Working in the garden

7 April 2008
We had a wonderful weekend with little bits of work and a lot of relaxing thrown in for good measure. Much of our time was spent outside in the garden. Almost everything is planted now, we just have the peas, beans and cauliflowers to go. The kale has started to grow, tomatoes have been planted and staked and the potatoes are in. I'm on the lookout for some golden nugget seeds or seedlings now, when they're planted, I'll be happy.

So far the following has been planted: three types of tomatoes - amish paste, brandywines and moneymaker, capsicums (sweet peppers), chilli, kale, silverbeet (chard), wom bok (Chinese cabbage), bush cucumber and Lebanese cucumber, Darwin lettuce, French radishes, Dutch cream potatoes, Welsh onions, parsley, Tendercrisp celery, carrots and button squash. We might have some room left for a few other odds and ends, if so, I'll buy open pollinated seedlings and get them in next week.

The capsicums (peppers) have been growing since last year and are still going strong. I'll definitely be saving seeds from these plants to grow in the coming years. It's a robust and flavoursome capsicum and I doubt I could kill it with an axe.

At the moment there are about 20 capsicums growing or ripening on three bushes.

The largest of the new chickens are very happy here and cluck around exploring their new home. The small chicks are still in a fenced area but they're happy too as they can scratch the earth and eat bugs and grass. The photo below is of Anne Shirley, Lotte, Kylie and Margaret who wander around together most of the time.

Hanno hasn't done anymore work on the coop but will do that while I'm at work over the next three days. So far he's installed these nifty roosts that we can pin to the rafters when we're cleaning the place out. It's much easier than moving them and better than letting the footings sit in water.

This is one of them attached to the rafters. That wall between the roost will come out - that used to be the outside wall of the coop, and the new nesting boxes need to be made. You can see the one solitary nest box above and with only three hens laying that has been enough for the girls.

Work was also done inside. I tidied up the guest rooms, cleaned bathrooms and all the floors. But there was also time for morning tea on the front verandah and this citrus cake was made for the week's morning teas. I found that candied orange peel in the fridge when I cleaned it out last week so I used it up before it went off.

Hanno had a nap yesterday afternoon while I did some stitchery, and while I sat in the lounge room, puffs of cool air blew in to remind me that Autumn is here and Winter is approaching. I love this time of year. It makes me feel that anything and everything is possible.

Don't forget that Bel will do her guest post tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to reading it as I'm sure many other readers are. Take care everyone.


  1. Hi Rhonda Jean :) I enjoyed reading this - the updates are fun!

    I'm a little jealous of your magnificent pepper - lol! I thought of you this week when I went to the market to buy peppers - you wouldn't believe the price they are asking! I came home with a request for a whole row in our garden this year, so that I wouldn't have to buy any from garden to garden.

    Have a lovely week! Love, Q

  2. Rhonda Jean, your weekend looks lovely! Can I come stay with you? I'm tired of spending my weekends (and weekdays, LOL) cleaning up after six people, four of whom could clean up after themselves! If you would love a nice working holiday in Cincinnati Ohio, I will trade you places for a month or so. Deal? No? ;-)

  3. hat a lovely post - relaxing to read, but you've obviously been working hard! Its good to hear that the new girls are settling in.

  4. Hello Rhonda,

    I have been reading your Blog for a couple of weeks now and I find it very inspirational, I have just loved all the hints and tips I have found on your blog. I have put a link on my blog to your blog I hope you don't mind. Your garden is looking great.

    Keep up the great work. I read everyday.


  5. I love your gardens! I also love your chicken coop!!! Just gorgeous! We have over 20 chickens..but our coop isn't quite that nice...but my hubby made it so I am quite proud just the same LOL.

  6. Nice work in the garden Rhonda! and the new chook house looks great. I like those swinging perches very much.

    Its hard to believe that your garden is just gearing up for your most productive season when ours is slowing down. ONly the tough things are going in now - cabbage, kales, garlic beetroots etc. We have had 3 frosts already.


  7. omRhonda Jean, I just found your blog through Molly and Coffee and it is a delight! We're entering our spring here in Colorado and I'm excited to plant my peas, cabbages, and brocolli next weekend.

  8. Hi Rhonda! Warmer weather is slowly arriving here in Nebraska. My husband and I are going to till the garden tomorrow and plant potatoes! Yay!! I just don't feel "right" when I can't be out scratching around in the soil! It is my therapy. Take care! Have a good week.


  9. Hi Rhonda I have been reading your blog for about a month now and you are my inspiration and you keep me motivated to try different things. As it is cooling down here too we cannot grow anywhere near as much in our garden as you do. Love the near chook perchs and the way you can lift them out of the road to clean very good idea.
    Have a nice day.

  10. Is a Welsh onion small like a green onion? It seems that there are so many different names for onions - I find it a bit confusing :-)

  11. I just want to wish you a happy birthday
    You gave a clue it was a big one soon - maybe over weekend when all your visitors arrived???

    Any way hope you have or have had a lovely special (big number I think it is/was)

    Love Leanne NZ -

  12. Hi
    I have been reading your blog for a while now and finding it very enjoyable.
    Like 'theduckherder' our growing season is winding down at the moment (here in Adelaide Hills) capsicum are finished, beans nearly so but I am having fun with "my little" garden that my 5 year old and I can plant a few different things.
    On the list are russian kale, just love it in my vege soups thru winter - broad beans, love them anyway anytime!! and some peas MMMMM!!!
    My husbands family are market gardeners so I dont need to grow anything really but we still like to go out and get dirty and pick stuff by the back door.
    Good luck with the golden nugget pumpkins I love them stuffed with leftover spaghetti yummooo!! And dutch cream potatoes are one of my favorites (which we are having for tea AGAIN tonite) and only one of the 23 varieties that we grow.
    I have on my list a chicken pen next. I keep at hubby for one and maybe one day I will get one, thats the only thing we really need as we have cows and sheep for meat already.
    Keep up the good work on your property and the blog and I will keep being an avid reader.

  13. Hi. I have a link on my blog as well, I find I use it a lot.

  14. what a lovely chook house, the girls are going to love it when it is all finished

  15. Look at those peppers!! We call them paprika here. And being Dutch I should probably know, but what are Dutch cream potatoes? Never heard of them. :-)


  16. Hi. Love the coop but I thought it worth mentioning to you to watch the chooks roosting on the rectangular timber you've used. I've always been cautioned to use rounded lengths as apparently over time it can cause problems with their feet. Perhaps your research differs....

  17. Hello everyone!

    Those peppers are really something, Quinne.

    Moey, maybe those four people need a talking to. Go on strike for the weekend.

    Hi Rosie, the new girls love being here.

    Hello Tracie, welcome! Thank you.

    Katy, I think all practical, made-for-a-purpose buildings are beautiful in their own way. I'm sure your coop is just what your chickens need.

    Hi Duckie! We are lucky to be able to grow year round here. The only thing that wipes us out is really high humidity or heat.

    Hi Suzanm, welcome! Thanks for commenting.

    I know exactly what you mean Kristina.

    Hui Debbie. Keep going with those small steps.

    Lorisdoris, yes a Welsh onion is a green onion. We grow red ones here as well as green ones. They're easy to grow and as we can't grow real onions, they do us nicely.

    Hello Leanne, thank you dear. My birthday is next Tuesday - April 15. We are having a birthday celebration on Saturday.

    Hi Lea-Anne. It sounds like you have quite the life growing food at your place. I agree with you, working in the garden is a joy. I taught my boys to garden when they were young too. One of them is still a gardener and he's now 27.

    Hi Linda, thank you.

    Hello Flying fox, welcome.

    Christine, Dutch Cream potatoes are also called Nicola. They're a golden yellow fleshed potato. When I lived in Germany, they grew these potatoes up north in the Heide.

    Hi Bron, no my research is the same. We wanted to use materials we have here and Hanno made the square perches before I knew he was making them square. I have also read that over time, perfectly round perches will also damage chook feet. We will replace a few of the perches with natural small branches that we'll find on our land and dry well before use. We have a camphor laurel tree here, and they make excellent perches because the camphour in the wood deters mites.

  18. Hi Rhonda,
    long time no talk, we have had about 6 frosts here, I am still planting our winter/spring garden, have brown onions in, silverbeet, some beetroot, lettuce am fighting a losing battle with something e.g rabbits, wild ducks, choughs(black magpies) that are enjoying our brassicas. will plant out more seedlings of white onions, red onions, leeks, cabbages etc, more selfsown siverbeet and lettuce and more seeds.
    Hoping for lots more rain here, dry and very dusty.

  19. Hi Lorraine. You'll have a nice winter garden. Good luck with the rain.


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