Hello & Welcome
Warning – this is in entirety a moan post.
But I did promise to share the good and the bad.
Seems the bad has had me in its jaws the past two weeks…
Following the chaos of the week of 14 October where all my time as taken up by trying to prove, disprove and read up as much as I can on herbicide damage to vegetable crops from “killer composts” or tainted manure and how this is what I suspect happened to all my tomatoes, beans, peas, broad beans etc…. (read my full saga here: Herbicide Damage)
… this past week was not much better…
First my little black lop-eared pet bunny, Gypsy, whom I loved dearly, died. Just suddenly…
No marks, no obvious anything. She was in good health, really well taken care of, and honestly, in terms of lop-ear lifespan, not old at all... no idea what caused her death.
Rookie Sheep Mistake
Then my wonderful new sheep snuck into my orchard in the few hours that there was no gate in the fence. Complete rookie sheep keeper mistake… I (we) naively thought the two sheep would be content browsing the two-foot long grass in the paddock (and the hay I put down for them), and be too put off by the fence around our orchard (magnificent fence by the way that my city-slicker/IT professional husband built with sweat and some blood, and I believe even some tears). The fence was fine, but we lacked a gate, the gate would come in the evening. Sheep are not as dumb as people make them out to be, and although they did cower in one side of their new paddock for most of the first days and a half, getting used to their new surrounds, it seems the moment you turn your head, they easily find a gap and bravely explore. Now I have chomped to the ground day-lilies, horseradish and berry bushes (boysenberry, loganberry, gooseberry, cranberry, and blackberry), and the tree Lucerne, lots of side branches of my new Ebbinge's silver-berries is gone, as well as low-hanging apple and pear blossoms.
Yeah, I well *knew* to keep them out to orchard, that’s’ why we built the fence… our mistake was leaving a small gateless gap for half a day… I know… I know… totally taking personal blame for that one. So we learn.
Then I lost two more baby finches from the aviary too…why did it have to be my favourites as well?
Really getting full now in the aviary too - time to try and sell some finches and budgies.
Bunny number two
Then, my other bunny died. The bonded mate of Gypsy, Kaos, died two days after her. Yes, he was pining for her a bit, I’m sure, but he was still eating and drinking… and then I just found him, like Gypsy, lying dead.
More (suspected) herbicide damage from tainted soils
And… I’m still finding more and more plants that seems to be affected by my mysterious (suspected herbicide damage) plant problem – besides all the hundreds of heirloom tomatoes, the beans, broad beans and peas in the garden and in grow trays, some of my dahlia are looking horrendous (why the most expensive tubers???), and also I found it on some of the new berries... and the sunflowers, gaillardia, zinnia, even cornflowers don't look like I think they should be looking.
Even the things that aren't downright twisted and deformed (and is said to be not affected by the suspected herbicide) are growing slowly and poorly (kale, lettuce, bok choy, etc.)
All of the plant dramas mean I can’t sell anything that I’ve potted up and grown on like I planned to so that I can make a bit of extra money to help us to grow the farm…
And even more stressful for me – I was in the past week offered an amazing opportunity where I was asked whether I’d like to bring MeadowSweet Herbs & Flowers in a Pop-Up Shop weekly at a lovely little venue close by… and I have NOTHING TO SELL…