Grow Your Own Lemons

citrus cultivation

How much better is it to source organic citrus fruit straight from the garden?

Fruit that you can be sure is free from pesticides and sprays, because you have picked it directly from your own backyard?

If you have only experienced food purchased from the supermarket, you don’t know what you’re missing. Home grown fruit is so much juicier. This applies to most foods, freshly sourced.

It is not as hard as you think to grow your own food, even with limited space.

Benefits of Growing Your Own Fruit

  • save on packaging waste with supermarket products
  • better nutritional goodness
  • increased levels of juiciness and palatability
  • using your property to productive use
  • promoting food sources for bees

Unfortunately, those sad supermarket lemons sit in freight or storage for two weeks, before hitting the supermarket shelves, and then spend far more time in the supermarket, itself. Finally, someone purchases them, takes them home and pops them in their fridge, so they could be up to one month old or older, when they use them for meals. Eeew? Not really nutritionally sound.

I don’t have the space for a garden and my soil quality is poor, I hear many lament.

Citrus trees, such as lemons, can be successfully grown in pots, as long as they are positioned in a sun drenched spot, in the garden or courtyard and a good citrus fertiliser added in Autumn.

Meet ‘Lemon Heaven’ – a new seedless variety of lemon tree.

lemon tree species

It is the latest addition to the Home by the Sea.

If you live in Australia, a dose of citrus food in small amounts monthly from August to mid autumn will help the little tree along. I also added some Seasol to the pot to help the new addition settle into family life at the Home by the Sea.

Health Benefits of Lemons

  • Lemons are antiseptic
  • May aid digestion eases heartburn and bloating
  • Lemons cleanse and stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Lemon juice contains calcium, magnesium and potassium
  • Lemon juice has been known to relieve asthma
  • A favoured remedy for colds/flu
  • A great skin cleanser
  • It can kick start one’s metabolism

More Reasons to Incorporate Lemons in your Diet

Walking with Kangaroos and Galahs

Getting up early to go walking in summer, brings you some delightful surprises. And let’s face it, it is SO much cooler when you live in the sub-tropics. It is also a time when the animals are more active, as they too struggle in the heat and like to rest when the sun is high.

Like this family herd of Kangaroos. You won’t see any around at noon, as they will be resting in the shadows, but go walking early morning and you will see them, enjoying the free grass shoots that emerged with the recent god given rains.

Perhaps you will join me on this walk as we take a glimpse into Australian fauna.

Photo Cred: Facebook

The gorgeous roos were making the most of the recent rains and although you cannot see them in the photo, One mum has a baby, called a joey, which we have often seen at the newly created and yet to be used, sporting fields at theend of a nearby road. The roos seem to be co-existing well with the encroaching development. Let us hope it stays that way.

“One man’s trash can be another’s treasure.”

The rain gives happiness to animals and people alike. For me, rainfall and cooler days are invigorating. After years of drought, and months of never ending bushfires, the rainfall last week of showers and the occasional thunderstorm is so glorious in all its wetness! Truly manner from heaven. The drought may not be over but the grass and plants respond.

I often think about that disconnect between feelings about rain. The folks in the Northern hemisphere have had enough of it and down here we crave it more and more. There never seems to be enough, for all of Australia, or if there is, it comes down in bucketloads, far too much for us and our fragile land to absorb.

Do you get how we feel about rain in Australia?

The ducks and swans frolick in the overflowing pond, and yes, our feet get muddy.

Yet it is this lifegiving substance the earth needs to rejuvenate, to heal, for water is the essence of life.

With blue sky as far as the eye could see in the other direction, I turned and headed back home. By the lakeside, I was greeted by the local birds. They were really happy too. Except perhaps, the baby galah!

He was probably pretty hungry by the sound of his raucous call.

Along with all the other walkers around the globe, Jo’s Monday walks inspire me to share a little of my home by the sea with others around the globe.

Have a wonderful week. I plan to do so.

A Home by the Sea Blog Logo

Last Photo Challenge

Bushboy has started a “Last photo” challenge and it is a fun one, that challenges us to post the last photo on our SD card or phone for Jan 31st.

Being a committed shutterbug, I do have an appropriate one tray I feel sure Bushboy will enjoy.

It is sunset over the far end of our estate. Just near the Koala tree.

#nofilter #lastphoto

I hope the sun is not setting on the future of the koala.

Koala Spotting

You know you are in Australia when you see a Koala in a tree! Australia’s unique marsupial is so specialized it only eats from around four species of Eucalypt trees. And it needs about 1 kilogram of them every day!

Koalas rescued during the South Australian bushfires Photograph: Adam Mudge/A

Koalas are super cute but they are endangered, and vulnerable to extinction and may potentially become extinct due to habitat loss, disease, limited interbreeding due to a declining population and more recently, significant bushfires in their natural habitat. At least 8000 koalas are thought to have died in the fires. We don’t know the real extent of loss.

Photograph: Eden Hills Country Fire Service/Facebook

We had koalas in our backyard trees, when I was a child, as we had tall Eucalypt trees. We had two males that were on the prowl looking for a mate, and were resting peacefully when the ranger came to collect them and take them back to the bush.

James Tremain, a spokesman for the NSW Nature Conservation Council, said in November that koala decline has been happening “slowly and silently.. and that Koala numbers have plunged over the past 20 years. According to the federal threatened species scientific committee koala numbers in two states have dropped 42% between 1990 and 2010.”

Guardian Australia

This is significant. How can a species, so specialized, stage a comeback when their food source, their only food source, is continually being cut down without replenishment? Residential areas that are cleared and developed, are not replanted with Eucalypt trees because they are too tall, continually drop branches and leaves and too large for back yards.

We have at least one resident koala in our estate – and we only have a few tall tress in the small Eco Zone between two large sporting fields and an estate of houses (without Eucalypt trees).So what will that wild koala go and what will they eat?

Can you see the koala?

Photograph – Facebook

Koala Facts

Koalas need oodles of sleep – around 18 hours. You would too, if you ate only one type of food all day, every day! That is why most of the time they are spotted in trees, they are sleeping.

You might be wondering how it survives on just gum leaves, as the oils in the leaves are quite poisonous. The Koalas have adapted to this specialized niche in the ecosystem, by having a very long digestive organ which allows them to break down the leaves and up til know were easily found throughout much of Eastern Australia. I spotted a few koalas on Stradbroke Island a few years ago.

The infant koala is called a Joey and it is pretty useless when it is born. Blind and earless when born the joey must use its strong sense of touch and smell, as well as natural instinct, to find its way into the pouch or face death. Being a marsupial it requires extended antenatal care that amounts to six to twelve months in its mother’s pouch, where it continues to grow and develop. After the first six months, the young koala will ride around on its Mother’s back until it reaches maturity.

I am kind of glad I am not a mumma koala!

Help for Koalas

Please support organizations that fund 24/7 care of wild koalas in trouble

Pine Rivers Koalacare – a registered Charity

More rescue organizations that assist Australian Wildlife

Plastic Waste in Your Environment

The Lake near my home

Every day my daily walk takes me to the lake, usually with the resident Schnauzer in tow.

Who me? She says

It is a beautiful walk and the developer and Council maintain the street and pathways to a high standard. They want to sell the remaining blocks of vacant land, I guess.

What is very disappointing is that, each and every day, I find some plastic washed up by the shore of the lake.

trash plastic rubbish

Each day, I hope to find a clean and clear shoreline. Predominantly, I find plastic wrap for packs of single use plastic water bottles and plastic packets for food floating on the water or washed up on the rocks.

Each day, I remove this plastic and dispose of it in the rubbish bin; it’s just a few steps away.

In this small corner of the world, on just one corner of the lake’s shoreline, I am removing 2 – 10 pieces of plastic rubbish each and every day. So, let’s put that in a global context:

“Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.” (EACH YEAR!)

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/plastic-pollution/

Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, as rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them.

Single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year. Many of these products, such as plastic bags and food wrappers, have a lifespan of mere minutes to hours, yet they may persist in the environment for hundreds of years.

Some plastic contain additives to make them stronger and in doing so, extends their life meaning they will take up to 400 years to break down. At the rate plastic is being produced, we will be drowning in plastic, in 400 years.

Plastics – Key Facts

  • Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years.
  • Production increased exponentially, from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. Production is expected to double by 2050.
  • Trash is also carried to sea by major rivers, which act as conveyor belts, picking up more and more trash as they move downstream. Once at sea, much of the plastic trash remains in coastal waters. But once caught up in ocean currents, it can be transported around the world.

More about plastic-pollution

We urgently need to reduce or eliminate our use of plastic.

Long-term effects of Plastic Pollution

  • It upsets the Food Chain
  • Marine animals mistakenly ingest plastics (Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish)
  • Creates Pollution of waterways from chemicals entering ground water
  • Land Pollution from Landfill
  • Expels air pollitspollutathe manufacturing process
  • It Kills Animals – seabirds and fish get caught inside or around it
  • It is Poisonous – to humans and animals
  • It is Expensive – it costs more to produce than a reusable natural bag

I will be keeping a count of the days without plastic.

How You Can Help

  • Responsibly dispose of plastic pollution when you find it in your local area
  • Say No to Plastic bags from shops
  • Use re-useable cloth or string bags
  • Refuse products with excess packaging
  • Ask if the packaging is reuseable PRIOR to purchase- especially with take away food, smoothies, coffees and drinks, so that business owners try to be more selective in their product choice
  • Carry a refillable drink or coffee flask and reusable straws
  • Don’t buy bottled water – or drinks in plastic bottles – preference glass containers where possible
  • Be responsible with your own rubbish when out and about

japan

In Japan, I never saw a single item of rubbish in the streets. The Japanese are very conscious of taking their own rubbish away with them.

If the Japanese can do it with their mega population, we can do it too.

Let’s change the culture of plastic reliance everywhere!

Update: Linking to Debbie’s One Word Sunday Plastic post