Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
My first social engagement in a long time was a very enjoyable and at times hilarious creative couple of hours. In Tasmania we have Womens Health Tasmania. A service run by women for women. I imagine most countries have something similar.
Womens Health Tasmania offer you the opportunity to gain new skills and a better understanding of health issues important to you. We offer:
opportunities to participate in activities, workshops and forums;
information on general health issues; and
We also promote the interests of Tasmanian women by working with government and the community sector to provide innovative and cost-effective services. It is not just about breasts and other parts that make us female, it can be any bit of a female body. for more information hit the link below. https://www.womenshealthtas.org.au/events/knit-your-bits
It was on a Sunday afternoon at a lovely new business in Cygnet. Cuckoo. (lovely local creative works being sold for great gift ideas and pure wool for knitting, crotchet, etc. Our group is doing breasts. Another workshop is the pubic area (Tasmania shape..lol) You can most likely imagine the laughter and chat that went along with learning to do a magic circle, cups of tea and cupcakes with breast icing decorations.
Just like in real life our crocheted breasts are varied. No pair are the same and no two of a pair are either.
It is also a wonderful pattern for beanies. Miss Treacle is demonstrating the beanie style with elegance.
As hard as it can be for me to sometimes go to things, this was a wonderful small group and I knew no one. I mention this as my anxiety can kick in and that will come out as me talking too much. Some folk do not realise that this is a symptom and not me being comfortable in these sorts of situations. I am really glad I pushed myself and attended. I did not finish my breast at the group, I get distracted easily. I ended up doing them at home.
It certainly has made me be more creative since. I do tend to forget that being creative and being with small groups is doable for me and with my mental health it does help.
and there are lambs in the paddocks as I drive into town.
And across a road interestingly called Missing Link Rd there are these sheep.
My dog Busby barked at them as I stopped to take the photos. They each have a names the ram; one with glasses is Byron such a clever flock. Willie, Brian, Nettie, Nicole, Fenn. Talk about recycling. These wonderful creative sheep are made out of old gas cylinder bottles. I am so often awed by the creative and artisan people who live call the Huon Valley home. Who are genuinely themselves and do what makes them happy and in the process bring joy and delight to others. Add to this that there are many things in the area that can be viewed with no extra cost than the petrol.
I am thankful to have a car, to have enough money to fill it with petrol. I am thankful for the amazing artisians who make this beautiful valley home adding her or his uniqueness to our valley. I am thankful for the incredible place I l live. For being safe, clean air, and freedom to be myself, say what I think and most of all I am thankful that as I have got older and worked to accept and live with my mental illness/s I can be myself and let go of so many words that have been used and sometimes still are to limit me.
It has been incredibly wet here in Southern Tasmania and today as I sit writing this blog it is drizzling and very humid. Too little has been achieved in the last couple of weeks and the weeds and grass are growing and spreading. Yet when I do pull them out too much soil comes with them. So the weeds and grass grow. All is not lost as the fruit trees and other plants are thriving. I am on the 43.1S latitude, 147. E longitude. Climate is cool temperate though that can vary depending on your individual garden and areas in your garden. The soil type, mine is heavy clay. Over the years my work with no dig gardens along with my partner having planted Acacias which provide wind breaks and nitrogen to the soil. The last couple of years I have been doing a back to Eden for the vegetable growing area and fruit trees. This is because I have been very fortunate to have tree trimmers come out my way and shred the variety of branches on the job. Rather than pay to have to travel to the closest open tip/garbage/rubbish area, they are happy to drop it off at locals homes if you are fortunate enough I have receive two huge truck loads and my hens have been assisting to aerate and and add more nutrients to it, whilst removing some bad bugs and eggs. Of course they will also remove the worms and too. The hens have also spread it about which is not so great for moving.
So a walk around the house area and on my deck follows.
I love having flowers in my garden all year and I seem to have achieved it. I can not think of any time when something is not flowering. It has not happened instantly and is always changing as I move things, plant more. I have native bush areas and will be increasing flowering native plants in and around this. Salvias seem to like my garden and do not seem to be eaten by the wallabies and possums. As I do not want to fence out the native animals I generally have chosen to grow on my deck so I can enjoy them and not the native animals who I love having about the house.
I do fence off plants such as my white daisy plant which I had not realised they would enjoy to nibble on. Rain is forecast for the week ahead which makes it very hard to weed (as the soil is saturated ) I did see some bees about which is one of my fears that all the rain we have been having is inhibiting the bees from pollinating the fruit trees and flowers. My hope is the wind ants and other bugs are doing a great job of pollination. Other wise fruit will be less.
We are not short of bees in Tasmania South. Having many native bees along with honey bees and introduced bumble bees.
Today I spent time planting more seeds and potting up my tomatoes. Seed germination so far has been really good compared to last year. I am working out ways to grow some things in a protected situation in case it is a wet summer. I had some brassicas in the veggie area and someone I think my chooks got in and ate them ARRRGH! I will follow up in a veggie garden update. For me doing anything with the garden is great for my CPTSD even sitting on the deck on this greay drizzling humid day. Listening to the bird songs and calls and raindrops falling on my metal roof. I am thankful for full rain water tanks, for being able to live where I do. I am thankful that I am safe (even with earthquake (Victoria) and tornado in NSW recently. I am thankful no one was seriously injured in either area. blessings to You, Tazzie
These photos were taken with my Apple I phone 7 as I did not take my camera with me…I just forgot…sigh. not unhappy with the photos but I will journey again to use my camera. If you wish to share any just acknowledge I Echidna Home Blog please as photographer.
I decided to take a long drive to my GP appointment recently, (65km trip one way) and on the way not very far from where I live a landowner had leased his land to state forestry. Recently they cleared some of the land. I ventured down the track to wet my curiosity and to my delight all the views above were from the top of the now cleared but reforested mountain/hill.
Views that have been lost for quite a while as the trees matured. I wish I could buy this land and build a small home and cherish it. How incredible to see 360 degree views such as these. So delighted I found this area. Taking a chance that you might get bogged or bottom out your car can be so worth it.
I have shared about myself and what my life has been like over the past few months living with CPTSD. It seems to me writing here assists me so much. Seeing my thoughts/activities/feelings in print help me see how far I have come in my life with this illness. Learning to live my life accepting how I move through each day no matter how and what is happening in my life and life around me. I am proud of myself that I keep moving forward no matter how minuscule it may be.
Lets look at what is happening in the garden. Here in the Southern Hemisphere we being our Spring Season very soon; the problem tends to be I along with many others feel the days lengthen and see the weeds growing all the new growth everywhere. I feel the urge to sow seeds. I have to hold myself back and wait wait.. which I have been doing, today I intend to plant a few in pots to germinate in side.
Lets go for a walk around my gardens in the last few days of the yearly Winter season.
I feel like I have done very little during winter, yet when I review the photos I have been doing small things. On top of this each day I walk around and pull weeds out of the paddock area. We have had a very wet few weeks very wet. This has made it more difficult to continue to clear around the fruit trees as the ground is too wet.
The joy of my garden and the hope that I will get seeds in and growing for my own vegetables and food. Rain and colder days are on the agenda for a few more days.
The chooks ahh the chooks sadly I have three roosters, and only five girls. Rupert has been amazing with the chicks but they have all grown up now and I have to attend to reducing the number of roosters, as they will be to much and to mean for the few girls I have. Sadly only one of the female chicks have survived to now. I also lost one of my original hens one of the brown girls. Penny I am not holding out any hope that she is nesting anywhere. My neighbours have also got new hens, and both my neighbour and I have noted that a Sea Eagle has been flying around everyday. This may be part of why my hens have disappeared along with one of the rooster chicks (perhaps not so bad one less for me to attend).
I have been taking my vitamin D as down here we have such low levels of sun over this time of year it is a necessity. It also helps with mood and lessening seasonal affective disorder. (SAD)
It is great to wake up each day, to see how beautiful my garden is looking. I am so thankful to have such a great area to create my space.
I am thankful to those of you who read my posts, blessings to You all. Tazzie
May be triggering and language some may find offensive. Please do not share or use any of the following without consent of Echidna Home. (C)
Living with a mental illness such as Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is so shit at times. I have been moseying along living life in way that has been good. I was out for a day with a friend on Saturday all day and it was really lovely we went to a town further a field. I was so exhausted afterwards. I have to say being with her is quite relaxing as their is nothing like being with someone who really understands what having a mental illness is like. We shared a lot it was really interesting, though at one point she mentioned that she often felt suicidal. This just blew me away, we talked and shared (as we both have had too many people we know and love succeed in suicide. )
Yesterday Sunday (it is a long weekend here in Tasmania). I was just at home and perhaps just switched totally off I am not sure even what I did. Yet I woke feeling good.
I needed to go and get some chook food so drove int Huonville. I did the little bit of shopping I needed too, and stopped for a bite to eat and coffee at one of my faviourite cafes. Sitting in the lane with my dogs, a small disagreement with another dog, sorted and my dogs under the table. His dog near his and all fine. Thy moved the dog and it blocked the access for the staff to bring drinks and food out. One staff member spilled coffee another almost dropped a dish, then the dog jumped up and tried to take food from a plate a staff member was bringing to another table. These people made no effort to move the dog, they never apologised to the staff. I suggested they move the dog form between the stairs and table, they saw no problem.. I was triggered and ended up just loosing it. I could not believe anyone would put anyone else at such risk to conducting their work. I even said it was a health and saftey issue. They just laughed at me and my escalation telling me I should leave. Of course I responded and it went on..I just could not shut up and fucking was used by me numerous times it seems to go with the course. Then one of these people said in a loud voice that I had obviously missed my medication as I was crazy. Well that was just the final trigger. Mocking mental health! I just kept on at her. I was shaking and crying red in the face.
When they were leaving after a very uncomfortable silence had settled whilst some of them finished their food.
It was ugly and horrible and I feel so ashamed, I lost it completely I was so so disappointed as I have not had anything like this occur in over a year. Sigh. I know I know I have a mental illness. I get triggered and when I am triggered I say fucking a lot. Positive is I will be speaking to my psychologist later on this week.
I feel so ill and so tired from all this. I hate this illness. Not being in control and all the work and effort is so tiring so all consuming. I feel I am growing I know I am moving forward I know all this. Yet an experience like this is just frustrating and now takes so much work to not let my self loathing feelings of shame and disillusionment and all those delights that come after such an episodes.
For me where I am now right now is that I do still have insight, I still know that I am so much better than I have been. I am still moving forward. I know I am improving and this is just a small set back.
It taught me that there are some truly wonderful people out there who when someone with a mental illness is falling a part I had someone who stood bye me and cared. For this I am so very thankful.
This morning I have woken really early for me it is just 05:30. Having been woken by Miss Treacle who needed to go out at 04:00 I was not able to go back to sleep and left both dogs and came downstairs.
Dawn is breaking and it is a cool morning so I have opened doors and windows cooling the house down after a hot day, in preparation for a lovely day. The skies are clear with the exception of what is the mist/cloud/fog forming over the river. Street lights are still on across the river and the
Roopert is crowing, Micro bats are flying in the last moments before dawn breaks, catching insects. Swallows somersaulting, swooping swiftly soundlessly. The soloist begins in the dawn chorus Kookaburras laughing, joined by Roopert cock-a-doodle-doo, and chorus of many other birds, The mozzies have taken their last bites of me as this new day begins.
A slight pink tinge begins to appear in the sky. I can see the light indicating the sun is coming up the hills behind my home block sunrise for a while but
It is really interesting to see a river fog being created as the sun begins to rise. Almost more of a winter morning than a late summer one.
If I had not been up as early as I was I would not have seen this beauty. As the fog ended up thick enough that I could not see across the river. It rose again at about 8:30am. It may not have been the most amazing sunrise I have seen here. The morning was so unexpected and beautiful. Even when I am not feeling so great with my mental illness (CPTSD) I am learning to find so much pleasure and contentment in what I have about me. I do understand I am very fortunate with where I live. Yet whilst I was very unwell I was not always able to see all that I had and find contentment. I am a bit flat lately and this may be a perfectly normal part of my life, and that is how I am seeing it, rather than seeing it as a part of my CPTSD. Learning to understand normal reactions to those that are triggered reactions. It is all part of my management and living my life with CPTSD.
I am thankful that I was able to enjoy so much this morning that our world has to offer if we just take a moment when we can to do something a bit different. I am thankful for where I live, thankful for my chickens.
I have done many things over my life. I have always loved animals. I have always thought about working as a native animal rescuer. I have a neighbour who has always cared for orphaned animals and will often in Spring and Autumn have a joey or several (possum or wallaby ) in her care generally on her person. One of my fondest memories is talking with her at a cafe where we were sitting outdoors, and out of her dreadlocks (which were up in a big pony tail) appeared a beautiful joey of a ring tail possum.
When you visit her home, she has wallaby joeys who may still be in a pouch and some who are hopping about during the day. Some who are older and spend their day outside and just come back in to sleep in their pouch. Even some who have left (she lives on acreage in the bush) will come and visit. Bringing with them a new partner, and to show off their joeys.
I found a joey in a dead wallaby’s pouch coming home a few years ago.
Sadly Mama had been hit by a vehicle. I checked the pouch and found the tiny joey. He was not quite a pinky. (a pinky is a marsupial baby with no hair)… Picture of a Pinky
The wee fellow I found was just getting hair a very soft downy hair. He was pretty much like this photo below.
He was off his Mama’s teat which was a big worry. Normally it is incredibly difficult to take a wallaby joey off its Mama’s teat to save them. You can not just pull them off, and it is not unheard of for the nipple to be cut off so the baby can have something to suck and trauma is less for a short while. Joeys hold on tight to the teat. The reason is Joeys can survive in their Mama’s pouch for up to 48hours if they have not been injured. So it was impossible to tell how long he had been off the teat. I was fortunate that our local feed store in Huonville carries supplies for wildlife baby feeding.
The above are pictures of wildlife teats that you attach to small bottles for orphaned babies. The photo on the bottom is the sort for a wallaby joey. You can see how long the teat is which explains why it can be so difficult to remove a joey of its Mama’s teat after an accident.
Tasmania did not really have a rescue organisation or training for rescuing native babies when I first moved here and it was the kindness of people such as my friend to take on the care of these orphans.
I knew my friend was away, when I found this wee joey. He was an Autumn baby. Most young are born in the spring. I drove to our local animal provision shop who had native animal milk formula. I purchased special wallaby teats and little bottles, along with the milk formula. I also bought some baby bottle sterilising tablets.
I wrapped up the tiny baby and popped him inside my bra. Warm safe and snug. Body temperature is so important. Especially for one such as this wee guy who had no real hair as yet.
Arriving home I popped the kettle on and sterilised the new teats and bottles. I found some old holey flannelette sheets and cut them up and then found a beanie. These were to become the wraps and face wipes along with toilet wipes for this little baby.
I made the milk powder up for the joey wrapped him up in the flannelette wrap. I poured the required amount into the bottle and attached the teat. It is not a given any baby animal will just drink from the teat. It is nothing like their Mama’s teat, taste wise or shape wise they are much more like them though then when I raised a joey in NSW quite a few years ago now. Imagine having to get used to a silicon or rubber taste that is not warm or smelling like their Mama’s.
The fact is I did not know if this wee joey was injured, he did not look as if he had any broken bones, you could see basically through his skin and I could see no bruising and he had no blood anywhere. He would be in shock of course. Knocked off the teat, and in a slowly cooling pouch. I dripped some of the formula onto his mouth in the hope the poor wee joey would taste the milk and look for the teat. It is in no way a certainty that any orphan will take to the teat. Texture, taste, warmth, of the teat, and the formula are all new for the baby. As are the smells of me, and the cloth he was now wrapped up in. (fortunately I do not wash clothes and linens in scented clothes washing powder).
I gently tried to move the teat to his mouth and push it slightly in the hope he would take it in. He did not and for the next 10+minutes I gently attempted to encourage him. He was not doing it, so in the end I gently opened his jaw and placed it in his mouth. He took the teat in. I helped it in gently and then I hoped he would suckle. In the process of getting the teat into his mouth some of the formula had gone onto the teat and I feel the joey tasted this and was hungry enough to suckle. Yeah.
He drank nearly all the fluid that is advised for the age I believed this little guy was. He was falling asleep. It must have been a very frightening day the smell of the car, my dogs, me, and all that he had gone through. I could see the milk in his stomach under his skin. I had been so very careful not to let any go down into his airway. This can happen very easily in the early days of hand rearing an orphaned animal. I then wet with warm water one of the smaller flannels and very gently patted his genital this is to simulate his Mama licking him to make him go to the toilet in her pouch. She then licks the area clean. I gently patted and wiped up the tiny drops of urine and feces. There was not any sign of blood in either. A good sign of no internal injuries.
He needed rest. I needed to tend to my dogs who were so curious as to what was going on.
I made sure I fed him away from my dogs, and in a room they never came into. Sounds bizarre but the toilet was the best place. I could sit, it was away from the dogs, and had no dog smell. It was always clean and he had a lovely safe dark place I could hang the pillow case pouch with him snug in his beanie bed. I needed to have a power point for the kettle, as I would be up every two hours overnight to feed him.
The success rate with joeys as young as he was is not high. Not knowing how long he had been off the teat, was also a problem, the fact he drank eventually from the bottle was a huge relief. I refrained from giving him a name. I knew from my friend via messenger that he was likely to die. Even when you believe they are past the worst a joey can just die. They are nervous and need to be left in the pouch as much as possible. They should only be handled for feeding, toileting when they are so young or even when they are older to settle down and feel safe.
For the first week I was so petrified that he would be dead every time I went in to feed him.
He was growing, I weighed him every day. (very important to keep a check on that he is growing and eating) along with documenting how much he drank each feed. 12 feeds a day/ 24hours seven days a week. I documented it all so I could see immediately if he was not drinking as much or loosing weight. Hygiene was the most important part for this baby. I did now at the age he was he had, had the colostrum from his Mamma in the early days. That is a big bonus in caring for young wallabies.
How my life changed and how my dogs lives changed with this new routine in our life.
I would take him with me only if I was going to be out of the house for more than two hours or a risk I might be, he would be in my top. I rarely let anyone know he was there, he was too young and it was way to risky for him. I would ask for boiling hot water in a mug if I was at a cafe as I needed to feed him, sit quietly and make up his bottle and just feed him. Everyone understood and was kind when I explained he was too little to be out of his beanie and wrap.
After a few days when I could see he was growing and his hair was very slowly appearing it was fascinating observing how his hair came in. I called him Wee Jasper. He wormed his way easily into my heart. As tired as I would feel at two am, four am, six am as I got up to get his bottle ready and feed him, just listening to his snuffles and suckling warmed my heart so much. Even with the damp warm cloth making him wee and poop keeping his bottom and pouch very clean. Cleaning his bottles and teats after every feed;. every two hours. The reality of being a wild life rescuer. These babies take much longer than kittens or puppies to grow and reach a maturity where they no longer need bottle feeding. It is a huge commitment for all those who do it all the time.
I did not take many photos of Wee Jasper. As for me it was important that he was to remain as wild as possible. It was important that he was disturbed as little as possible. Feeding him every two
In this photo he was all wrapped up and settled having just had a feed. He is wrapped in flannelette sheeting, (you can see loose threads in these photos, I must have been washing all the other ones as it was too easy for him to get the threads caught around his nails or even his paw or face and do some damage. He is then in a pure wool beanie. I did not use any synthetic materials (though I know some people do and are OK with it) As I was concerned about the synthetic fibre getting into his mouth.
This is Wee Jasper quite a bit older here he is still in his beanie but this is an old cotton pillow case I had which I used as his pouch. It hung from a hook in the toilet.
He was getting old enough here to have some time out of the pouch and be in the sunshine. (He was a paddymelon joey they are a small wallaby). You can see how small he still is next to my fairly small mug. On the timber deck. He was learning to manage his footing here. As he had been in a pouch all his life unitl this day. It was a special day for us both.
If you look at this photo and compare it to the previous one you can see how much more hair Wee Jasper has on his face. I love this photo it shows he is happy and healthy with bright eyes. It helps the joey to settle better if he has a dummy (pacifier) it is the end of a teat. The joeys are attached to their Mama’s teat until they pop their heads out of the pouch basically. Then they intermittently suckle.
I was so happy that Wee Jasper survived. I was so awed at how much work is involved. I began to worry about how I would socialise him to other wallabies. Life was getting easier as he grew the feeds were growing further apart.
My friend who I mentioned previously rang me to see how he was going and asked me how I felt about him moving to her home. As she had a joey she had receive a few weeks previously who was thriving now similar age to Wee Jasper and same breed. She thought it would be wonderful for them to be playmates and live together. I agreed. So the next day I took my little macropod to her home. Where her little guy and mine would meet. I hung his pouch on the spot my friend indicated. Next to her boy. He was out and immediately went to smell the new thing in his environment. I could see Wee Jasper wiggling from his lying position to move to a more upright position, and sure enough my friends joey made some chattering sounds and Wee Jaspers head came out of the pouch. He had learnt to get out of the pouch but still needed a hand to return(a pillow case is not the same shape in any way as a pouch).
The slightly bigger joey sniffed Wee Jasper, and my boy made his way out of the pouch. They sniffed each other and it then was like watching most youngsters who meet up with a new person sorting out who and what you are. I feel Wee Jasper suddenly realised he was not human. They hopped and played, chased each other and it was so good to see. My friend also had several other wallabies in varying ages in her home and who she had released on her land who came visiting. It was going to be a great home for Wee Jaspers next stage in his life. It has been several years, and I did visit my friends home several times over the course of time, and Wee Jasper seemed to remember me, he would come over for a cuddle scratch, he and his buddy. My friend told me that they would go off all night and come and sleep in their pouch during the day, and she then made them (as they got old enough stay outside all the time. SO they were aware they were wild creatures. With some quirks.
blessings to You, Tazzie
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I have harvested some potatoes that I was growing in containers. Whilst the weight of the harvest has been reasonable for my first try. I have been disappointed with the size. Small to mini potatoes. I have harvest about 3kgs only. Looking at weight of seed potatoes I planted was just under 1kg, It is at least a gain. I have planted more in one container, and from reviewing my method of care feel I may not have watered them enough. Time will tell.
The top left photo looked promising with potatoes. This is the third pot I had dug on the right is the actual volume of potatoes. The two photos below are of potatoes harvested from two larger black pots a few days before. I did get two OK sized ones. They will be delicious and yes I am disappointed as I said. It is a learning curve. If anyone has any suggestions I am happy for input.
I was working on my deck and noticed a hen jump over the vegetable garden fence, it sort of looked like Fried, I had to turn the hose of and grab some shoes. I could not see a hen anywhere. I have in there for when Miss Treacle comes in to be with me but gets too hot. She goes in digs a shallow dip and lays in the shade coolness, as I work. I had looked for her there ages ago but this time I found her. She was right up in the back and it was only that I had a torch with me I think I could see her this time.. I was so happy that she was alive!.
I then checked under her,
She was sitting on 20 eggs. She was just managing to cover. I was not sure how long she has been there. So I am not sure how old some of the eggs are. I looked at my chicken coop and my little coop I have used to have a Mamma Hen sit on her eggs and care for her very young chicks.
I have had to come to a difficult decision and that is for the sake of the chicks and Frieda as well as myself I needed to cull the eggs. So yesterday I removed half of them. Nine of which were fertile. I must say Frieda looked at me as I took the eggs, she then looked at the ones she had near her. She looked at me and settled so much easier on the greatly reduced number of eggs. There is of course a possibility that more eggs will not be fertile. Having examined the eggs I removed I feel that she has probably a week to go before any begin to hatch. However I am no expert. I understand many of you may feel that this is horrible and cruel. Yet this is the reality of homesteading. I imagine I would have buyers of them in 20 weeks if they were mostly females for point of lay hens. I would still have to cull roosters (and will have to regardless as I can only have one rooster in my coop). Roopert is loud and frustrating but he is a wonderful rooster caring for his girls and obviously good father material.
I had no real desire to have chicks this year. My small coop needs some work so tomorrow I will be fixing it up if I have the things I need otherwise it will be Monday. I shall then move Frieda and her eggs to the new single Mamma’s Home Coop. It is in the chook run. This is so that the other hens and Roopert will hear and eventually see the chicks. I have put the chick mix to help reduce risk of Coccidiosis (I do not use the medicated one but one that is more herbs based. As Frieda is not laying eggs now she does not need the same food and she can eat this mix. As it is also not a ‘medicated’ mix her eggs when she begins laying again can be eaten. Normally you can not eat eggs from a hen that has eaten the medicated chick feed. for several weeks.
I am growing a bit clucky myself and look forward to having little chicks about. I love how the Mamma talks to them and settles them. How they race about and she teaches them all they need to know. Fingers crossed Frieda is a good Mamma.
So my little homestead is growing.
My meal worms have all become beetles and now I wait for them to lay eggs and worms to happen. It is not a fast process.
My worm farm is doing really well too.
Wallabies are being kept out of the chicken run at evening time I accidentally locked one in one night and it was very eager to leave when I arrived in the morning. I terrified the poor guy even more trying to get it out of the gate.
We have had a lot of humid weather and more storms and heavy rain. In the north of Tasmania flooding was happening, whilst in Western Australia over 80 homes were lost in bush fires. We are a harsh country. The weather has really played havoc with my veggie garden and nearly everyone I know who is only growing tomatoes outside is finding they are ripening very slowly. It is an extremely strange summer here.
Though as I sit here typing the sun is just going down and we have a very long dusk. There is not a cloud in the sky and very strange to see is the green grass on the hills across the river. It is February our hottest month usually and people are ordering water tracks as tanks can get low. Instead my tanks are overflowing and there is green grass. Some of my wattles are flowering again peculiar. If it is not climate change Mr Morrison (Australia’s Prime Minister who does not believe in it) what is it?
I am eating mostly with improvement, I am probably doing half of my routine. The walking the dogs instead of me driving and them running is not happening. I have been blaming it on humidity or heat. I do walk them when we are in towns. Just not the daily walk. Showering is going well and going to bed is much better all with improvement to be made. I am happy though as I am feeling on the whole better and not beating myself up at all. I am moving forward.
I have potted up some Autumn veggies in containers on the deck and some flowers. Reorganising, feeding and rearranging the deck garden. I will share more about the deck and veggie garden soon.
I began clearing out the car port, that continues. I still have to move more of last years wood so I have room for this years delivery.
I am thankful that Frieda is alive. I am thankful that I am managing my CPTSD better than I was last post, I am thankful I am mindful of my triggers, I am thankful for full water tanks, I am thankful we have had no cases of Covid-19 here in Tasmania for ages and life is fairly good here. I think of those in WA who are now homeless. I think of those who live in Melbourne and are back in total lockdown again, and for others around the world.
I hear Roopert crowing goodnight, I too shall take my leave.
Why are carrots so hard for me to grow? This is my most successful crop so far. Any help appreciated . They are tasty, and enough for a meal for me. Or a good supply for lilliputians.
Seriously these were just seeds I had spread about in a few pots on my deck. I am assuming that they needed to stay in for a bit longer.
I wanted to revive the pots and sow some more seeds in them. I have been tidying the deck today. My lettuces are doing OK, one variety has gone to seed. But some others are just developing and the cos is growing, I actually ate some of the leaves of one of them recently with my wee tomatoes. Oh were they so tasty. Just incredible.
Above are some beans I threw in my half wine barrels, along with kale cornflowers and weeds. The iris (brown leaves) have been broken up for composting around them. I ate some of the bigger beans as a snack today. Lovely. I am enjoying my surprise barrels. I sit at my table on my deck when I sow seeds, and often for no real reason I just toss some seeds into the barrels. I am very delighted with what is growing at present. I have kale, silverbeet and a calendula. These are the three pots in the most shaded part of my front west facing garden. Running along the front of the deck.
My idea of keeping the hens and Roopert in their run is failing. Sigh. It has rained and there is green grass shooting. Unheard of in February. Normally our hottest month. More rain forecast this weekend and heavy. Fuller rain tanks nothing will be the joy of this if it eventuates.
My Deck garden is containers. I am amazed at what I can grow in pots. The benefit is wallabies and possums do not get at them. The chooks can not get at them, or dig under them. Even the starlings and black birds do not tend to get into them like the veggie garden beds. I can cover them easily to prevent cabbage moth damag.
Flowers are becoming a part of my deck garden this year and perhaps more so. In with vegetables they make me smile and happy to see.
Below are my firs attempts at making apricot and peach fruit leathers. There is nothing wrong with the one in the tray it is how apricots dry when no sulpher is used. My peaches were to moist and I should have read up more on what to do but I know next time. (they dripped through) I am not happy with these trays which have not been used a lot. They are cracking. To replace them is not cheap. My dream is to save for a metal set up ie very expensive Excalibur Dehydrator which is also a square one, which is easier to put the puree on and the fruit. The temperature is more evenly spread. The difference in colour of my apricot leather the heat/air in the round ones is not dispersed so well. Lovely with some desiccated coconut. I did add a little sugar but not a lot.
The peach ones are at the front and due to their being so moist they dried very differently. I am trying to dry some hard enough no dry enough that I can then powder the peach. I can then add the powder to tea, and yohgurt. Cream ice cream even my weet-bix. It was simpler than doing a syrup or jam, and I am not a big jam eater. I am enjoying the leathers, and will be buying some seconds strawberries to make strawberry leather too. I will freeze the plums I think.
The blackberries are ripening and so delicious. I am freezing these for muffins and yoghurt, and winter porridge.
I am thankful for the rain , as I have enough water for my gardens, I am thankful for all the beautiful things in my garden. I am thankful to Mother Earth for her wonders and how a tiny seed can grow and give us food. I am thankful to my hens for the eggs they provide for me and my dogs. I am thankful for my health and the improving of my mental health as I get back to my routine.