Harvest at Zaia and Tom Kendal's permaculture farm

Tom is back, a snake bite and harvesting

Tom is back, a snake bite and harvesting

Tom is back from Jordan! He arrived last Sunday, very tired after a short night, long travel and little sleep. He will tell you all about his adventures soon, I am sure! We spent the last couple of days catching up on things, trying to get our heads around what the priorities are!

Last Monday we were happy to have our 2 year old grandson here with us for the day. While he and Tom were picking macadamias, our Jack Russell cross was bitten nearby by a red belly black snake. He was bitten on the snout, and had trouble walking and was panting. We called the vet, but antivenom and snake bite care is more than $2,000, money we just don’t have. So I quickly gave Bandit (the snake bitten dog) 2 charcoal capsules internally and rubbed charcoal into the bite site. He has been sick the past couple of days, but has survived so far. I am a bit worried about renal failure, as that is a common thing to happpen with black snake bites. His urine has been red to black in colour, I believe the charcoal has bound to the poison and is being excreted through the kidneys. Charcoal absorbs about 50x its own weight in poison. Bandit has had reasonably normal coloured poops, it is just his urine that is out of whack. He was unable to hold any water or food down for the past few days, but we have been giving him small amounts of water with a siringe regularly and will give him a little chicken broth a bit later. He is a bit better today, but it may take a while for him to get over this one! He got over a paralysis tick last year, he is a tough little nut!

Bandit bitten by a red belly black snake
Bandit on day 2 of his snake bite, a bit dopey and shaky

Yesterday we did some harvesting, chokos, tomatoes, chillies, eggplants, beans and bananas. Two of the banana bunches are sold to the local shop, I blanched the beans and froze them for later use and Marlon (our son) made a yummy chutney from the chillies and tomatoes. The rest is being stored for use. I am very happy to have Marlon in the kitchen, it is great that he is keen to do some experimenting with preserves! I am also making some pickled lime, I cut and salted 50 limes yesterday! The process will take about 3 weeks, I will keep you informed as we go.

©2016 Zaia; diyfoodandhealth.com, incorporating Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast, simplicity, permaculture, self reliance, self sufficiency, sustainability, food, health and homesteading, Tom is back from Jordan, ourdog was bitten by a red bellied black snake and harvest processing.


  1. My dog is a committed snake-hunter here in South East Queensland. We didn’t encourage it: it is just something he has done since we brought him home from the dog shelter.
    He kills a lot of red-bellied blacks, and my partner saw him being bitten by one, but he has been ok so far. He is bigger, being a bull terrier/border collie cross.
    He also digs up cane toads and chews them a little. He did it a few weeks ago and was quite dizzy and agitated afterwards. My partner gave him as much milk as he could drink, and that relieved the symptoms enough for him to be able to style down. A vet had told my partner to do it with a dog years ago that kept munching the toads. An expensive habit.
    The hunting is definitely not encouraged, but with us both working, we can’t watch him all the time. We have recently spent over $200 treating an infected eye, probably from him pushing through bushes and scratching it. Another side-effect of the hunting!
    I wish your little mutt all the best.

  2. Only just saw this. Pat Coleby recommends vit c

    1. Hi Rohan, I had heard about the vitamin C thing but also heard that it did not work. Regardless, I did try and give him some, but he could not keep it down. The charcoal given to him straight away was the thing that saved him I reckon!

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