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.
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
I was driving home from my GP this afternoon. This is a 140km round trip and it is a pleasurable and scenic drive. Alongside both sides of the Huon River. Though this set of photos is my seeing a hen with her chicks on the road. I pulled over to watch them.
I feel it was Busby my large dog sticking his head out the rear seat window that really got the Mamma Hen to rally her chicks up the rather steep embankment of the sealed road. These wee chicks were not that old.
I did wonder how this little one would manage. I was awed by its determination and perhaps more so the drive that adrenaline and fear for ones life give. Mamma had not waited for this wee one, she was back under the fence and just seemed to keep telling the chicks to get back in the yard, It seems all parents are the same. All chicks made it and the little one is seen second from left back with its siblings and Mamma in the yard. I hope that their Mamma has learnt not to take her babies down on the main road again.
It was lovely to see this family and to watch the effort and achievement of this one little chick. At first after the other two chicks had left it. I really feared it was going to give up. (I would have jumped out and got it up there if it had) It was a delightful thing to observe and shoot with my camera.
This was not the only bird life we saw on the way home from the GPs. Another day to share more of the journey home with my dogs.
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.
Sometimes in my garden things just grow. I have an area of land that is a small paddock and when my wattle trees (acacias) flower they drop their seeds and a sapling will grow. I had one come up last year and I left it as it blocks wind on two plum trees without shading them.
This year another sapling grew. I watched it and realised that it would end up shading my vegetable garden and hazelnuts bushes. I had also noted that in my native area, where many acacias had self seeded some were very scrawny and others had become too big shading some of the other natives and bird attracting flowering shrubs I had planted.
I made the really hard decision to take several trees out. There was no point in just pruning them as wattles grow rapidly and tall. I made sure that no birds had began nesting in any of the sapplings (they were not big trees) as I could not have removed them if they had. Then with my hand pruning saw I removed them.
As hard as it was I know it was the best thing for the plants that are already in the garden. That they will have their needs met. With more space I can put in some smaller shrubs that will feed the native birds, bees, animals and bugs.
I want my garden to be a place where every creature can live in harmony and have access to water and food. I made errors where I put fruit trees years ago, and now the two blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) have grown huge, even though my partner pruned the tops off them years ago. I love them as do the birds. The bees when these two are in blossom (and they have been lately) have been loving them too. This growth has also added to altering where the sun falls on areas of my garden. I have had no hakea flowers this year and my hakea is a pin cushion one which I love. I realise now that it has probably been planted in the incorrect position all those years ago. It is to large to move now and I will hope that it will have its amazing flowers next year.
I guess no matter how well you plan your garden, and how tall or wide the label or nursery person says the small tree /shrub you are buying will be. It will all depend on the situation you put it and what you plant near it or where you plant it near. How young other areas of your garden are, and like me the seeds that germinate and you let grow. That will make you face the choice of removing it.
I have some more pruning of some trees to undertake. With the forecast for the next five days to be back to winter temperatures and snow to 800m it may be the perfect time to undertake this. There are several trees growing on the old dam wall Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera
have noticed it has spread up our little road and around a dam further up. They are small and I will attempt to get them tomorrow. My own and I think there are two. I would like to remove them before they set seed. As a land holder it is my responsibility to remove those on my land. The spread of these shrubs trees is really noticeable this year, along the river. This means that next year if they are allowed to seed it will be worse. They impact our native forests under story destroying the natural diversity. They also can become a huge fire hazard. I can not pull the trees out I have to prune them, bag them and then treat the stump with a herbicide. As pulling a mature tree/shrub out will disturb the seeds and create more. Thought the seedlings pull out really easily.
I do believe many people who buy many acres of land with bush to homestead on may be unaware that they have responsibility for weed management, and land care. On top of attending fencing, stock, vegetables, fruit trees, gardens, normal family life, and work, this will add substantial time to being on your homestead and caring for it. Something to think about.
If like me you are on a small income, and have a little patch of paradise. Or you dream of it, begin where you are. Grow things in pots, if you rent. If you are buying a flat or unit and it has a balcony grow a garden out on it. You will learn so much.
If you have a garden no matter how small get out there and begin. As if you expect to move to land, you need to know some things, and just reading and watching Youtubers is not enough.
I look at a neighbour down the road, two properties away. He has an amazing garden, he is 91 he walks every day, he grows his own vegetables and fruit. He created his own amazing water collecting set up. Yet his garden has very different microclimates to mine. Next door has too.
I have found over time that I have to look at my own place, how the sun moves, and how the garden changes year to year. How when I first moved here the garden was fine in the front area, but now it would get too much heat and wind if it were still in that location. I moved it when I had to have my French Drain replaced.
I am waiting for some people to come and remove some of the blackberries of my land and then I will remove some more very sad and sick wattles. My neighbour and I are thinking of potential a lovely native bird and butterfly area on the bit in between our two properties.
The garden is never the same year to year. Some years the rain is perfect and the tomatoes are fantastic, others are a bad year. Similar for the fruit trees. You do the preparation and you tend as best you can.
I love it, it is addictive this growing your own food. I try not to eat (fresh) tomatoes form now until my own are ripe..I am laughing at this as the seeds are not even up yet. It makes my mouth water at the thought of that first red tomato (or green or black depending on the variety) that I pick smelling of sunshine warm to the touch and cut or bit into it, juices running down my fingers and that flavour. HMMmm.
I have picked stunning sweet juicy broadbeans the last two days. The pods were straining with the swollen seeds. I just ate them raw. Delicious! Similarly I was eating rocket and coriander leaves as I was walking about the veggie garden and one asparagus spear. The joy of my garden. Rocket is flowering, as is the coriander and my sprouting broccoli. All I will let produce seeds. I aim to harvest the majority of them as I am not sure I want them all just popping up everywhere as I have so much to plant out soon. Fingers crossed
Where ever you are, I do hope you are able to grow some herbs or greens, at least have access to fresh local vegetables at a reasonable price. I know how much better I feel when I eat lots of fresh veggies and fruit.
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