Rocket eating

Rocket update and letting the “weeds” grow

I’m getting slack with my blog posts as it has been a while since I last posted anything. We haven’t been doing as many things on our weekends as Daniel has had exams and hasn’t wanted to go anywhere. There’s less to share when we’re not out doing interesting things. But that’s about to change, hopefully, with exams coming to an end.

Rocket is doing so well. His eye and the burst abscess have completely healed up now.

Rocket eating

He still runs on his wheel, burrows, and generally does hamstery things. The main change is that he can only eat soft foods. We’re not sure what the problem is exactly but it’s obviously something teeth-related. The vet has had to trim his front teeth twice now. I guess they’re not getting filed down with hard foods and so they’re growing uncontrollably. Hamster teeth grow at about 1mm/day.

I soak his regular hamster food in water and then mash it up. He still has his old food which you can see scattered around in the photo. He makes such a mess with it but I don’t think he’s eating it. He only eats the soft stuff.

It’s spring which means the stinging nettles have returned and we’ve been putting them in several meals each week including soups, curries, and stews. Nettles are so good for you, they grow prolifically, and they’re completely free! Most people view them as weeds but I view them as a nutritious source of food that doesn’t cost us any money.

Stinging nettle is high in amino acids, protein, flavonoids, and bone-building minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Nettle contains vitamins and minerals that can help keep your bones strong (Gupta, 2021). Stinging nettle is one of the greatest sources of vitamin K.
Nettle’s ability to reduce inflammatory responses has been highlighted in scientific studies where several pathways lead to reduced production of lipid mediators and inflammatory cytokines.,greatest%20sources%20of%20vitamin%20K

There’s heaps more in the paper above and other similar ones. They’re basically a one-stop pharmacy. I’ve also planted a lot of wild garlic in the garden which is delicious and grows well under trees.

I’ve changed my attitude towards gardening quite a bit over the past few years. I now view it as a food source for our family and for other animals as well as a habitat for insects and other animals. I pile up the leaves in autumn as they provide habitat for insects; I pile up sticks and other vegetation for hedgehogs; I view the daisies and clover not as lawn weeds but as food for pollinators. We’re currently turning our lawn into a meadow and I’ve planted a wildflower garden. It’s not just about helping the environment which is a good enough reason as it is because insects could happily survive without humans but we cannot survive without them, I also think it just looks better.

Would you rather a monoculture lawn that supports very little life or would you rather this lovey wildflower garden which supports an abundance of insects which then become food for birds and mammals? I know which one I like better and thankfully times are changing as I see councils all over the UK are starting to see the benefits in letting nature bounce back.

Wildflowers growing beside a road.

7 thoughts on “Rocket update and letting the “weeds” grow”

  1. I like the idea of a meadow instead of a lawn. If I had a back lawn I may consider it myself, but I can’t bring myself to do it with my front street-facing-only lawn – lol!

  2. I’m not sure. It may be more to do with the embedded social contract of keeping one’s place looking tidy, at least from the front. Interesting to ponder on.

  3. We had wild looking lawn in one of the schools I’m a chair at, but unfortunately it’s been decided not to keep it that way. Do you have to prepare lawn to turn it into meadow? Am I right that you have to do a bit of prep for a wildflower garden?
    Marge is on Metacam this week. She had a stiff looking leg and keeps falling over. The stiff leg has gone but she is still falling over. However she is enjoying her boiled egg, which is what I load the Metacam onto. Rocket is doing really well to have come through everything so far.

    1. I hope Marge is ok and makes a quick recovery. Do you know how old she is?

      The lawn is a bit of a mess right now and I’m not sure how I get it to look like a meadow. For my wildflower garden I had to remove the grass and sew seeds. I’ll share a photo once they’ve all started flowering.

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