11 February 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.

To take part, all you have to do is post a photo, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to here. Please write a new post, don't link to an older one. When your photo is published, come back and add a comment below, with a link to your blog photo. Please visit all the blogs that appeal to you and leave a comment. If you are wondering why no one has commented on your On my mind post, maybe it's because you haven't commented on anyone else's. Slow down, take the time to cruise around and enjoy your cyber visits.

Meryl asked yesterday for a map of our garden, so that's been on my mind.  This photo was taken two years ago from the roof of the house.  When we set up our garden, fences were a priority.  Naturally, Hanno built them and put them up. I meant to add yesterday too, that the garden is his territory.  I plant seeds, water and harvest but Hanno does the bulk of the gardening work. 

The small backyard outside our back door is where Alice is fed, she also used to play in the main backyard but now she sleeps inside most of the time.  When we have guests, we often set up tables and chairs in the small backyard and we can lock out the dog and the chooks.  The chooks have got a big run attached to their house; sometimes they spend their days in there, sometimes they're let out to free range in the main backyard.  At the moment though, they're cleaning up the vegetable gardens for us in preparation for our March plantings - Hanno took out a piece of fence between their run and the garden so they can just wander in.  The main backyard is also fenced, we have a gate to go down to the creek and around the side of the house.  In my view, fences are necessary in a productive backyard.  Without them chooks will run amok and pets can go wherever they want to.  If you want to produce food, you have to be in control of the entire productive area.


  1. Hello Rhonda You have a lovely backyard. I would think it would make for great entertaining.
    Funny I posted about a fence this week. This is on my mind.

  2. Here is what's on my mind...


    Have a great weekend.


  3. On My Mind: Our Wedding Anniversary
    Thank You Rhonda, for the view/description of your yard.

  4. I wish I had that much room in my backyard!

    I have a finished project to show off and its final destination is on my mind.


  5. Your garden is lovely. I like how it's layed out!! Have a great day. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  6. Nice to see green gardens. I was in a Hardware store here yesterday and saw all the gardening supplies and thought there is an end to winter. Hurray!!

    My mind is on unpleasant thoughts this morning.

  7. Hi Rhonda,

    On My Mind this week are aprons. I wear one each day and I think it's time for a few new ones to be made. I would like some suggestions for a pattern that's practical and comfortable to wear.

  8. wow, RJ, everything really DOES seem under control in your garden...how very neat and lovely! Here's what's on my mind:

  9. Thanks Rhonda, I love to have a peek at other people's gardens. We've just got chooks. I had dreams of them wandering about all over the place but I realised once they started attacking my growing eggplants and pooping under our bare feet that fences were needed.

  10. Hi Rhonda,

    Do you have any advice/wisdom for managing dogs around chickens? My dog just loves to chase them?

  11. Oh Rhonda I wish I was that organised - going away frequently plays havic with vegetable growing
    My post for today - cool comfort can be found here:
    Take care

  12. Lovely veggie garden :)

    On my mind this week has been patching my jeans for the millionth time!


  13. vivienne, as you know, dogs and chickens are natural enemies. You can NEVER trust a dog near chickens. We've always had airedales and have trained them to accept the chooks. We got them to a stage where they would sit with the chooks and round them up, gently. Nearly 20 years with no real problems, although a couple of close calls. Then, a few months ago, out of the blue, Alice killed one of our little chooks - Heather our little Faverolles. They had been living together for a few years and never had a problem with each other until then.

    If you have chooks with a dog, and I just saw your beautiful dog, you should train the dog. Hanno trained ours by letting the dogs sniff the chooks while he held them, then he put the chook beside him and let them sniff, and over months it progressed slowly from there. It's much easier if the chooks are already part of the home when you bring the dog home, after that the dog thinks every new thing is an intruder. Nevertheless, even if you train your dog and are quite confident that it would never harm a chook, NEVER trust the dog alone with a chook. Part of the responsibility of being a chook owner is that we must protect our girls from predators. It is a sad fact that most of the predators that kills chooks, live in the home with them.

  14. i am wondering if you have any ideas for dealing with a tree full of chestnuts? i am trying to come up with ways to preserve them (as i hate to see them go to waste!)
    ginny :)

  15. I love how tidy your garden is, so nice and peaceful!

    On my mind this week is my little one. http://daisyinaction.com/blog/2011/02-10/on-my-mind-2/

  16. My new puppy is on my mind and how to keep her occupied so she doesnt want to be destructive, so far she is pretty good really but we do have to stop and think about what we leave about.

  17. Oh I do envy your garden....I know envy is a bad word. I should say one day I will have a lovely productive garden similar to yours!

    On my mind this week are Gumnut Babies... http://sewingtheseedsofchange.blogspot.com/2011/02/on-my-mind.html

    Cheers Lisa

  18. What a great map Rhonda!

    I'm thinking about sourdough. http://greeningtherose.blogspot.com/2011/02/this-is-on-my-mind.html

  19. Hi Rhonda,
    Today I have been thinking how TV is starting to rule my life and I want to watch less of it and do more crafts:
    This is the first time I have been able to join this challenge!
    Stacey x

  20. I agree with the fences and having a productive backyard We are adding more fences this year.
    My baby girl turned two on Wednesday so of course, that is what is on my mind.

  21. Here's what's on my mind today:

    Thanks Rhonda, your backyard gardens are inspiring :)

  22. So true, about the fences! My father loves dogs, but boy did I hear a lot of bellyaching growing up, as one of the beagles was absolutely positive that any mulch laid in the garden was, in reality, a dog bed.

    But that being said, we've had chickens for nearly 20 years now, and beagles with free run of the property the whole time, without loosing a single one to the beagles. The Shih-Tzu on the other hand... she's a chicken-killing machine, if given so much as a slightly slack leash :( And as you said, predators abound -- the neighbor's dogs, the cats, the coyotes and foxes... all got a chicken or two here and there over the years.

  23. Hi Rhonda, I love your yard, it's so neat!!! We have a very wet yard at the moment - ever since Cyclone Yasi it's rained most of the time. :( This is what's been on my mind - the cyclone, living without electricity, cooking over a little gas cooker... I'm so glad the power's back now!


    Jo :)

  24. Hi Rhonda, love your fenced backyard - so organised. I am thinking about my daughter's homemade birthday presents.


  25. Hi Rhonda,
    We have recently (as a result of cyclone Yasi) had rain that can be mesured by the metre and on my mind is this shaded area where I am trying to remove the grass and add a stone pathway instead. I just wish it would stop raining so I can get out and continue with my project!
    take care, and I love your backyard!

  26. On my mind?



  27. Hi Rhonda! Here's What's on my Mind:

    Have a terrific weekend!!

  28. Here's my contribution: http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/2011/02/on-my-mindwaiting-for-spring-edition.html

    Thank you, Brenda!

  29. Getting things "cheap" doesn't really matter if you don't NEED them...

  30. I love your garden!

    On my mind is finding uses for juicer pulp http://theprofessorswife.blogspot.com/2011/02/thursdays-tip-from-green-housewife-make.html

  31. Love the garden Rhonda. You and Hanno do an amazing job. The fences are ideal and I like the idea of letting the chooks in to clean up the vegie garden before replanting it.

    On my mind today is rain. More of it. Throw in lots of humidity and I'm in hibernation mode. At least I will get some sewing done...vbg.


  32. Your garden is absolutely amazing and a wonderful result of obviously a lot of work.
    Today sewing is on my mind.
    Happy weekending.

  33. Thanks so much for answering my question! I think you're exactly right about the fences. While I love letting the chickens have the run of things, it just doesn't mix with keeping a vegetable garden.

  34. Babies and Booties are on my mind today...


    Thank you Rhonda for providing this opportunity for blog sharing.

  35. One from me - again the Great Chicken Debate.......on my mind


    I hope you are all well - Rhoda you do have a lovely garden!
    Off to pop over a few virtual fence on here

  36. Hi Rhonda Jean!

    We've just moved from the city to the country. On my mind is 'new'.


    Your garden is inspirational.

  37. Here's what's been on my mind this week.
    Now the honey hunt and sell off is over...


  38. What a lovely well organised Garden!

    Here is what is on my mind


  39. Hi Rhonda,

    On my mind today is that I've finally decided I'm going to go to Paris. I've always wanted to, and it will take me awhile to save the money, but I've decided I'm going and I'm so excited about it.


    Thanks for offering us a chance to get to know each other!


  40. You have some nice sunlight for veggies there :)
    My time-lapse photography project (I took shots from the roof too) to judge the best areas for planting yielded some interesting results. Most surprising was the shadows cast by my fruit trees. At least now I feel more confident and ready to take full advantage of my light too.
    On my mind is weed-whacking (a lot easier since I got a light electric one), replacing old crops with new and planning a passionfruit trellis.
    I yearn for chooks too but unfortunately my 7 dachshunds are quite persistent hunters by nature and having a pack is double deadly. They have found ways and means of getting through all fencing attempts. I recently came across a site by someone with the same problem and they used an electric fence. I think I'd rather do without chooks.
    Although the dogs have free range of the property, they tend to leave my veggies alone because most are in raised beds too tall for their little short legs :) and those too low are fenced in with a crisscrossing of sticks. This is a necessity because they absolutely just love sleeping in the beds. Don't know if its the padding or the heat generated by compost/mulch.

    Hope you have a great weekend,
    Trinidad & Tobago

  41. Ah!!!!!!!!!!!! my wish ´ld be to have a veg garden like yours, but not know I´m afraid!!
    But...I´ll be dreaming of it this week-end.

    On my mind

  42. On my mind is coffee. We just got a sampler pack of green coffee beans to roast.


  43. Love your garden! We hope to be able to expand ours this year, but since that's months away, here's what is on my mind...


  44. What is on my mind...is landscaping. Its getting toward that "itchy" time of year here in northeastern America to want to start working on our yards and landscaping. I have to agree with the comments of your garden looking so clean and organized, of course I have told you that before!
    Have a great weekend everyone!


  45. Hello Rhonda, I love your garden, makes we hope for an early spring here on the east coast of the US.
    Here's what's on my mind..... cookbooks.

  46. Rhonda, I see you use cement blocks for your raised garden beds. Can you tell me how deep the beds are and can all vegetables be planted in these beds. It would seem most vegetables could be planted there but I am wondering about things like corn. Thanks for any info. I check into this site frequently for a dose of "down home" advice.

  47. I love your backyard.
    Here is what is on my mind


  48. Anon, we plant everything in our garden, including root vegetables and corn. They're raised about 5 inches about the soil line.


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