Archive

Tag Archives: seeds


Firstly I need I have made a mistake. I have been confusing my donkeys names. So please say hi to
Tequila on the left and Cleo on the right. The Donkeys

Although they have been so wonderful to have on our farm. Very kindly donated by a local farmer. They have set us back many months of work by eating quite a few of our plants, mother plants and chicken feed. I could almost cry this week, when I woke up one morning to see that the wind had opened the vegetable garden gate and I found that the donkeys had got into the garden, eaten all the mealies, carrots and lettuce, aswell as hoofing up a few other seedlings. We were proactive about this, bit our lips and got the seeds out to plant what seeds we had left of these veggies.As soon as turning our backs they had eaten the last of our spinach seeds, mealie seeds, carrots and kind of just chewed on the beans. Packets and all.  They have also broken into the workshop and got hold of the chicken feed, ate about 5Kg of mealie cournals in one evening. Besides all this, it just teaches me to be a better farmer, keep a watchful eye on them, and also block areas that they should not go into. It seems to be working better, and they seem to be fine.

On a plus side they are wonderful animals, make me laugh, fit in well with the other animals and are good deterrents of snakes, aswell as can be good alarm systems. Donkeys also make fantastic lawn mowers and saved me roughly R1000.00 on gardening services. I also pick up their droppings each week and add to garden beds as a mulch aswell as add it to our growing compost heap. They are easy to maintain, really don’t require much maintainance except for attention and the odd treat of fruit here or there. Oh something quite funny to watch them eat is WaterMelon, their lips go red!!

They have been the first permanent residents on the farm, and look forward to many happy years with them. I might be in luck and get hold of a newly born stallion in the next couple of weeks.


In times of recession, and expensive taxes by governments to fund their travel trips, parties and houses its always good to know how we can save money and use our resources to make more.

Ramblers RestWater – Try and catch your rainwater and use in that your garden. It’s far better to use your rainwater than municipal supplied water with high amounts of chemicals, that can potentially damage your plants and your health. Also start reusing your grey water from baths, kitchen sinks and basins. As a previous article suggests, you can save up to 40% off your water bill. We are already using our grey water at Ramblers Rest. Just one note is to make sure you don’t use harmful chemicals in your water. Organic shampoo’s, soaps can be beneficial to the plants.

Soil – start composting, it’s a the best way to use your kitchen scraps, garden refuse, lawn clippings. Compost is important for your soil and provides much-needed aeration to your soil, acts as a mulch, and recreates a micro climate for little organisms to work their magic. Mulching is important and you can use animal droppings, shredded newspapers, old cardboard boxes, pine cones and retted lawn clippings to provide mulch.

Seeds – With doggie companies out there that run under multiple aliases, that sell genetically modified seeds ( Monsanto ) , now is a good time to start looking at seeds. Start saving your seeds, storing them in waterproof containers. They should be good on a shelf for five years or more. Also to propagate your seeds, use old egg cartons, empty tins. I also started cutting up old milk cartons to use as pegs with black marker to label y seedlings. It’s great to reuse and saves you trips to the dump.

Garden nutrients – Besides compost, there are other great cheap fertilizers available. Crushed egg shells add calcium to the soil and improve compacted soil. If you live near a racetrack/fairgrounds/riding stable, you can get free horse manure if you are willing to haul it away. Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate – both vital plant nutrients. Dissolve some Epsom salt with water and use it on magnesium-loving houseplants, roses, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. Dry out your leftover coffee grounds and sprinkle them around the base of your acid-loving plants, such as azaleas, roses, rhododendrons and blueberries. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, magnesium and potassium, and since they are acidic, they help maintain the soil’s acidity.

Weed Killers – pulling weeds by hand is much easier after a rain shower, you want to pull it out at the roots. Using a product called Roundup is possibly the worst thing you can ever do ever. Try not use anything produced by this company Monsanto, its expensive and taking its toll on our food production and soil quality. Mix some vinegar with kitchen soap and spray on weeds. The soap helps with getting vinegar to stick the leaves, and the acetic acid from the vinegar removes moisture from the weeds. To help with aphids, mites etc, you can make a simple organic repellent using kitchen soap, bioneem oil, cayenne peppers, crushed garlic, shake your bottle and spray on your plants.

I wrote this article and used content from another blog by Tara McAlistar from this website.

%d bloggers like this: