and will give them and her dog those shmackos. Miss Treacle runs into the pantry if the door is open and sits in front of the jar looking at it longingly and wagging her tail knowing what is in store for her. Obviously deprived my dogs are. All the above is my own opinions and thoughts, I am no way endorsing any products or suppliers, I also am not saying you have to do anything if you are happy with your dogs food.
I would also like to add I could not afford to feed my dogs the more premium dog foods that are vet endorsed and they may or may not be better in quality than how I perceive the particular one I have chosen.
I also have noted many non grain dog foods have a lot of broad beans as the extra protein ingredient, as they are a cheaper source of protein than meat. One such is Australian company who do a home delivery direct to you contract. They say they specialise in ensuring the quantity/ap for your dog.
$79 per box – free shipping to Melb, Bris & Syd 7.5kg They are Australian and state they use 97% Australian sourced ingredients. Scratch is the companys name https://www.scratchpetfood.com.au/grain-free-dog-food/ I have never tried this dog food for my dog, and they charge $5 for a sample? So will never be likely too. I have read some positive and some issues with the products for some dogs on their companies own site.
I have used Vets All Natural again an Australian company but raw based. I have only ever used their grain mix that you soak and add to raw meat. My dogs loved it and it WAS economical for me. Sadly it is too expensive now which is why I am doing my own food for my dogs.
It is such a glorious day here in the valley where I live. The sky is blue with puffs and streaks of white cloud blowing over. Its a lovely temperature and being a Saturday many people are out enjoying it. The most enjoyable thing is there is not one mower or chainsaw being used. It is blissful and relatively quiet, except for the birds singing and my neighbours little girl playing and laughing with her daddy.
There is a gentle wind, which will dry my washing out. I use a clothes horse and fencing about my deck to hang it. The pleasure I have when I bring in the clothes smelling of sunshine. Sigh.
I did have three clothes lines but had to have them taken down for my replacement water tank to go in. (I guess that is important information if you are on tank water; ensure access is easy to replace your water tanks.) The plastic ones are easier as you can roll them into position, I do have one plastic one. Not so with the corrugated metal ones.
Corn flowers continue to flower, and provide seed for next flowering season. A sweet pea is growing in the planter, along with some strawberry plants. Only the strawberry was planted in this particular pot. I love my garden for this it self seeds and brings so much beauty for so little work.
I am watching lots of butterflies and bees flying about, along with some white cabbage moths, I feel I am loosing the battle with them and my brassicas. I am having little luck with broccoli forming heads, and the pick again are also not as I hoped. Perhaps I put them in a bit early. Oh well I am eating them and enjoying what I get. I am also adding the leaves to dogs food and my own too.
I spent a while at the begining of the week cleaning the leaves of all the brasscias on my deck before I put them under the netting. Only to discover that I had left it open so the white cabbage moth had laid eggs and caterpillars have eaten the leaves.
So sitting out on my deck just enjoying the day, I am attempting to shoot photos of butterflies the one below is the only one I captured.
I am not sure what it is but all my butterflies look the same. I am not sure if I can attract some others. I may have to research this. It was lovely to see so many floating about my garden.
Earlier in the morning I was watering the garden. I realised all of a sudden that all the bird life had stopped flying and chatting. I just caught the wedge tail eagle as it flew bye, explaining why it is not a great shot.
I gave my dogs a squashy blackberry each and how they loved them. So they have had a small feast each of delicious organic blackberries from the bushes that make up my boundary. Miss Treacle was not too sure about them. I had to feed her several by hand and then she decided she liked the a lot. Busby on the other hand just tasted and dove into his serve and then ate the leftovers from me. We all had our fill of blackberries this morning.
The beautiful days have bought some growth in the veggie garden.
The asparagus bed is still giving me asparagus every so often, I have high hopes for it next season.
Onions in the old wheel barrow. Looking lush. The peach tree needs a prune.
Whoa so proud of this capsicum plant(above) I planted it in the asparagus bed and it is doing really well. It has 3 capsicums forming well and more flowers. Who knows if they will grow bigger and ripen or not?
Oh my this bed above is a bit of a disaster. The pumpkins are not happy, neither are the cucumbers. Ahh well a big learning curve lots to read up on for next year. The pumpkins that are meant to be growing (unless I confused the names are butternuts. The wee yellow round blobs are not butternuts. Lucky I can laugh at it.
The chili (at least that is what I think it is ) has another fruit on it, and is flowering. It is purple coloured the fruit. Again all I can do is wait and see what develops.
These tomatoes are Suplice and were supposed to be early developers. I have had five small sized tomatoes of the two plants in the garden bed. There are more beginning to change colour and quite a few green ones. The good news is that at least I am getting some ripe tomatoes. Most people who are growing outside this year are having a bad time with tomatoes.
This is my one and only zucchini I have managed to grow so far this summer, and I am nervous to suggest it is going to develop.. As three others have not but they were smaller than this one. It is not for lack of water so I am so uncertain as to why my squash family are doing so poorly.
I have never had this problem in the past. It is not just in one bed three beds have not really done much. The zucchini has a lot of male flowers and few females.
Red vein something the young leaves can be eaten.
Rocket is beginning to shoot up all over the place, this is great news.
The Corn is looking good, as are the beans, I have begun harvesting beans though I am fairly certain I have created a bit of bad seed scenario. As I have planted two or 3 varieties of indeterminate and one determinate. So I am not sure if they cross pollinate. I really have forgotten so much and realise I was quite gung ho with my summer crops. It is an adventure.
I am fairly happy with the Three Sister bed, it is the first time I have grown squash, beans and corn together. Below is the only pumpkin I have growing and this is a butternut Waltheim variety from memory. It is only about 9cm/4inches long not including the dead flower. Again I have no idea if it will mature or not. Previously I shared about my neighbours lovely pumpkins sadly something has got into his and eaten them. Which is really disheartening for him and I do feel for him. As he has worked so hard on his beds and building his trellis. That is the thing with gardening you can never count your pumpkins or any harvest definitively until it is inside your house, and you taste it and it is delicious.
The beans just keep reaching for the sky, they are now way over my height, probably at about 213cm /7 1/2foot now and flowering and producing beans..Yippe!
Photo above is my brassica bed. It looks like the flash went off, but it didn’t. A very bright light at midday. The kale is the plant on the rear left and is doing really well. I never knew it would just keep on growing.
My broccoli plants are in the foreground. Interestingly the one with the seed heads from my silver beet draped all over it is not as impacted by white cabbage moth caterpillar as the one on the left. To the right background is the jostaberry bush.
The photograph above show the other two capsicum plants that were put in at the same time as the one in the asparagus bed. In hindsight I should have left all of them in the one bed. This is not the best photo of them, as the smaller plant in front has some wee capsicums on it and lots of flowers. The taller one only has flowers. The plant to the right is another pumpkin, variety I have no idea but
it has a fruit growing on it. Fingers crossed it matures. If anyone can assist with help as to why I seem to be having more male flowers I would really appreciate it.
Daisy I put into wine barrel at the front of my deck is very happy as it seems the self sown sunflower. I wait to see what happens with it.
Self sown peas, green peas not sweet peas. I love it when things just pop up, and surprise you especially as I dont think green peas are supposed to be growing now.
Two cabbage seedlings, just beginning, I had some others but someone ate them. So I moved these and hope they will be OK. I have to sow some more.
Ive been tidying up my deck plants, just waiting for the lettuce in the background to seed and I will fix that pot up too. Sadly I lost one of my lemon trees this year, it was in the purple pot. I keep meaning to plant one of them out in the ground. I just never know when is the best time. As they seem to be always flowering.
You can see it is still very dry here, pretty normal for summer. We did have some rain (not a lot on Thursday night and it was quite cool) I am fine for water I still have two thirds of a tank in the metal tanks and my plastic tank is full. I have to work out how to connect it to my others so I can use it on the pump as it is very slow to water the garden on pressure alone. I have also been distracted, forgotten I was watering and emptied the tank. Not good
Actually I know how to do it, it is just purchasing the things I need and doing it. It is just one more thing that is difficult with my CPSTD. Since so many things I have done or had done, have been made worse not so bad when I have done it. Really frustrating when someone you paid has left you worse off than before they came to fix it, and three times came back but made it worse! OK let it go, let it go breathe.
I have a very long list of what I need to do. One list only and no pressure.
Strawberries and brassicas hmm weird.
This is a very healthy eggplant/aubergine and it has flowers, same story as almost all things will any fruit mature? It is the wait and see vegetable garden here.
Busby is hunting gekos, and I love the red geranium it brings such a lovely colour to this part of the garden. There is a curry plant on the left that has seen better days. Soapwort grows under and about the geranium.
Red veined sorrel has seeded and has new young leaves, delicious.
The tomatoes on my deck are getting larger, and flowering still I just wait for them to ripen. I have noticed some I think they are the mortgage lifter appear to have some blossom rot damage. No idea how that happened. As non of the others have it and they have all been roughly where they are all together since I put the seedlings in. I have basil growing in some of the pots the way things are going I will have to harvest the basil and make pesto.
Brassicas on the deck not looking so great.
New leaves on this poor lemon and lots of flowers, I am hoping it will give me a lot of lemons. Lots of new growth on the lemon and lime too in the foreground.
This is really interesting, this little pot has violas in it an two brassicas. It has never been under the netting and up until this point in time, no white cabbage moth damage at all? I wonder if the scent of the violas is deterring the moth?
My attempt to fix a broken limb well part of it is still healthy. Not sure what happened to the broken bit at the bottome of the tape there. I need to check if there is scale on this plant again. I have recently given it some iron water, not sure what is going on withthe older leaf. I need to look that up.
This is a happy lemon look at the new growth yes.
I am so thankful for today. It was lovely just to be able to spend time in the garden. My back is getting better, and I am hoping next week I will be able to begin to stack my wood. I am thankful that I did not hurt my back severely. I am thankful that I am getting produce from my garden, and that I have been outside for most of the day. I am constantly tired, and a bit flat, but spending time enjoying nature, watching the birds, bees, butterflies, meditating and just enjoying the sunshine have all been good.
thankyou all for your support blessings to you all Tazzie
With the strange weather patterns we have been having here in the Huon Valley, Tasmania, it is good to know I am not alone in not having tomatoes ripening in the garden. In fact my garden is slow in many areas.
I forgot to mention I picked some plums that had to ripen off the trees, as the birds were getting too interested in them. I was happy with the plums as this is the first year that I actually managed to get some. They have never produced as they did this year, and it was not a huge volume, about 3kgs for four trees. I obviously am not doing something right with them.
I am delighted with aspects of my Three Sister Bed, Corn, squash and beans growing in one bed. As you will see below the corn and beans are flowering, sadly the pumpkin is only just producing some flowers now. I have a feeling that I will be buying pumpkins this year. I may have planted to many beans. I put in climbing and bush. All the plants look healthy, the corn has a few swelling cobs. Fingers crossed I will at least have succeeded in growing edible corn.
I harvested some things from my garden today Yipee! I picked some beans, tomatoes, silver beet and kale. They will go into my dinner tonight.
In my vegetable garden I grow flowers along with veggies. Sea Holly which I have no idea where it came from. I had this weird plant growing in a veggie bed, and thought I shall let it grow as it looks like no weed I have ever seen. I did and the first year nada/nothing well just green leaves flat on the ground. This year it has grown and I love it. Great for cut colour just watch the spikes, and as I said the bees love it! Not just our huge bumble bees. (above photo).
Bumble bees are not native to Tasmania or Australia. They were imported from UK to pollinate tomatoes in poly tunnels but escaped and are now found here. They can get massive here. When I moved from the mainland 20 something years ago, I had never seen a bumble bee. I loved them and would watch them flying about pondering how something so chunky could fly. I was told you could stroke them, and they did not sting.
You can indeed stroke them, but be warned Bumble bees do sting. Unlike honey bees and native bees (I think) they do not die after stinging you.
In the photograph above is a Honey Bee I assume from my neighbours hive. Similar to a bumble bee with a lot less hair.
Which makes me wonder how Bumble bees keep cool in the extreme temperatures we have been having this summer. Yet I see and hear them buzzing about the flowers on my deck.
I make sure I have water in small shallow bowls with some pebbles to help them access the water. I also put a rock and stick or some thing to help them access water in my other bowls and bird baths. I have Blue Banded Bees but have not been able to take a clear enough photograph to share here. I also see dragon flies, butterflies, hover flies and most delightfully frogs.
The little frog in the photograph above was rescued and just popped into the jar for a minute or two for safety as I was moving pot plants about the deck and he/she had been contentedly sitting about between them. I popped a bit of shade cloth over the top of the plant where I sat the jar as I moved it to its new location and the other three I then let the frog out and it hopped in behind the pots. I see frogs regularly when I am out watering the pot plants on the deck. I also see geckos.
A sad lack of sun ripe tomatoes growing on my vines out doors. I do have tomatoes, and some small ones have reddened the majority remain small and green. I am not having a good season with getting bigger tomatoes. Last year I grew cherry tomatoes. This year I am not but I may as well be.
Tomato Timing Hurry up and turn on the red The sauce must be made before retiring to bed
The garlic, basil, and oregano are waiting the jars sterilized and warmed there can be no time for hesitating.
Mother can slow living down to a trickle choices I honor, but please be fore warned, you will soon be a jarred green tomato pickle. https://allpoetry.com/Brownisk
Now onto the deck first order of the afternoon was to get all the brassicas together, then began the search and destroy mission. The enemy had succeeded in landing, and dumping leaving eggs behind. Which in turn ate and ate my brassicas! No option but to find these green blighters and leave them for the birds.
It was a task to gently rub my fingers over ever leaf, every nook and cranny of the plant to find eggs, cocoons, and caterpillars of the white moth! As you can see the mission bore great success.
I realised my current method for stopping the white moth from laying her eggs was not working. I decided to move all the brassicas under the netting I had put up to keep the birds from getting to my tomatoes.
Now in thinking about this I have come to realise that this may not be so great either. As during the day I usually drop two areas of the netting to create openings that hopefully will not let birds in but bees can come in and pollinate. (I have done some hand pollination). If I leave these openings the white cabbage (thought her babies eat all brassicas so she will lay her eggs on any) moth can also enter. Sigh. Back to the planning board.
A lot of people do not like leaving their gardens to self seed. I am quite happy doing this. I do not let everything and I do pull things out as I need to. I love letting any of the Allium family flower and go to seed. The leek flower heads are also attracting so many bees.
Capsicums (peppers) these were in a punnet that for some reason I just grabbed in December from the local hardware shops nursery. I usually do not purchase any vegetable seedlings from them. The one on the right is in the asparagus bed which is more shaded than the other two which are in the tomato bed, They are only about six feet apart, but such a difference. The one on the left is twice the size of the other two and has capsicums forming well. The other two have heaps of flowers but I am not expecting huge if any capsicums to develop.
Along with the capsicums, in another bed where the Sea Holly grows are some chiles. I have no idea what sort, nor what is going on with them. See photo below. It looks like something has been having a try at eating it. On the other side it has scratch marks. Mystery plant mystery as to what is going on.
When I was in the vegetable garden I realised that some of the tomatoes were beginning to go a bit reddish. That will mean the birds will be wanting to get them. I popped tow bird wire cylinder around them and I am pondering if the birds will still try and pop on down into the area. I may have to cover the tops with some netting and hand pollinate the flowers that are still appearing. You can see the protection below. I have used bent wire to pin them down.
In the right of this photo below you can see the self sown sun flower. It is growing and I may end up with at least one. Which would make me so happy.
In the back ground You can see the brassica bed. The Kale on the left of picture the dark green is tall and very healthy. On the right is silverbeet going to seed. The green bending plant is seed of the silverbeet.
On the 9th Feb I sowed some beetroot seeds and carrots in areas of the vegetable garden. I also sowed several cabbage seeds. I left them in small seedling pots on the deck. I was so pleasantly surprised to see some of them have already germinated. I am hoping that they can go in the garden and perhaps the cabbage moth will not be about to lay eggs.
My intention is to sow some carrots in pots on my deck and perhaps some carrots too. I am going to plant more in the veggie garden.
I cleared out the garlic and coriander bed, putting some old manure on it. I have to work out what I will plant there next.
I noticed this week in one of my smallish pots on the deck a couple of broad beans are growing well. I intend to plant more about so will put some about the vegetable garden
I am so thankful for my garden, and to be able to spend time with nature. I am grateful for the bees that come in to collect pollen for their own needs. That the insects, spiders, lizards, frogs, all the creatures that make their home in and about my gardens are here.
I am thankful for the garden producing food some of which I had for in my dinner tonight.
With the addition of garlic and spring onions from my garden, the only purchased items for my meal were two eggs. So my delicious meal cost me a whole $1.10.
The blackberries grow on my boundary, in a hedgerow. It is a wonderful season for the blackberries this year.
You must be logged in to post a comment.