It's not always a great life.

Discussion in 'General chat' started by Grahame, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Some days I could just kick the shit out of everything and give up. Today has started out one of those days. Luckily I had some old gourds to take my frustrations out on.

    I've been really diligent about my seedlings this year and they were really starting to look good, some ready to go out in the next week. This morning I found a pile of possum shit and a great swathe cut through the seedlings. I was furious! No amount of meditation was going to cure this one. I had to just experience the moment, observe the anger, feel the depression, come in here and have a good whine.

    To be honest I don't even feel like going out there again today, I'm not sure I can deal with this anymore. Clearly my system is just crap. Snails, slugs, mice, possums all manner of natural pressures resisting my desire to do this a certain way. The plan was to do this without money and gradually improve the system. But I still have to grow food.

    The problem is, I just don't think I can make it work out here. I just don't have the skills; the emotional intelligence to create the community around us that we clearly need. And this is why I think permaculture is not going to save us in time - it's too hard for the average Joe and Josephine.

    It's the difference between theory and reality. I'm screwed.
     
  2. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    I can empathise Grahame. I too have the pesky possum problem and added to that a mob of bush turkeys that probably should be playing rugby they are that destructive in a pack. When I first moved here a year ago the guy next door laughed at me when I told him I was going to grow a lot of food. It's going to cost me a lot to fence off the whole garden to protect it, meanwhile time goes on without a lot of food produced.

    Anyhow, you just gotta hang in there hey? What's the alternative? If you think of one let me know. In the meantime, I just keep plugging on, having a spit every now and then and pick and savour what has worked. We all get disheartened at times. Maybe have a little break and treat yourself to something. Chocolate does it for me.
     
  3. permup

    permup Junior Member

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    Oh Grahame, don't give up. I could spout all sorts of platitudes like "Rome wasn't built in a day" and "two steps forward, one step back" etc, but I doubt that would be very helpful. Suffice to say I really feel for you - I've just lost all my seedlings to slugs. Keep plugging away - you will succeed eventually, I know you will.
     
  4. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Commiserations graeme. Yeah take a break until you get over it. Remember "let go". It will make you feel good again sooner.

    I think the only solution when you are up against possums is to fence in your vegetable garden. Including a roof fence.I"ve seen one of these. Of course it does cost money to do it, but start small and gradually enlarge it as you get more money. I think the one saw in tassie was about 8-10 metres square. I suppose that's a lot of fencing wire or shade cloth.
     
  5. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    It makes the wins all the more sweeter Graham.We have to learn somehow.I am slowly in the process of caging my zone 1.I feed a lot of critters.
     
  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    I too have recently been set back by slugs, possums and housing-commission children.

    Time to live in a glass dome, with a hive of native bees for company.
     
  7. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Yeah, thanks folks. Of course I know all that but you know how it is when you are in a rage :( I feel better now. Actually, after I vented, I let the whole thing go, I allowed myself the outburst and then moved on. I just wasn't expecting that kick in the face this morning. We don't usually have a possum problem, so I guess I can take it as a sign that our place is starting to come to life - more inhabitants moving in. It wasn't a total loss after all. But I guess now that he has the taste for it I'll have to do something about it for tonight...

    It's turning out to be a pretty good day after all. I've already had one of our buyers ringing up for some garlic (still a couple of weeks away). Which means we might actually have some money soon. Funny how it happened soon after I was lamenting the need for some right now. I've figured out a new way to save myself some work and done some good cleaning up.

    Sorry to hear about your seedlings Paula - the slugs and snails have been horrendous this year.

    Thanks again friends - I'm back on top of it all :)

    Annette, "What's the alternative?" - That's the thing isn't it. I really don't know of one. And like Permasculptor said it makes the good days all the sweeter.

    Can you eat possum?
     
  8. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    :)
     
  9. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    What a turnaround, 2 hours. Venting always helps.
     
  10. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    I will come and cook it for you if you eat my Brush Turkey too
    he is peanut, potato, sweet potato, ginger and vanilla infused.

    I had to build a Gilligan's Island shed to keep him out
    Cost me 12 dollars for the wire and used some bird net I had and the neighbours sticks when he cleared his block.
    Its good feeling not having to replant the same plant 3 times a day.
    So the netting has worked on the Turkey
    Problem with bird netting is it catches snakes
    Got a 6 foot taipan in it a few weeks back.
    Its the price you pay for a bit of organic veggy
     
  11. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    I've eaten a few possums. I don't know the legal stuff and it'll be different here anyway as they're introduced. I don't give a toss about legality, but it's always good to know what rules I'm breaking!
    Possums are a pretty major TB carrier in NZ, so we have to check the organs for lesions before eating or feeding to other animals. If clean, I'd treat them like rabbit. I wouldn't eat the stinky males, but dogs will.
    People HATE them here. Between the TB vectoring, native bush, egg and fruit tree eating...
    The fur's a great insulator and the skin's easy to tan.
     
  12. permablogger

    permablogger New Member

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    First of all, I'm sorry for your loss. But hey, it's not like it's the end of the world. I like to think that my garden is not just for me to enjoy, but for all the birds and other creatures out there. :)

    I don't think permaculture is all that hard. People (me included) try to overcomplicate things. What I'm learning now is to simplify. In all aspects of life. Anyway, back to permaculture. I believe one of the key principles is to observe (what works in nature) and replicate. And you don't need a PDC for that. Sure, it can help, but with a bit of trial and error, everyone can become an "expert" at what they do. There's no teacher like experience.

    If you take your incident as a learning experience, it won't seem so bad.
     
  13. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Possums and bush turkeys are protected here in Queensland. I think they are in the rest of Australia too, not sure.

    I would like to use netting but i have a colony of micro bats that fly around my place and I'm frightened they would get caught in the net. I
     
  14. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    Like Grasshopper said nets are good for catching snakes.I have tried nets a few times and every time without fail I end up cutting it up to get a snake out of it.
     
  15. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Awesome. Never seen a microbat in the wild.

    Learnt how to build nests for them with a chainsaw though. That and other animals, birds, possums etc. Shame we aren't allowed to put them in trees, not time-efficient.
     
  16. bluesapphire

    bluesapphire Junior Member

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    compost the bush turkey.....they are tough as and tasteless. keep it a secret though they are protected. I had some once with some Aboriginal friends who could eat them. The possum would probably taste good too but maybe a possum box and relocate it would be better. slugs are out here too and i need to put out some baits before they eat the seedlings I put in this morning. If it wasn't for the foxes and local dogs I would have free range ducks. Lost my surviving chicken to crows yesterday that was sad...it was so cute. I have a hugh chook run so netting it is not an option there is plenty of scrubs for cover but the crows got it anyway. Next batch are going in a small pen. my losses in chooks make the $600 chook tractor I didn't buy a good deal and the free range chooks I wanted is definitely not an option. My ulimate is to get that electric fox fencing and keep out the foxes and occasional human theif.
     
  17. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    nests sop. please do tell.
     
  18. Veggie Boy

    Veggie Boy Junior Member

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    I too can relate to this post. If its not the fruit fly ruining the tomatos, zucchini, egglants and chillis to name a few, the melon fly ruining the cucumbers and pumpkins, the slugs and grasshoppers eating all sorts, the rats eating the sweet potato and corn........(you get my thrust).

    You do have to celebrate the wins though and concentrate your effots on the things that work. For too many years I persisted with things that just aren't going to work for me here, resulting in wasted time and money when I could have been growing stuff that I'd proven to work. Each year I get a little bit better at it - I expect that by the time I die I'll have most of the knowledge I need to have a good crack at it :rofl:
     
  19. FREE Permaculture

    FREE Permaculture Junior Member

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    your first post was concerning, but it's good that you got over it and moving ahead.
    yeah i agree that your successes will be worth the effort, if not much produce in the immediate at least your adding goodies to your soil and that will reward you in time too.
     
  20. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Lost some chickens to predators in the last two nights. Feeling cranky this morning
     

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