Recipe For Oregano Oil

Many people think that taking a tortoise out of the wild and bringing them home is a great idea. What they do not know is that these tortoises cannot be re-introduced into the wild in most circumstances. In 2007 Cape Nature gave me two tortoises to home. They had been taken out of the wild and kept in captivity by someone who had ‘lost interest’ in looking after them. She had five tortoises and all five needed to be rehomed. One of the conditions of rehoming them is that we do not allow them to breed. You cannot stop them from mating, but Cape Nature asked that we destroy the eggs. We took home two females, one of which had already been ‘covered’ by the male. Unfortunately, I did not know she had laid a clutch of eggs, and I only discovered this when I found a baby tortoise. We had really bad rain storms and she drowned as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time as a part of my garden flooded.

Stanley
Stanley

A few years ago a friend told me they had found 4 tortoises on her father-in-law’s farm. He had brought them back from the West Coast over a period of time. My friend had plans to just return them into the wild but I told her this was not a good idea. I took 3 of them to keep but nature has intervened here. We had devastating wild fires in our area and the eagles moved closer to the village to catch their prey, and the very small tortoises became an easy target for them.

Now, the purpose of this post is not about my tortoises but on why they need to be left where they are – or kept in captivity. Tortoises can only be released into the wild into the region they originate from. Ordinarily, if a tortoise is to be released, it needs to be released into the exact region they come from as determined by genetic testing. Tortoises cannot be released into the wild if they are ill, or are suffering from an incurable disease or terminal illness. They cannot be released into the wild if they carry a transmittable disease, have parasites or are injured. Furthermore, if a tortoise has been kept in captivity – even if free to roam in your garden – for more than two months, it cannot be released into the wild. If you know for a fact that the tortoise has been out of its own environment for less than two months it still needs to be quarantined before being released. And, an expert needs to determine the best area for release so that the tortoise is released into a friendly, safe, and healthy environment.

If you find a tortoise in your garden and do not know what to do with it, please contact your local Nature Conservation Society. The most important factor here is to rather leave the tortoise where it belongs, in the wild. As I want my tortoises to be as close to their natural environment as possible I grow herbs and plants in my garden that they would find in the wild. I have a lot of indigenous plants and I know that this will provide enough food for them. I do however keep a bird bath at ground level full of water so that they have ready access to it.

One of my most prolific herbs is oregano and so as to not share all of it with the tortoise, I used some up to flavour extra virgin olive oil. You can use any herb of your choice here so let your imagination run wild!

Oregano Oil
Oregano Oil

Oregano Oil

Herb oils are easy to make and so versatile to use. Here I provide you with a recipe using fresh oregano but you can use any herb that you have growing in your garden.

Ingredients

  • 5 g oregano leaves
  • 150 mls olive oil

Instructions

  • Place the oregano leaves into a mortar
  • Add 15mls olive oil and bash the leaves with the pestle
  • Add a further 45mls of olive oil and mix in
  • Pour into a sterilized glass bottle
  • Top with the rest of the olive oil
  • Leave to stand for 24 hours before using

 

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42 thoughts on “Recipe For Oregano Oil

  1. I knew nothing about tortoises (torti?) Tandy as they are not found in Australia. Whilst not everyone would have one in their gardens in SA, there are obviously enough that are removed from the wild to require a proper re-housing program. How someone could get bored of caring for a tortoise is beyond me. I’m imagining they a fairly low maintenance. Thanks for opening up my world. xx

  2. Hi Tandy, did not know that about tortoises, I think they were so adorable. Great idea for the oregano oil. Have a wonderful trip!

  3. Oh I do love tortoises (like everyone) and it was really interesting to learn more about them – we don’t have the tortoise problem here in NZ. I love making herb oils and using them in cooking.

  4. We don’t have tortoises where I live (a pity – they’re gorgeous)….

    But the oregano oil sounds marvelous!

  5. It’s so reassuring that you’re taking care of those tortoises. We have turtles that wander into extremely busy streets around here and we have to get them out before they’re hit, nothing sadder than a dead turtle! We also have hungry ducks around here, I’ve spent my share on time on the net researching just what they eat so my daughters and I can feed them.

    Love the oregano oil, oregano is one of the best herbs out there, just the right spice for so many dishes.

    1. I would not mind some ducks close by as I love their eggs 🙂 I love using oregano for all my dishes, but especially with carrots 🙂

  6. I had no idea about tortoises! But I love that you took them when they had nowhere else to go. This infused oil sounds so tasty and is a great use for those herbs!

    1. I have been using this herb oil for a few months now and it imparts such a lovely flavour to the dishes I am cooking 🙂

  7. Stanley – what a cute name for a tortoise! Agree with you, Tandy. They should be left in the wild where they naturally belong and be free. Destroying the eggs may be a bit heartbreaking :(.

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    1. They were named after Livingstone and Stanley, the great explorers. It is heartbreaking to destroy the eggs but a sad necessity.

  8. I’ve never seen a tortoise out in the wild :O Your garden sounds amazing 🙂 Mine’s just grass and some low maintenance flowers haha…. I love the idea of oregano infused oil!

    1. I love gardening and I am waiting for the builders to finish the driveway so that I can get my vegetable patch sorted out 🙂

  9. Stanley was very lucky to have landed in your garden… I am glad you got to the oregano before the tortoise did as this is such a lovely oil. This is such a great idea for gift giving as well.

  10. Tandy, this is so interesting! I guess folks never really think about the consequences when they remove wild animals from the habitats. I’d always assumed they could be returned though if it hadn’t been too long – what happens after two months? Are the tortoises unable to readjust back to the wild?

    1. Celia, they get a lung disease which can kill off all the wild tortoises as it is easily transmittable. A friend of mine had to take her tortoise to the vet to try and treat it but it never got completely rid of the lung problems.

  11. Have I told you my tortoise story yet? I don’t remember! Lovely post. I agree with you about tortoises and conservation. Hope you’re having a lovely holiday 🙂 xx

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