Collecting seeds from your garden can be rewarding

A skill that is often overlooked is the knowledge and experience of collecting seeds.  It is part of working towards being self-sufficient, which in turn is a foundation of Prepping.   Being able to grow plants, then to collect seed from them for the next season makes sense.  Of course, the process of collecting seeds can be time consuming and can be tedious… so much so that I often wonder why I bother.  I can spend a couple of hours collecting radish seeds (as I did the other day), and have a cup of seeds to show for my effort.  Basically, 2 hours of work for $8 of seeds…  not the best investment of time in of itself, yet I believe it is important.  Important as a skill, and also it allows me to spend time outside working it the garden when the season is coming to an end.  While I was collecting my radish seeds I was helped by my daughter, allowing us so spend some quality time together.  As a father, I can’t put a price on that time.

I have been working on this skill for some time, usually only in the Autumn when the plants in my garden go to seed.  I am not talking about collecting seeds from my fruit trees… although I do this too.  When I eat an especially delicious peach, or find a cherry that is amazingly good, I keep the seed in order to attempt to grow another.  What I am talking about when I discuss collecting seeds is primarily annual seeds.  For those of you not aware of what an annual plant is, it is a plant that will grow for one season only.  Of course, many plants which we consider annual, are not truly annual… it is simply that they act in this way when not in their native habitat.

I find the plants from which are the easiest to collect seeds are:

  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Radish

At the moment my Radish seeds are ready to harvest.  I am collecting these from the plants now that the pods are dry.  Dry pods mean that the seeds within are dry, which will allow them to be stored easier.  You to not want to store wet seeds, as they will rot and destroy themselves as well as any other seeds stored with them.

The process I use for radish is to twist the seed pods to burst them open.  When they are open I rub the dried seed pod between my fingers to loosen the seeds, before gently blowing on the material in my palm.  The dried plant fragments will blow away and I will be left with the heavier seeds.  I place these in a bowl and once they are all collected they are stored in a clean jar for the next season.

Saving Radish Seeds GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

There are ways to short cut the procedure… as the plant will be going to seed without any real effort on our part, you can cover the seeding sections with a plastic bag.  As the seeds dry and fall from the plant, they are collected and easily stored.  Urban Food Garden has a great article on collecting lettuce seeds.  I would only recommend collecting seeds from plants which produce a product with which you are satisfied.  I wouldn’t bother collecting seeds from a radish plant that produced small or bad tasting products… I want to grow good quality vegetables.

Please let me know if you are interested in this, as I will of into more details about the collection of other seeds.

 

 

Dog Manure… what is it good for?

As you may know, I have two dogs… a Dalmatian and an Irish Wolfhound.  These are not small dogs and they do make a mess in the backyard.  Ensuring that the yard is free of their poo is a chore and when I am finished I end up with a bag of dog poo.  What do I do with this?

Something I am learning from Permaculture is the concept of turning a negative into a positive… to that end I have been working on a little side project for the last couple of weeks and it involves dog poo.  I read that dog manure can be converted into a safe and highly productive manure if you treat it correctly.  In short, dog poo may contain a large number of pathogens (such as roundworm) which could be harmful to humans… yet, if it is treated correcting, the manure becomes safe for use.

I have had a spare plastic bin in my car port for several years.  It contained the mat from our old trampoline as well as the springs.  Since we moved from Collinsvale we bought a new trampoline (for some reason I don’t recall).  So this one has been sitting around.  I wanted to use the mat as a cover for my garden beds, so they could over winter without accumulating weeds.  When the bin was empty I decided that it could be used to store the dog manure… as I didn’t have any other use for it.

The one problem with collecting dog manure is the smell.  Storing 30 kgs of dog poo is bound to smell bad.  I have gotten around this by using carbon… in the form of shredded paper.  I have added one part dog poo and two parts shredded paper to the bin.  This helps to break down the manure and also removes 99% of the odor.  The contents are mixed weekly (when I do the weekly clean up of the garden) to ensure they are all covered in paper.  While many people recommend allowing the compost to sit for 6 weeks, I believe that is not long enough.  I will be allowing this bin to sit for 12 months, once it is filled, before I start to use it.

I am not 100% sure I will be using this on my food garden.  I will have to research more before I am satisfied that the pathogens in the manure are all deceased.  I should be very safe using this on the ornamental parts of the garden, such as the roses or the non-fruiting  trees which we have on the property.  The good thing about this is that I don’t have to decide now… I have over 12 months to make my mind up on my decision.

Making your own meal is so rewarding.

Have you ever made your own meal?  I am not talking about whipping up something from produce bought at the shop.. I mean planting, growing, harvesting your own vegetables, and incubating, raising, slaughtering, and butchering your own animal.

I have mentioned before that it is, almost, the end of the growing season.  I will be planting some things for the colder months, yet for all intents and purposes, I am harvesting the last of my produce.  While at this time of the year it is easy to think that the northern hemisphere has the better time of it, that isn’t the case.  It is not a reason to be sad… it is a time to celebrate.  So, what better way to celebrate than to harvest my own food and cook a delicious meal for my family.

The Roosters where much larger than this photo.

The day before the feast I “graduated” four of my roosters from my Chicken Tractor.  These Roosters were the only four males from the 15 which were the last offspring of Reggie.   How did I know the Roosters were ready to eat?  They started crowing… that, in my opinion, is the best time.  The process of graduating the Roosters was difficult.  Killing four chickens (one at a time), plucking them, and butchering them for the table took around 5 hours.  It would have taken less, yet I wanted to try a couple of things… for example, I collected the intestines of the chickens to try out making cordage.  This didn’t work out… so I will not show you the results.

The Rooster was cooked in my BBQ, stuffed with some dried apple, hazelnut (and breadcrumbs… the only part not grown here).  I can’t describe how amazing the chicken tasted… perfectly cooked.

 

Before I set the chicken in the BBQ, I got myself down to one of my potato beds, where I harvested around three kilograms of Purple “Vitelotte” Potatoes.  Not the greatest return on my effort (I might not grow more than one or two plants next season), yet I love the taste and colour of Vitelotte Potatoes.

These Potatoes were cooked with some white potatoes I planted in another bed (which yield much more per plant) in my BBQ.  I cooked them in Jacket Potato style, in foil with some butter (which I made from cream) and chives from the garden.  They had a great, crispy skin and really made the meal delicious.

Finally, I steamed some green peas and some carrots which I harvested from the garden.  They were, literally, harvested minutes before being cooked… you couldn’t get any fresher!  My daughter, who usually hates to eat peas, actually tried them and declared that she likes them now.

I finished the meal off with some gravy… made with store bought Gravox, yet I added some fat from the cooking chicken to give it an amazing taste.

I realise that I am not “self sufficient”, yet the fact that I can supplement our meals for some of the year.. and periodically make a whole meal “home grown” helps the family financially, nutritionally and gastronomically.  It also fills me with pride when I know that my hard work fed my family.

 

A cheap method of treating Mange

Back in November 2017 I wrote about our little male Guinea Pig, Percy, and how he died.  At the time I didn’t know why he died, though I had some suspicions.  Since that day we have kept a close eye on our sole remaining Guinea Pig, Betty.  While she is lonely, she has been in good health.  On the weekend, I noticed that she was crying a little, and running around her cage in a state of agitation.  On examination, I could see that she had (what seemed to be) a very slight case of dandruff… this was similar to Percy’s symptoms.  After Percy’s death I researched the illness and I suspect that he had Mange.  She was obviously suffering from the illness, so much so that she had scratched several cuts into her side.

I had heard of Mange previously, and I thought it was just a condition which affects some  animals and makes them look messy.  This is not the whole story… Mange (also called Scabies) is a skin disease which can effect mammals and, if left unchecked, can lead to suffering and death.  I am fairly convinced that this is how Percy died, and now it was affecting Betty.

Most websites I checked recommended taking the Guinea Pig to the vet.  This is something I was reluctant to do… I am not a big fan of spending $80 for a vet to have a look at her, and prescribe something I could buy at a supermarket.  The product which online vets recommended is Advantage.  It is a cat medicine which is made to kill Insects, such as fleas and mites.  I could buy this from the local supermarket, yet it was $40 for a dosage… still more than I wanted to spend on Betty.  Searching for an alternative I found one in the form of Exelpet “Vet Series” Flea treatment for cats.  It contains Firponil, which is useful in killing Mites.  I found this at the supermarket for $15, which is much more affordable.  I know the container says it is for Cats only, yet I decided I would take the risk… Betty would be grateful for the treatment.

I administered the medicine to her skin and moved her to a totally new location, in a clean cage (with new bedding and shelter).  I noticed that over the next day her attitude recovered remarkably.  She stopped crying and seemed more like herself.    She has lost a little hair, which I suspect could be a side effect of the medicine… or maybe she pulled it out.  These is still a couple of dandruff like flakes on her backside, so I will keep an eye on them and treat her again if needed.

Winter Get Home Bag – 2018

The colder weather has started to make its presence felt, and I am currently re-examining my Get Home Bag (GHB) to meet the change in season.  It is important to do this periodically, to ensure all items are in working order, all food is within expiry dates, and to make sure that the contents match the requirements.  My kit has been kitted out for the warmer weather, with a large woolen blanket, minimal clothing, and no need for anything above a basic amount of shelter.  Due to the smaller amount of material I needed to carry, I was able to get by with a smaller pack.

 

Now with the change in season, I need to re-examine my bag and re-evaluate the contents.  I now need to carry a Sleeping bag that can handle the conditions, a change of clothes, cold weather gear (for the sections of the journey that may be covered in snow or just for terrible cold weather) and a add a more sturdy shelter.

When I create my GHB I try to follow Dave Canterbury’s five Cs.

  • Cover
  • Cutting
  • Container
  • Combustion
  • Cordage

This gives me a great foundation on which to build my bag.

The bag itself is a large hiking backpack.  It is possibly around 80 liters, yet I don’t fill it to maximum capacity.

Of course, I have some basic first aid supplies.  These are not extensive, yet are for more situations which I can foresee.   I have also included food in my pack.  This provides me with sustenance for any occasion.  If I have a break down, the contents can provide a quick snack.  If I am hungry while driving home from work, I can grab something from the bag (to be replaced once home) which will get me through the journey.  Or, if I am forced to hike, the food within can feed me for 3-5 days.  It isn’t great food, yet it is light, easy to eat and carry, and it is not expensive.  The food included are also items that I have eaten, and continue to eat… nothing weird here for me.  This isn’t within the five Cs, yet it is important to me.

Cover

I have included the large, 3 meter, tarp in the bag.  It is large enough that I can make a sizeable shelter for myself and anyone else with me.  When I use it with my 2/2 meter Australian Army Hoochie (which could be used for a floor covering) it can make the shelter very comfortable.  I also have a large poncho to keep the wet weather off me and my pack.

Finally, I have included a snow jacket and a light change of clothes.  These will allow me to change for the night to allow my hiking clothes to air for the evenings.

Cutting

I have a Gerber, full tang, knife in my pack.  I have had this knife for well over a decade and it has served me very well over the years.  This knife can do all the large jobs I may require of the item.

I have included my folding saw in the bag to allow me to process wood for fires, and (most importantly) for items to assist with securing the shelter to the ground (make a tent pole and ground stakes).

I have also added a small (and light) Smith and Wesson skeleton handled knife.  It is wrapped in Para cord and is there as a backup blade.

Finally, I have a Multi-tool which has all the usual items.  A great deal of usefulness in a small package.

 

Container

I have the Stainless steel, 1 liter, container I carry everywhere I go.  It is one I use at work and it travels with me in my everyday backpack.  I also have an old Australian Army canteen, which includes a steel cup.  I can boil water in the steel cup, or in the stainless steel water bottle.  Finally, I carry a couple of plastic water bottles in my car for convenience.  These all allow me to carry up to 4 liters of water, and to sterilise water by boiling (or the addition of purification tablets I have in my pack).

Combustion

I have a very capable disposable lighter in my kit.  It is super light and takes almost no room.  I also carry a couple of Ferro rods in my bag (one is attached to my Smith and Wesson knife, the other is in a survival kit which I reviewed many years ago).  These can be used to create a spark to make a fire.  Matches are also in my survival kit, along with some combustible cotton balls and a small tea candle.  Finally, I have some hexamine tablets which can be used to create a fire.  They are part of a little stove I carry.  With these items I am fairly confident I can light a fire.

While it isn’t “fire”, I will also include in this category the inclusion of a head light and a light camp lantern (with batteries for both).  These are used when hiking (as I can’t light camp fires in National Parks) yet they are also useful for any activity after the sun sets.  I have also thrown in a pencil light and a couple of disposable glow sticks.

 

Cordage

To erect my shelter I will need some cordage, and for that I have the usual Para cord.  I have around 15 meters of Para cord included, along with 15 meters of double braided rope.  Finally, I have a meter of copper wire and a basic sewing kit for emergencies.  These items are so light I have included them all in the bag.

I have all the basics covered, and with this pack I am very confident I can meet most situations that I expect I could encounter.  I have used this kit for many accidents that have occurred over the years, so much so that I don’t like driving anywhere without this in the back of the car.

 

What else do I need?

Despite my confidence in my bag there are other items I wish I could add to my inventory.  These are items which I feel could compliment the already included equipment, or make the pack more versatile.

Water is a big requirement.  If I need to walk for 3-5 days, I will need a large amount of water… more than I want to carry.

According to a few websites I have checked, most people need about a liter of water each hour of walking (not including water I would need for cooking).  So I don’t want to carry that much water.  In order to fulfill my needs I will need to procure water on the way.  I know that the path to my house has dozens of streams and water sources which I can use to collect water.  To that end, I believe I need to add a water filter to my pack.  I have researched this for a while and the best one I can find is a Sawyer mini water-filter.  It is small, light, and will last a long time.

I can also use this when I go camping with my kids… as we can use it to filter water for our longer hikes (my daughter really wants me to take her on a two day hike in the National Park).

 

I have a canteen, mess kit and a stainless steel water bottle… yet I want something a little better.  I have been very interested in something like David Canterbury’s Survival Mess Kit.  It has a great water bottle, a container for cooking.

It isn’t as high on my list as a water filter, yet it would make cooking easier.

I hope next time I update my GHB I will have at least one of the items I mention I require.

Agatha – the new addition to the Homestead

As I mentioned in my post from late February, the lady who sold me Edith offered to give me a replacement bunny (when the bunny was old enough to leave it’s mother).  That day has finally come and our new Bunny, Agatha, is here.

Sonya, the lady who breeds and sold me the Bunny, met me at her house and showed me her great Rabbit setup.  She has a great backyard that she uses to breed the rabbits.  She also has a small business building rabbit hutches, which look very sturdy.

 

Agatha is a very pretty little bunny and I am sure her babies will look great.  She is pretty friendly already, yet I will have to take the time to get her used to being picked up and handled.  She is also fairly young, being only 12 weeks old.  I will have to wait till the Winter has ended, which is when she may be old enough to breed… yet that isn’t a priority at the moment.  I just want to make sure she is healthy and happy.

I am sure you can see from these photos that she is a lovely little bunny.

I can’t help thinking about how easily our last bunny, Edith, died.  So I have taken precautions by keeping Agatha close to the house, far from the road, and near other Rabbits who might be able to make Agatha feel less lonely.

The Trouble with Chickens

Owning chickens can be fun and educational.  They also provide a return on your investment in the form of meat, eggs, insect control, manure, companionship, education and can be good for a laugh.  They are also a roller coaster ride of accidents and trouble.

Chickens can wreck havoc on your garden, by getting in to your carefully tended produce.   I have had Chickens destroy well established Rosemary bushes, wreck freshly harvested Tomatoes (which were left unattended for 30 seconds) and don’t get me started on how they can annihilate a Strawberry patch.  In this video you can see my Hen attacking the low hanging apples in my orchid.  She is doing this to feed her young, adopted, chicks… so I can’t be upset.  It is still going to mean less apples for me.

They also do unexpected things which can cause issues.  I have previously written about accidentally killing a chick… well it looks like I have done it again.

 

Thankfully, the chicken wasn’t seriously hurt and it worked out that it had no serious damage.

 

Having chickens around is great, yet if you do decide to own some of your own, be ready for a very busy time.

Preparing for Winter – 2018

We haven’t had the hottest summer down here in Tassie this season.  Sure, we have had a few hot days, and there were several nights where I slept with a fan blowing in my face, yet for the most part… not so hot.  The colder weather is already starting to make itself known, with the nights seeing us all rugged up.  It is time for me to make plans for Winter.  I don’t, really, dislike Winter.  I used to love it, with my hobby of Snowboarding… yet now I am older it really just means I am going to be cold and going to work in the dark (and sometimes not seeing the sun all day, as I may leave work after dark).  Sure, the warm season is gone, yet it isn’t really a time to feel bad.  It is time to harvest the last of the rewards of my work, and to start to prepare the homestead for the cold.

http://www.wallartprints.com.au/autumn-art/

 

From cuttings I made last winter, and the irregular collection of dead wood from my trees, I have amassed an assortment of fuel for my fireplace.  The wood has been out in the elements for over six months, slowing curing in the weather, so now a dry wood remains.  I have spent the last few days re-discovering my long-overgrown wood piles and moving the fuel to the house so that we can use the wood in the coming winter.  In this way I am using something which could be considered a negative (branches falling off trees, pruned wood which would need to be removed from the property) into a positive (warmth for my family).  I don’t have the huge number of trees which I once owned (around 15 acres of forest), yet I am making do with what I do have.

For the most part, I am just ensuring that the wood is of a length that would fit into my fireplace and moving it to a stack on my veranda so it is out of the wet and easy to reach.  I am also breaking up small twigs which can be used as kindling for starting the fire.

Just one of the many barrows of wood I collected.

 

Another pre-winter task is preparing the garden for the coming colder months.  I am going to be planting some vegetables and green manure over the Autumn, so now I have to clean out the gardens of the plants that have passed their growing window.  I still have some plants producing, such as Tomato, Zucchini, potato, lettuce, and carrots.  I also have some Tomatillos that are growing, yet I don’t know if they will produce any fruit.  These beds will stay where they are for now, I have completed another garden bed of compost, and I am starting to work on a new one for over the winter.  Hopefully by the Spring I will have 2-3 beds of compost ready for the garden.

My latest batch of compost, ready for use.

Speaking of gardening, I am also trying to store as much of my fruit harvest as I can.  Each day I am placing half a dozen or more apples into my dehydrator, seeking to preserve some of our own produce for the winter.  The only trouble I have in this is that my daughter loves the dried apples so much, that I have to hide them from her, or she would eat them all.

Yes, they are slightly browned… yet we don’t really care. They still taste great.

Just when I think I have them figured out, chickens keep amazing me.

When we decided to graduate our Rooster (Reggie) to the cooking pot, I mentioned that I was hoping that the last batch of eggs from his breeding would be fruitful.  To that end I placed a dozen eggs in the incubator and hoped for the best.  I also had left a couple of dozen eggs outside in nests, where chickens were attempting to hatch them.  While Reggie was gone, I started out feeling very confident that there would be some future generations.

Of course, things didn’t go the way I had expected.  The eggs which I had left in two different nests mysteriously vanished one afternoon… it turned out Orlaith and Errol (my two naughty dogs) decided they wanted raw omelette for lunch.  One of the chickens took this in her stride and despite losing all her eggs, she kept trying to lay more for hatching.  The other chicken didn’t take it very well.  She is an older chicken and she went totally broody…. Sitting in an empty nest for weeks, barely eating, getting aggressive when someone came near her.  It was very sad to see her act this way when there were no eggs under her.  She was doing her best, yet nothing would come of her actions.

To be honest, I was not very optimistic… three of the eggs I placed in the incubator turned out to be pretty old (one of them exploded in the incubator while I was attempting to candle the egg), so those three had to be thrown away.  The others were partly covered in off egg and still had a couple of weeks to go till hatching.

Then, on Saturday morning I heard the familiar “cheep” of chicks from the incubator.  When I checked, there were two chicks who had hatched overnight, with two more attempting to break from their shells.  A few hours later, all four were free, with the last five not hatching (I kept them in for two extra days, yet they didn’t try to break out).  I kept them in over Saturday night, yet on Sunday I was met with a problem… I didn’t have a working Brooder light.  These lights are expensive ($18 per bulb) and don’t last more than a few days.  My last one blew as I was setting up the light system, so I had nowhere to keep them warm during the cold nights.  I considered driving to the city to purchase a replacement bulb, then a figurative lightbulb illuminated above my head.

I had a chicken who wanted chicks, and chicks without a mother.  I had heard of people placing partially hatched, or eggs about to hatch, under a broody chicken.  She would have them hatch and believe they were her eggs.  I haven’t heard of people placing live chicks under a broody hen and having them survive, yet my options were pretty narrow.  I placed the four chicks in a basket and brought them to the broody hen.  She was very angry at my proximity, making her displeasure known via loud calls.  I grabbed the first chick and placed it next to her.  She looked at it, yet didn’t make any move at it.  I took this as a positive sign, as she hadn’t attacked it, unlike my hand which she pecked as it came into range.  I then grabbed another chick and slid this one under her feathers to place it near her legs.  The hen was angry again, yet didn’t hurt the chick next to her… infact the chick walked over and climbed under her feathers to join the one I just placed.  I quickly popped the last two under her and then sat back.  The hen calmed down and, while still looking a little fluffed up, was pretty quiet.  I took this as a good sign and walked away to let them get acquainted.

A few hours later I came back.  I had noticed the hen still sitting in her nest and I was starting to get worried about the chicks.  They needed to eat and drink, and if she sat there all day they may not have the energy required to survive if she didn’t do something.  I decided that whilst she appeared happy to sit on the chicks, I didn’t think she would mother them (which was what they required).  I made a decision to take the chicks back off her and to place them in a rabbit hutch, which I could try to warm with hot water bottles.  I also took the hen from her nest and blocked it so she couldn’t get back in (this is something I have read you should do to broody hens when you don’t want them to be broody).  After giving the chicks some food and water I went on my way.

When I came out to feed the animals in the early evening I noticed something unusual.  The chicks were crowded on one side of the hutch, and other outside (right next to the chicks) was the previously broody hen.  She was sitting there, watching the chicks!  It seems that she and the chicks had bonded over the course of a few hours, and now they viewed each other as family.  She wanted to be with them, so much so that she sat there with them when she couldn’t reach them.  I don’t know if I am explaining how touching this scene was… she was alone and without chicks, yet now she had these little ones.  I immediately removed them from the hutch, where they ran over and hid under her feathers.  When I fed them, she made the familiar noises a mother hen makes when the babies need to eat, which drew them from her feathers to have their meal.

After this, I noticed another interesting chicken behaviour.  One of my previous batches of chicks… one which was raised by a hen after they hatched (the one where I accidently killed one when moving their hutch) were being aggressive to the mother hen.  When I fed them, some of the young chicks would peck her head feathers, and appeared to be very cruel to the mother hen.  I decided to remove her from the hutch for her own protection.  Despite being moved from the hutch, the mother hen spends hours of each day watching the grown chicks… she sits next to their hutch and watches them, where the other chickens don’t even bother to look at them.  It appears that she is still showing some motherly behaviour towards the chicks, despite many people’s belief that chickens are stupid.  I know I am anthropomorphising, yet it is hard to see such behaviour and not notice how similar they are to people.

Surprise! Car crash.

An interesting thing happened on Sunday.  It was early, around 9am.  I was in the kitchen, finishing off my breakfast and wasting a couple of minutes checking Instagram, when I heard an almighty sound.  The screech of car tires followed by the smash of a car.  I rushed outside to see what had happened, expecting to see a car on the road… what I saw was not foreseeable.

As you can see… there is a car parked in my garden.  I have to admit that my first thought was, “Oh my trees!”  I had planted Hazelnut and Elderberry in the location where the car was sitting.  Despite my first thought, I rushed over and asked if they were OK.  The driver climbed out of the car, as did the passenger (who was carrying an open bottle of beer).  At this stage my neighbour had come out and he loudly groaned when he saw the damage to our shared fence, yet to his credit he too asked if the people were OK.  The driver and passenger said they were fine and went over to my neighbours yard.  By this stage, the manager of the local bakery who had witnessed the incident had rushed over and she asked if the two men were drunk.  The driver said he was fine and the passenger admitted he had been drinking.  The passenger had lost his beer bottle by this stage (I found out later he had dropped it in my garden).

The baker stated she was going to get the police, so she ran to his house (just a few doors down).  At this stage I went and woke Kitty up, and told her the situation.  I filmed a little footage of the car as the cop arrived.  He was not in a good mood.  He asked the driver what happened, and was told that the car lost traction on the corner.  The cop told the driver he was tired from a late night of work and  pissed off at being called on so early.  He said he wasn’t in the mood for lies, so the driver told him he was speeding around the corner and lost control.  A couple of locals came over and told me the driver was doing burnouts around town all morning, so it was inevitable he would crash.

The cop breathalysed the driver and took him to Huonville for further tests… obviously he must have been drunk, as he admitted he was drinking all the previous night.

It took around an hour for the car to be towed out of the crash, and when I surveyed the damage I could see I lost a hazelnut, my elderberry was crushed, and a 9 year old Cherry tree I brought from Collinsvale was flattened.  My neighbour and I did a quick repair job on the fence, so his dog wouldn’t escape.  Then we went about our days.

I am waiting to hear back from the insurance people… I hope my trees are covered, as they were pretty expensive (hazelnut trees are $60, and the old cherry tree which is maybe $200 for a replacement of the same age).

Now I get to the very sad part of this situation… A little while later I went and checked the animals, when I found our new bunny, Edith, acting strange.  She was lethargic, breathing erratically, and had no appetite.  After investigating I checked the internet for information on bunny illnesses.  Most suggested that I take her to a vet, yet it seemed that she may have a stomach problem and need some bland food.  I changed her water and feed before going off to do some chores.  When I checked on her again, she had died.  I was very sad to see that she was dead, as she was such a lovely little bunny.  I did a little dissection to see if I could work out the problem, yet there was nothing wrong with her insides.  Sadly, it seemed she just died.

I talked to her previous owner, who (upon learning of the car crash at my house) suggested it may have been shock.  Edith was pretty close to the fence, so the noise and activity could have caused her to have a stroke.  The previous owner offered to give me another bunny for free as a replacement… which is so lovely.

I will have to make sure I keep my bunnies, especially my new ones, away from the fence.  I doubt that another car will crash through the fence, yet should it happen… I don’t want to lose another little one.