Vegetable Garden Update

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.

Bumble Bee in Sea Holy

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.

Honey Bee in Sea Holly

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 bed with self sown sunflower

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.

blessings to you all, Tazzie.

Vegetable Garden Lammas Celebration.

I am so thankful to the Goddess for all I have harvested enjoyed and prepared for later on. Thankful to having the space, the provision of food helps me on my low budget. It is a blessing to be able to grow what I have and share and enjoy it.

It is Lammas the celebration of the harvest. The Godess, (Mother Earth) Gaia, thank You for all I have harvested over the summer. Sweet tasty peaches 18kgs so wonderful to share with friends. My attempt at dehydrating my peaches was a failure. I have picked 4.5kgs of plums.

My garlic and the scapes wonderful. A few green peas grew and were lovely as were the broad beans.

Lettuce and spinach, kale, silverbeet. Rhubarb
Apricots from a friend, nectarines and cherries oh my delicious cherries from a local orchard and blue berries sigh summertime fruit in a temperate climate. Lemons, the flowers sweet peas, corn flowers, nasturtiums.

I notice my wattle trees are in flower! This is really strange as they usually flower around August. In fact September 1st in Australia was known as Wattle Day.

Wattle Day is a day of celebration in Australia on the first day of September each year, which is the official start of the Australian spring. This is the time when many Acacia species (commonly called wattles in Australia), are in flower. So, people wear a sprig of the flowers and leaves to celebrate the day.

Mother Earth is in some turmoil.

While some Christian communities may still practice a “blessing of the loaves” on Lammas, it is a tradition that is beginning to diminish. Nowadays, most Christians who want to celebrate Lammas do so by attending mass or by adorning their house in fall symbols such as corn husks, wheat strands, apples and other traditional harvest symbols.

Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, “loaf-mass”), is a holiday celebrated in some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere on 1 August. It is a festival to mark the annual wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide, which falls at the halfway point between the summer solstice and autumn September equinox.

The loaf was blessed, and in Anglo-Saxon England it might be employed afterwards in protective rituals:[1] a book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the Lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain.

In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called “the feast of first fruits“. The blessing of first fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ).

Lammas has coincided with the feast of St. Peter in Chains, commemorating St. Peter’s miraculous deliverance from prison, but in the liturgical reform of 1969, the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori was transferred to this day, the day of St. Alphonsus’ death.

In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called “the feast of first fruits“. The blessing of first fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ).

In the Northern Hemisphere it is Imbloc on the 1st February 2020.

Imbolc today for those in the Northern Hemisphere

Unlike Samhain, which transformed into the much loved night of Halloween, Imbolc is one Celtic festival that hasn’t quite survived through history. Although Christians still celebrate St. Bridget’s Day in Ireland and children still learn how to make crosses at the start of February, little else remains of the ancient Celtic spring festival. However, Saint Bridget’s cross, made from rushes and hung around the home just as the Celts would have done, is as good a reminder as any to the festival’s ancient and mythological origins.

Blessings to You all Tazzie


Happiness is…

You know as a gardener you have been waiting, the flowers have come.

The bees pollinate and you slowly watch the little green shape slowly get bigger and rounder expanding.

It seems that you are just waiting and watching for that little touch of colour,

You watch it every day become redder and your mouth starts to salivate as you imagine that flavour of your first home grown tomato the first of summer . You know what I mean.

Oh my today is it, that round red ball of flavour. I know just how I am going to enjoy.

On toast for breakfast.

YUMMO!!!

So this is a very short post cause I am off to eat my first tomato!

I don’t have a green house. Netting is coming!

darn birds

Arrrgh!

blessings Tazzie

Managing Life's little accidents


My dogs were inside Busby had hurt his leg after all the activity from yesterday so no walk today. Toilet privileges only Miss Treacle is 12 and has not been that adverse to just lying in the sunshine and coming in and lying in the cool.

I decided that I would water the veggies, grabbed the hose, and spent a lovely hour watering and doing a bit of spot weeding. I am so thankful that my thingy on the end of my hose has an off switch so I don’t have to keep going back to turn the tap off and on. Every thing in the veggie garden is growing, some things better than others. So I am happy enough.

I decided to pick some more peaches. I was picking them and gently putting them into my T-shirt holding the hem up to form a bowl shape. I decided to move around to another part of the tree, and next thing I know I am on the ground. I am winded and more worried about the peaches than myself. I feel a wetness under my thigh, and move a squashed peach from under me. I ache and my foot hurts, I lay there on the ground surrounded by peaches and wiggle every bit of my body. Nope all OK. Oh I notice blood a small cut on my big toe.

i become more concerned about the peaches. So after about 10minutes of just laying on the ground feeling all sorts of things, I get up (yes all working) and rescue the peaches that have survived the fall. Most have. I guess tomorrow they will be bruised as I am sure I will be. I wonder if peach juice is good tonic for the skin? At least the animals tonight will not have to pull down the branches. Quite a few peaches fell off the trees.

I decided enough of being in the garden, and headed in side. I sat on my chair after putting peaches in a box, and my dogs came over excitedly. I moaned as I sat down, and began to feel nauseous. A little shock. I decided that I too along with my dogs would have a very chilled rest of the day.

I ended up heading up stairs to lay on the bed at about 16:00hours, and realised I am not as young as I think. I don’t bounce back as well. The interesting thing is we have all been sleeping and resting on the bed. All just recovering.
My shoulders and neck hurt and I have no real memory of hitting the ground. I guess I did not put my arms out as I was holding the t -shirt. I may feel stiff tomorrow but I am fine . I know I need to clean up around my garden. It is on the list…the very long list..I can laugh about it. I am not injured and I am fine.

So an early night of good sleep for us all and a better day tomorrow.

New Years Garden Update.

I have been attempting to get the Vegetable(veggie ) garden going well this year. I am proud of what I have achieved so far. It is a very strange summer 40dC one day down to 17dC the next is it any wonder my garden is a bit all over the place.

I have shared before I am not a organised or brilliant gardener. My garden is very much like me. A bit all over the place, so we suit each other.

When I first began veggie growing here. I chose a north west facing area. Some thing went brilliantly for the first couple of years and than it was just to much heat and sunshine for them, So that area went when I needed to put in a new french drain.

The area I now use was begun the year I had my breakdown. Over the time since then I have got things going but generally they just had to look after themselves. Understandably a lot of things did not make it. The Onions in the wheelbarrow did as did the peach and crab apple, blueberries and hazelnuts. Some of the other fruit trees have not done very well. Though a couple like an apple I planted which has never done anything has fruited this year. .

Onions, self sown and doing OK. I am finding Acqual’egia/Columbines/Grannys bonnets, popping up all over the place and I love them. They can be a little problematic when they pop up in my little veggie beds or as in this case in the wheelbarrow. I do need to do some soil building up here and I feel that it will perhaps find a new place in the garden.

These pumpkins took quite a hit with the weather , I have given them some blood and bone and charlie carp. The new leaves are looking healthy so fingers crossed they will soon take off. My neighbours pumpkins went in later than mine and are just growing so fast. I have to admit I do have garden envy. I have another veggie gardener down the road from me. He is a gentleman almost 90 he walks every day and is out in his garden. It provides all his fruit and vegetables. I know I am not a great veggie gardener. Perhaps 2020 is my year to improve exponentially and have great harvests.

(lucky I pulled my garlic last week ) it is not my best crop of garlic but I am thankful for all I have grown.

Above These two plants I have a feeling are chilies. I planted them 2018 and they have never done anything. I have to say they are looking better this year, there is even a flower on this one. So it will be very interesting to see how they grow, and if I end up with any fruit.

Now the bed above is my three sister bed. Beans zucchini and corn. It is doing wonderfully well. The corn is an experiment for me. The beans and corn (well nearly all the corn are growing thick and solid, the beans are developing tendrils and leaves. I even have some red flowers developing on these climbing beans. I have fed them some Charlie Carp today so fingers crossed that will help them become happier. (photo underneath)

One of my blue berry bushes above. They are healthy but it is not the best crop this year. I will enjoy any I manage to get. The blackbirds have been beating me to most of my berries. Never netted them before but lost red currants and jostaberries to them.

Three sisters bed again showing the healthy beans and corns. Very happy so far with this bed.

Looks like the butternuts pumpkin is taking off, I it has more leaves all of a sudden. I am crossing everything in the hope of growing some great pumpkins this year.

Oh look one of my Ollas we are back in the 3 sisters bed. The Ollas were fantastic on the really hot day. I find them really helpful.

Above and below are two capsicum plants. Both have flowers. I am quite worried about the bottom one as it is not getting any height yet there are five flowers on it already. First time I have attempted capsicums,

Below is my zucchini I think, the labels have been blown about by the wind and the birds digging up the sugar cane looking for worms and grubs. It has begun taking off this week so I am hoping for yummy zucchinis, love them.

This poor tomato is one I accidentally broke the top off and it is finally recovering It has grown taller

Above the other tomato, oh just noticed it looks like a sunflower growing right next to it. sigh.. will have to thing about it as it would be the giant ones from last year and some of them were 9foot high with thick stems. Probably transplant is. The lettuce are picking up.

Anzac peach has so many peaches on them. I am so grateful that the super hot day did not seem to damage them. I feel that by the weekend I will be eating my own peaches. They are a white one.

My half barrels are evolving , finally the corn flowers I planted from seed are flowering. Another great flower, and makes a lovely pop of colour in a vase. Also in here are parsley which looks to have gone straight to seed. Also a small nastutium, I am hoping it is the red one, I took a cutting off last year, and vaguely recall popping it in here to see if it would grow.

Another plant I could not grow up until this year the marigold. I took a cutting from out side the local library(they have a garden, with herbs and flowers some silver beet. You can help yourself). It is flowering now and growing. The borage that you can see is tiny. Self seeded. I do hope that the seeds have spread further afield. Bees adore borage flowers and great added to salads.

I love this part of my garden, it is always a bit of a work in progress, to make it better for the birds to access the bird bath. I think I will move the salvia right next to it as it is one that grows super high and bushy. It will cut my view of the bird bath. I have lovely photos I will share of the birds, that visit my garden.

Sweet peas continue to flower and they are a favourite these ones are perfumed so beautifully I put them in my toilet. Beats artificial sprays.

First sighting

It hit 40dC/104dF here today.

I went out about 9;30am daylight saving time, to water the veggies in the garden and those in pots on the deck .

Miss Treacle chose to stay in the cool of the house. All curtains drawn, windows facing the north and west(southern hemisphere so these are the hot areas) I place those windscreen sun protectors the foil ones on them as well. Works wonderfully, but the house must look like a meth lab. So far no police ramming down the doors!

Busby and I ventured out. It was not too bad at that time, but you could feel it was going to heat up fast. I went to water my watermelons plants. Not holding out hope for watermelons. As I watered Busby was wondering down a path, and just out of the corner of my eye, I saw a swishing movement on the ground, Busby also saw it. I realised quickly it was a snake. There are only three types of snakes found in Tasmania. All snakes in Tasmania are poisonous

Top to bottom) Tiger Snake, White-lipped Snake and Lowland Copperhead Snake

I was only afraid that Busby would be curious and go closer to it. He did, and so I sprayed him with the house. I told him to go up on the deck. He looked at me stunned..that look what I didn’t do anything wrong! I felt really guilty as Busby has always been very scared of the house when I am watering. I don’t ever recall spraying him , but I must have. As I have had him since a very young puppy. (fostered him and his two siblings). He was great he did as asked.

I was not worried about the snake for my sake. It was moving away from us and heading for cover. I did spray water about a lot to discourage it from hanging around. I did feel very sorry for it too. As it was just sliding along enjoying the sun and heat. It also did the right thing.

I have lived here for 20 years and this is the only snake I have ever seen in my garden. I have water about for the animals and birds. I am assuming it came out to get a drink.

I wished it well, and told it that I would do it no harm, please do me and my dogs no harm either.

I have only seen one other snake the dogs and I were walking up the road our house is on. about halfway up the hill is a dam. It was another hot day and I am thankful that my dogs were distracted by some smell.

The snake slithered across the road to the dam. I could no longer see the snake but knew it was down closer to the water. So I encouraged the dogs to come and off we went. On the way home no stopping at the dam for a drink today.

Snakes generally don’t want to bite. They only do if cornered. Generally. So my Poppy who was a bushy taught us. He also taught us that if you have a snake living near your house, it will get to know your routines, and try to avoid being around when you are. So I will be making thumping the ground ,as snake have no ears so cannot hear when we go out side. I doubt I will leave them outside on their own for a while.

It was a healthy snake beautiful and quite large.

Tazzie.

Vegie Garden with Ollas

16th December 2019

3 weeks ago the following was written in my garden journal. It is the next planting of my summer garden. I had planted tomatoes, beans and corn and pumpkin (known as threes sisters planting) My vegies (vegatables) garden beds are basically square meter beds or about 40″ square raised beds. I do all sorts of plantings at one time I did use the square foot gardening methods and loved the quantity of vegies you could get from a small area. This year I am mixing it up a bit in how I am planting. I do plant closer together than you usually do. I also have plants in containers on my deck and have been adding seeds and seedlings into my normal beds too. (that is for another post I think).

25/11/19 The garden was calling today, blue sky and still for a while.  I was not feeling like spending time in the garden as I was just feeling quite flat.  I looked at my seedlings that remain to be planted out.  The zucchini  and some brassicas were really needing to go out, or at least into a larger pot. As to the lettuce I got at crop swap. I figured that if I was going to transplant them I should put them in the garden and not pot them up.  I gathered my supplies the seedlings with the aim to complete the planting of these and not stop until most were in.  

Not your neat tidy garden.

With the wind dropping off and the sunshine it became easier to do.   It seems to be for me at times that just beginning is often so unbelievably hard.  I have been learning to do a small thing so my aim was to plant these seedlings.  There are more to go out though they need warmer temperatures than we have been having of late.   I looked at the where I have a couple of tomatoes growing and thought that the eggplant I had put in the bed was being exposed to much to the wind so moved it. It and some capsicums seedlings are in the asparagus bed for the time being.

MA tomato with flowers a zucchini and a lettuce seedling.

I then put the zucchinis in the bed and the lettuce on the side where the zucchinis will be discouraged by me in where they wander.  I had planed to trellis them, unfortunately sunshine would have been blocked from other beds.

I decided that the brassicas needed to be put in and as they are heavy feeders, they went in to a bed with aged manure, blood and bone and two Ollas. 

Brassica bed with Ollas

I keep mentioning Ollas. What are they? they are water reservoirs that go into the soil and help with watering and water retention.

a real Olla.

My homemade Ollas are terracotta planters (I have been able to buy some with no hole for drainage in them.)and the saucer becomes the lid.  You can fill the hole with a suitable filler for a terracotta pot ensure that it is a safe product for use in something in your vegie garden.

I put the pot into the bed and just the lip is sticking above fill the pot with water and pop the saucer on for lid.  I mulch over them so to keep them cool. Though it is very easy to check water level by taking top off and adding water, not forgetting to put the top on and cover with mulch. You terracotta planters must not be sealed in any way.

My terracotta pot
Normal way to use the pot
No drainage hole in my pots
water savig pots in situ in brassica bed,
Terracotta pot in the bed with saucer as lid it is now an Olla

Some seedlings are coping better than others. I am trying the Three Sisters method this year. My understanding that Native Americans used to plant corn beans and pumpkins (squash) together. The beans use the corn to grow up on, whilst the squash leaves keep the roots of the plants cool.

The Three sisters bed. Beans corn and pumpkin (squash)

My dogs Treacle and Busby are my family.  Throughout my breakdown and my ongoing mental health illness they are my constant companions.  I would not be here I can honestly admit if it had not been for my animals.  In my worst days (not so distant)  there presence, warmth,  love, companionship and their needing me is why I did not kill myself.  For their presence I am eternally grateful. 

Busby provides shade for treacle

It breaks my heart when I hear or read about people saying how can people on Newstart (unemployment benefit I am on it, in Australia.) or living on the street afford to keep a dog or cat ?   For many the love companionship of their furred buddy is what keeps them going just like me.  Just like me I would go without and have in the past so my dogs are fed and cared for.   Yet these people are often judged. It is amazing how just having another heartbeat near you and the soft fur to pet and a warm body to hug and snuggle with is everything to me and I assume them.

I am appreciative to wake up every day now.   Not all days are great but that is normal the bad days are less but I guess if I don’t leave my home it makes it less likely I will face a trigger.    I find it so very hard to trust people. I can be out and friendly in small groups say at a cafe on an irregular time frame. Being around people for too long or too often, the noise, music, smells perfumes etc. Exhaust me. There are benefits to this I don’t go out much and therefore spend less than in my previous life. This is a very simple life. I can honestly say that as hard and all as it is life after my breakdown, I am thankful for it. I began living a simpler life not as a choice. It is my life. I am so grateful for the  life I lead now. I have realised I am actually happy in my own space on my own. This is a huge change and it is thanks to having a fantastic psychologist who has really heard and is so supportive. It is the thing I believe is the hardest thing for those with any mental illness to find. Support and help that is pertinent to you as an individual and where you are totally heard and feel safe to share what has to be shared to

The wind had knocked over my broad beans and many were broken off.  I cleared the bed and bought the beans in side.  I will think about what I will do with them tomorrow.  I also harvested some garlic even thought I knew it was too early.  It meant the bed was now fairly clear for the next crops to go into.   Silver beet and a leek  were harvested. 

What a feast  I had an omelette with carrot, onion caramalised, capsicum, silver beet, garlic, broad beans, using two eggs and a quarter cup of milk.  Started on the stove top then grated cheese finely on top(grating it finely you dont’t use as much) put into a low oven to bake gently while I had a shower,  Perfectly cooked when I came out. Delicious.  I paid $6.50 for a dozen organic free range eggs from the farm, my milk is Tasmanian, $4.50 for 2 litres not homogenised, the capsicum red was $1.30 and the onion red was 80 cents.  I used a few slices of capsicum, about 1/4 of the onion, the cheese I buy when on special usually about $9 for 1kg (this one is Bega tasty).  with my vegies which have costs involved in setting everything up( I know) these were very cheap, as all were from seeds I had saved last year.

So from being very reluctant to garden I now feel more peaceful, I enjoyed it, and always find having my hands in the soil or just weeding, does improve my mood. I do take vitamin D supplement during winter as I suffer with low to very low vitamin D levels. (common in Southern maybe all of Tasmania.) I do try to get into the sunshine and yes I do feel good for achieving what I planed and more, along with cooking a fresh healthy meal. Along with having a shower, something that embarrasses me to write but it is my truth, has been over a week since I had one. I have put a load of washing on which was very needed too. I am not a domestic goddess. I do like to cook, and bake. Yet like many things I like and enjoy I get so overwhelmed at times. Which is so strange compared to my working life when I was in charge of facilities. These are the things having a mental illness impact for me; along with my inability to fill out documents, read complex things, to organise, to commit to anything or retain some things in my head. I am so grateful for my garden and to be physically able to work in it. To be able to grow some vegetables for myself.

Tazzie.

Just a few days

SATURDAY: What a weird beginning to my day…I slept for 16 + hours and woke at 1pm really strange.  I was meant to be going to a wedding at 4pm.  The wedding was 11/2hours away from where I live.  I had a shower, had brunch, and then dressed ready to leave, allowing enough time to get to the venue.  

I was not feeling good, perhaps due to having slept so long.  I had been anxious about going as I lately my illness has made me more reclusive especially in big groups. I ended up having a major panic attack heart racing, sweating, and realised that as much as I wanted to be there for my friend, it was not going to be possible on this day.   I decided I was not up to driving.  

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I was surprised that I did not feel a sense of relief having at least made a decision that was logical with what was happening.  Instead I felt guilt and doubt.  I struggle so much with expectations that have been instilled as a child.

Having accepted the invitation,  responded to a note regarding a change in venue due to the weather just a day before saying  thanks see you tomorrow,  the guilt that washes over me for not letting anyone know(not able to contact anyone as the wedding was going to be in an area with no phone coverage), plays havoc on me. 

The ‘norms of how to behave in good society ‘ create more anxiety in me…added to guilt and even more bewilderment as I was ready to go sitting in my car engine running.   It is so hard for me to understand what is going on.  When my heart begins racing, and my face heats up so hot and red, I sweat and feel as if I am going to throw up! One of my legs might begin twitching and I just want to run!   There seems to be no real rhyme or reason when, where or why.  But the need to beat myself up by overthinking my reaction and the feelings overwhelm me leaving me exhausted.  

This sort of thing is what I battle so often.  What I need to do for me, rather than doing the expected thing.  The guilt of feeling a sense of responsibility.  For not letting anyone know I would not be there,  thinking about how I had said yes and was included in catering(thankfully it was family catering not a venue.)  Just writing that makes my heart race.    I will beat myself up about it over thinking it all yet knowing I did for me the right thing.   So bewildering .   At least I can utilise the things I have been learning with my psychologist to help to move past the overthinking.   It helps so much when I can do it.

The river I live close too. @echidna home 2019

It was market day in the town closest to where I live.  I went in to get a few things just a quick trip half an hour.  Three hours later I returned home, and it was a really nice morning.  I caught up with stall holders I know,  chatted.  Had brunch at the bakery with my dogs, and they were petted and loved by so many people. I chatted to some tourists on motorbikes, and a bit later the local group of cyclists stopped for coffee this is enough for me.

Market not my photograph

Here in the roaring forties the wind continues gale force at times.  I generally enjoy windy days, but have been concerned about my garden.  Returning home the dogs and I wondered about the garden my native areas, flowering area and vegie garden. 

In my grove of wattle trees, one of my younger wattle trees has broken in half, and will need to be taken out.   Many small branches and the dead pieces of trees have blown down along with lots of leaves.  It could have been much worse.

Walking around the vegie garden,it was great to see that the beans in their 2 litre plastic milk container protectors I had made kept them safe from the cold night and frost, tomatoes are fine and so to the capsicums I planted out.   I am so happy I did not put anything else out as one of my neighbours lost all his pumpkin seedlings.   

My seedlings are undercover on my deck, sadly they are getting a little knocked about by the wind.  It is supposed to be worse tomorrow, gale winds up to 100km so I have been checking things are relatively secure.   


I also noted that a possum had eaten most of the lemon leaves of one of my trees on my deck.  Little sod must have come in when the protective barrier was down.  I do love the possums just not attacking my poor lemon trees which struggle under my ‘care’ .

Working in the garden I could hear a  mower coming down the road, I was hoping it was another neighbour who mows my grass paddock area.   It was.  Yeah the wind had dried the ground enough that he was coming to mow my paddock area down.  It is usually only cut once a year. However so far this year this is its second cutting as the weird weather has seen the grasses grow so fast since it was mowed four weeks ago that it was seeding up.  Fingers crossed I wont need to have it done again.   Though it means it should be a great year for the guys who mow for stock feed and bales.  

So thankful that I have full rain water tanks when much of my country is in dought and has fires. That I have clean water, air and soil. Thankful that even on a low income I can just make ends meet. For my two dogs who are my constant companions

Welcome to Echidna Home and Life

Living in a rural location on an acre of land is not always easy when you have PTSD complex (fairly recently diagnosed)  It is interesting to discover in today’s world my life style is seen as pretty self sufficient. Not that I am anywhere near that and can never imagine (as much as I dream of it) being anywhere close to it. I guess it is because Echidna Home is a timber home with a metal roof I rely totally on three rain water tanks for all my water. I have a septic system for my black water (sewerage) and grey water is dispersed via a french drain. I don’t use much electricity, the water pump is probably the biggest user. I have wood heater and instant gas for hot water and cooking.

My home is in Tasmania the island state of Australia. I have recently recommenced growing more of my vegetable(vegies), I have some fruit trees and hazelnuts.

The river near my home sadly this was taken in early 2019 when we had severe bush fires for months on end this is the smoke you can see
. @Echidna Home Jan 2019

Life here has changed a lot over the few years.

The death of my partner, who showed me what being loved unconditionally is like and to be able to reciprocate was very special. I loved him so much. I miss him everyday though the grief and sadness are no longer present.

A few years after his death I had a breakdown, that saw me go from earning good money to living on Newstart (Government payment) as my mental health has deteriorated and I am no longer able to work. So there will be posts about finances, living on less than I earn and what might happen if I don’t do this. Living simply and patching mending clothes. Though living rurally I can get away with so much more in what I wear about the place. Some recipes that are great for budgeting and some things that help me to be able to as yet remain debt free.

I have recently been diagnosed with Complex PTSD This has bought some relief for me after many periods of depression and anxiety along with memory gaps through out my life. As I am learning so much from a great psychologist on why and that for what life has thrown my way over the years the way my brain saved me was a coping mechanism and now I am teaching my brain and myself to cope in different ways. Not easy but I am very much a work in progress.

My dogs with me as I tame some of my garden. @Echidna Home November 2019

I am still alive because of my awesome dogs. Who through the really bad times have given me purpose to get up and do things each day. They need me, and I need them. The worst days I hope are behind me I love waking up each day, no matter what the day may bring. Being in my garden with my hands in the soil and feet bare I am connected earthed for me a feeling of bliss. I am not the best veggie grower, gardener. I struggle yet what ever I get from my own garden is just brilliant. Simple things bring me so much pleasure. This year I have finally been able to grow nasturtiums and marigolds! I have struggled for so long to grow them and everyone about has them and says they are like weeds, Not at my place, they are treasured gems.

Photography is also a great delight to me. Living in Tasmania has given me some really wonderful experiences with my photography. I hope to share them on here. All photos on here unless otherwise noted will be my own. They will be copyrighted so please be advised if you wish to share them you need to contact me.

Why Echidna Home? I have so many native animals and birds that visit and live on my acre, (sadly along with rabbits feral cats and domestic ones too.) My faviourite being the Echidna. Such quirky awesome creatures. I love it when I see she/he in and about the garden or near bye. They are so unique. One echidna lives in my garden. I am so lucky!

The echidna that lives in my garden the blue thing is not a fence but a carrying box I use in the garden. One of my dogs scared she/he and it dug in. It is why the quills are full of rots and its face is covered in dirt. It was making its getaway (dog was inside) @Echidna Home December 2019

As this is about me, my dogs and my life, living on a very low income, as my mental illness means I can no longer work. I will be writing about my life, and where PTSD impacts me I do hope you will enjoy my posts, and comment ask questions and I will answer. To the best of my ability.

welcome to my home

Tazzie.

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