Sunday, March 23, 2014


The soil is dry .. dry.. all the way down. Several drops of rain fell last night. A tease.

This is the time of year I always feel so disheartened by how the garden looks, but it is a good time to see what survived. We have been plagued by pests of all kinds this past summer as well as spending a lot of extra time tending our old dog instead of tending the garden. Time to get some soil building going on again.

There have been quite a few baby frogs this year though and quite a few tadpoles we gave away have become frogs in their new homes.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sad times. RIP Gruntle Bucket.

Gruntle Bucket 1999-2014
We were recently devastated to have to put our old boy Gruntle to sleep. He'd had a long life and we did all we could to keep him happy and well to his very last hours. We had him from a puppy and was the son of my previous dog, Rusty Bucket. Gruntle never ate any dog food from a can and was pretty much a raw bones and human leftovers fed animal witha few good quality dog biscuits here n there. When he was younger we would make a blended mash of raw vegies with maybe some canned sardines and/or yoghurt and/or an egg and/or crushed up liver treats.  He must have eaten a mountain of frozen chicken necks, frames and wings in his lifetime and plenty of raw meaty beefbones until we realised that as those big beef bones dry that dogs can actually wear their teeth down a bit on them. We would clean those bones up quickly so they didn't get too dry and overchewed. 
I personally spent more time with him than I have any other beastie, human or otherwise, so it is quite a loss and our house feels weird without him.

Whilst not strictly a permaculture post I would just like to mention a few things that I think dogs are good for in gardens.

-Fur provides bird nesting material, holds soil together and provides nitrogen as it breaks down. 

-Food scraps can be eaten by dogs as part of their feed to reduce the need to buy food for them. Human food in most instances will be better for them than any dog food out of  can. Gruntle ate all kinds of fruit, too so he was good for eating slightly over ripe fruits. 

-Protection from cats for the many frogs that live here. The smell of a dog reduces incursion by the neighbours pesky cats and possibly also helps keep rats at bay a little. As Gruntle got older and ranged around the yard less,  we noticed there were more rats in the garden.

The garden had become a series of small barricades so he could walk around so it is a relief to finally be able to rearrange certain areas of the garden which had become static so the blind old dog could get around without falling over things. It is good to be able to walk around the garden without stepping over things and not having to help the old boy up. I miss him and I will forever but I was glad I got to hang out with him for 14 and a half years. Thanks, Gruntle. You were beautiful.