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30 December 2011

The summer backyard and chicken update

Things are very slow here. We're doing what we're supposed to do at this time of year. We're enjoying the sunshine in the backyard, watching cricket and relaxing. I hope you're able to do something similar. If you're north of the equator, I hope you're enjoying warm fires and brisk walks. I'll be back writing regularly soon but I thought you'd enjoy seeing what our backyard is like this morning.

 The smallest of the chooks outside for the second time - Annie, Lillian, Flora and Nora.
 Above and below - the lavender and white Aracaunas - Fiona and Margaret. 

Flora and Nora. Nora is a Welsummer, but I now have a suspicion that Flora (left) is our third New Hampshire.

 Martha and Kylie free ranging in the backyard.
Anne Shirley, one of the New Hampshires, with Lulubelle, our barred Plymouth Rock. They followed Hanno around while he pruned the pecan tree.
The garden is a shell of its former glory. We have parsley and a few herbs growing as well as silverbeet (chard) cucumbers, carrots, celery, beetroot, tomatoes and daikon radishes. We're still harvesting a few things - I picked a kilo of green tomatoes and some chillis, and carried them in my apron. The rest is the usual mess at this time of year. Gardens never stay the same. Ours will get worse before it gets better because we won't plant our new season crops till March. 
There are still some seeds to collect - namely the Easter egg radishes and leeks. 

And now I'm going to sew or knit. I don't know what it will be until I walk away from this computer. But that's the beauty of days like today - it's all flexible and slow. Anything might happen.


  1. Lovely to see your girls out and about...the white ones would be my faves i think! my vegie patch is looking very similar to yours and i was wondering whether to begin planting anything else yet or wait...perhaps like you i will wait now.
    Enjoy your sewing or knitting or even both...i'm off to make lunch for my girls and then make bread...the days have begun to find rhythm again now thank goodness!

  2. I like the new photo of you :). Your 'girls' look very happy with their new home.

  3. I've missed your updates, Rhonda! Glad to see your photos, your chickens are lovely. Enjoy your knitting. :o)

  4. Hi Rhonda,
    If my yard looked like yours right now, I'd be pretty happy. Here in the west where we are, we've been having 39 - 40 C, today being a bit cooler. Have you ever had any problems with your chooks having impact crop? One of my chooks has had it and I looked on You tube for solutions. I fixed my girl and the minute she could digest her food she didn't stop eating!!! Regards, Anita.

  5. Everything looks so lovely--you, the chickens, the yard, your blog! It was fun to see an update from you. Thanks for checking in :)

  6. Love your new photo Rhonda, it is very engaging.
    Have a nice break.

  7. It's absolutely beautiful to see summer with a foot of snow on the ground! It's been awhile since I've been here, just so busy!

    I still lurk from time to time

  8. As a Canadian I'm ever so curious, is Anne Shirley named after Anne of Green Gables? She certainly has the right colouring.


  9. Hello ladies!

    Kristen Yes, Anne Shirley is named for Anne of Green Gables. This Anne Shirley is Anne Shirley 3.

  10. Nice to see you back and relaxed Rhonda, I thought of you several times as we were glued to the tv watching the cricket ... and what a match it was!! Those couple of very hot days over here made for perfect watching.

    Love your chookies and I always thought Anne Shirley was 'the' Anne Shirley, an absolute favourite of mine.

    Have a great weekend :)

  11. I was going to say by your last photos, I think you have 3 New Hampshires, but I wondered if I just wasn't looking at the picture properly.

    Still, 3 New Hampshires should keep you in plenty of eggs. They have lovely round, light brown eggs.

    My garden is always messy, but I think the wildlife prefer it that way. :)

  12. Rhonda, I didn't think we'd see you before New Year's. It's so fun to visit your garden and the girls.

    brenda from arkansas

  13. Oooh - I see 22 February on your book link! Can't wait. Not long to go now. When I saw your post I just popped over to say a very Happy New Year to you and Hanno, Rhonda. Hope you are enjoying the little holiday break.

  14. May 2012 be like today, Rhonda.

    Sending best wishes for a Flexible and Slow, Happy New Year!!

    Jeanneke, Dokkum, The netherlands.

  15. Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

  16. Your garden layout is glorious!
    Love the new header and your new photo.
    Enjoy the sunshine!

  17. Hi Rhonda,

    Sorry but this comment is unrelated to your post (lovely chickens by the way) but I just wanted to thank you for your chicken and veg casserole recipe. I've been reading (ie. poring over)your blog since I found you in TWW a couple of weeks ago and tonight was my first time to use one of your recipes. I received multiple "high fives" from my four year old (and two year old, but she does most things her big sister does)AND they were both still talking about it when I was putting them to bed! So, thank you. It put a big smile on my face and I can't wait to try more of your recipes.

    Enjoy your rest,


  18. Your garden look beautiful. I'm in South Florida and it's a bit chilly here at the moment (54 F) and it was in the 80s for Christmas.

    I look forward to your updates!

  19. Hello Rhonda!

    Yes, garden do not stay the same as when we are planning them. The chickens look wonderful and healthy.

    Thank you for sharing... enjoy your quiet time :)


  20. Hi Rhonda,

    I too, like the new photo of you. I've missed you these last few days, but I'm glad you enjoyed being with family during the holiday.

    It's pretty cold here and I've just finished using several leftover bits of yarn for a pair of fingerless gloves for ME! I made several pairs as Christmas presents, but this pair is mine. It felt good to use up bits of yarn and produce something pretty and useful.

    Now I'm going to have a cup of tea and like you, decide whether to knit or sew. Later today I'll be ordering seeds for the garden. Seeing your garden spurs me on.

    Love from Diane in North Carolina

  21. Wonderful pictures !! The chickens look great. I love Lullubelle, she looks so fluffy.
    Have a great New Years eve and a fantastic beginning of 2012.
    Hugs from The Netherlands.

  22. Great Pics of your new girls Rhonda, good luck with them I'm sure they will settle in fine. Its always exciting when you get new chickens or pets of any sort for that matter!
    Have a wonderful New Year, to you and your family and enjoy your knitting or whatever takes your fancey. Love and hugs Serena.

  23. The new header is so pretty Rhonda. Sunshine fresh! Your garden still looks far more abundent than ours. We had weeks of very dry,hot and windy weather that sucked a lot of life out of the garden. Now we are having copius amounts of rain. Oh well, at least the watertank is full!

  24. I've missed you these past few days. Happy New year to you and your family. Hope to get a copy of your book here in America! Blessings, Carolyn Gilbert

  25. Beautiful hens and I love that you named one Anne Shirley, again and again! We just returned from an Alaskan adventure to visit family and your beautiful backyard is quite a contrast to all of the snowy whiteness! Happy New Year! ~Kari

  26. Love the new look on your blog and your new photo. The chickens are cute. All the best for 2012.

  27. Oh...I just saw the cover of your book in the sidebar. It is elegantly simple. When will it be released in the USA? Can't wait!

  28. from here in western Kentucky, your garden "mess" looks like heaven. everything's bare and brown here. visiting your garden will get me through the winter, so thanks for sharing, RJ!

  29. I like your new mast head.

    I'm getting all excited about chickens again, as we've had our chicken tractor stored in our garage for a few years. But I miss them and am anxious to have some "chooks" again.

    Rita Moore

  30. I love reading about your chickens! We cannot have chickens where we live so I love reading about others who can!

    I'm planning on learning to crochet this year - any advice?


  31. Sarah, I've been learning how to crochet for years now. I still haven't made anything. I find the transition from knitting to crochet quite difficult because I feel I need another needle. The process is quite simple but I never stay with it long enough to do anything, then when I come back to it, I've forgotten and have to learn again. My advice would be to go to you tube and find some good instructional videos and sit in front of your computer to learn. And stick with it.

  32. Rhonda I have a question, it may have already been answered in another post, if this is so sorry I guess I missed it. When your book comes out if I wanted one how do I order and pay for it since I am in the USA, I was wondering do I go through you?
    Thanks Kim

  33. Hi Kim, I'll be talking to Penguin about this later this week. I'll let you know as soon as I can.

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