Fencing off the fruit orchard

8 September 2011
It's been a drawn out job this one, but finally, after rain delays and Hanno feeling a bit under the weather himself, the fence is set to be finished this morning. The chooks and I will be really happy as it means they can free range again and wallow in their favourite spot - under the palm trees.  These trees are their summer retreat - we keep the soil damp for them so they nestle in under there, stay cool and out of sight of any bird of prey flying overhead.

Hanno removing the original fence in late August.

But we really needed to ramp up our fruit production and if we were to do that, the chooks had to be kept away from the fruit trees we'd already planted and those we hoped to plant. Our solution was to move the already build picket fence from the front of the vegetable garden to fence off the fruit, which is at the other side of our back yard.

New posts had to be cemented in to keep the fence upright for the next 20 years or so.

When the new posts were in and set, the fence was brought over in pieces, ready to attach to the posts.

The old fence only covered about two thirds of the length, so we had to buy another fifty dollars worth of posts and pickets.
Hanno built the new fence from those raw materials and it matches up very well.

When I came home from the Neighbourhood Centre yesterday afternoon, he was placing the final section. So I grabbed my camera to show you the excellent work he's done. Today the gate will be put up and the small opening on the other side of the shed blocked off, and the job will be finished. Then I'll open the gates for the chooks to roam free again. We might have a lemon cordial to celebrate. :- )

We have a big backyard and a lot of hard work and effort goes into it, most of it is done by Hanno. I'm thankful I have such a capable husband, but I know that we're both slowing down now so it's great that a job like this is still within his capabilities. In there now are bananas, grapes, loquat, oranges, loofas, passionfruit, mandarin and pink grapefruit; I have a vanilla orchid to plant near the loofas and a Reed avocado ready to go in. Hopefully we will find a suitable raspberry to plant as well. We'll really concentrate on that mixed fruit orchard now and hopefully reap the benefits of it for many years to come. I can already see the day when I ask Jamie or Alexander to come with me to pick bananas and oranges. Maybe when we do that the first time, I'll tell them about the time Opa moved the fence from the vegetable garden to create the orchard.

I know women like seeing other women's sewing rooms and craft rooms, so I thought my gentlemen readers might like a glimpse into Hanno's work shed. This was taken yesterday afternoon. In there, Hanno makes and mends a lot of the things we use and over the years it's been a garage for cars our sons had. It now stores our trailer and hay pile, old furniture and bits and pieces that don't fit anywhere else.


If you're in Brisbane or on the coast here, you might be interested in coming to the first Real Food Festival in Maleny this weekend. Maleny has some incredible primary producers and artisan food makers, they'll be featured at the festival. There will also be workshops, cooking classes and farm tours.  Here is the link for more information.

Have a lovely day.


  1. I love your backyard! I wish I had the time to create what you have, but it's hard to see much progress when only person is making the effort. Maybe one day.

  2. Thank you Rhonda. I think that is the neatest male workroom I have ever seen. It is so wonderful to read of a couple that works together and supports each other.

    Take care.

  3. Hi Rhonda ,I am blessed too with a husband that can turn his hand to anything at present he is making a tank stand to gravity feed the water to the house eliminating the pressure pump.PS I wouldnt want to breath without him cheers Affussa

  4. That's a great fence! Your place is beautiful! Obviously very well cared for!

  5. Its interesting you are fencing the chooks out of the orchard. We have recently planted a number of fruit trees with the intent the chooks will free range under them. Its a big area and there are only 10 chooks so I see no problem. Am I missing something?

  6. My husband would be drooling over that workshop - I'm not even going to show him. Actually, your husband looks quite a bit like how I picture my hubby in our retirement years, God willing. Both handsome guys, lol!

  7. We have recently had to fence our fruit trees off from the chooks. I have lost quite a few trees of late, not just from the chooks though I think my lemon & Lime died from having wet feet for to long. Our block tends to stay wet weeks after the rain has gone.

    I agree with you whole heartily Rhonda we are so lucky to have men that are handy & can turn their hands to many things.
    Have a great day

  8. Crunchie's Mum, there are many ways to garden successfully, we are probably both doing the right thing for our own gardens, even though it's different. Our problem with the chickens around the fruit trees was that they scratched the mulch away from the base of the trees - every day, and then they would scratch around the base of the trees, sometimes exposing the roots. Citrus have a very shallow root system and consistent scratching like that can affect the health and growth of the tree. Our trees should have been much taller by now, I think the root interference stunted them somewhat.

    Of course the benefits of having the chooks there include them cleaning up the fallen fruit - and this is vitally important if you have fruit fry because the fruit fly will establish in the ground if left.

    For us they were doing more harm than good. I wish you success with your fruit.

  9. Tony will love that shot of Hanno's workshop, I'll show him this evening.

    I like how Hanno paces himself with big jobs like this, we need to learn that instead of burning ourselves out.

  10. What a great job Hanno has done with moving the fence. What a project. I hope your fruit trees now grow and flourish. We have planted 2 plum trees, 1 pear, 2 peach, 1 apple and blackberry bushes. I hope in another year or two we will start seeing some nice fruit come it. My competition will be the squirrels. UGH! Emily in So. Texas

  11. Oh Rhonda you and Hanno have made a very functional, and beautiful back yard. Congratulations. 20 years is good amount of time. I think in 20 years I may not worry about such things but you never know. I am the same age as you. :) B

  12. Hi Rhonda,

    we have also been planting fruit trees and recently put up a new chook fence too. My 5 girls are happier with the extra room and I am happy because they are no longer leaving calling cards on the lawn or digging up my dwarf nectarine tree.

    Down here in Adelaide we can grow stone fruits, citrus and other temperate/subtropical trees. We already have established lemon, navel orange, and almond trees, but last week I bought and planted a blood orange, a feijoa, and a white fig, to go with our sweet Australian lime and dwarf nectarine (which were planted about 6 months ago).

    Next, I will be planting a white sapote (casimiroa) and a lemonade tree. When we have built the arbor I will grow kiwiberries and perhaps sultana grapes. (I am experimenting sprouting golden kiwi seeds - green kiwis are too acidic for me. Any idea if this will work?)

    We also have blackberry and raspberry canes, a passionfruit vine, and an old wheelbarrow with strawberries.

    It is tempting to want to grow things like apples, pears, apricots etc but I feel that when in season these fruits are plentiful and cheap, so I would rather plant fruits that are harder to come across or tend to be expensive even in season, as we don't have the room in our suburban backyard to plant every fruit tree I could wish for :)

  13. Lovely Rhonda - I'm no man but I sure did enjoy seeing Hanno's fencing. His shed is also a space to admire, I can see that he takes pride in this area, tools put away neatly and so on. My dad's shed, although not being used, is very similar. He was very particular about putting things back in their place so I can appreciate your photos. Happy trees, happy chooks and happy family. Have a good day! :)

  14. I love the look on concentration on Hanno's face as he contemplates the new fence pieces. You are lucky to have such a capable husband Rhonda and one who also wants to do such work. Those men are priceless. Well done Hanno. I am lucky that I am married to one of those capable men who is in the process of putting solar on our house - the fact he is an electrician is a bonus....although I think his title should be Superman.

  15. I know what you mean about less energy etc. It sure does help to pace ourselves now. I am so glad Hanno does not have much difficulty doing such chores. Hanno's fence sure looks striking. He did a fantastic job of matching the old with the new too. I wish we had gotten some of these bigger projects done before we had health problems that get in the way. I am glad you mentioned this so younger readers will take heed to do them earlier. If this heat ever cools a bit I will be going out getting another area ready for more fruit trees and vines planted once they get in the nurseries. I have figured out several areas to squeeze in a few more goodies! :) Working on it now I should be able to have the areas ready when things can be planted. One day at a time...or one hour...whatever works! :) Sarah

  16. I am amazed at all you accomplish there on your place!! Thanks for sharing!!
    Elizabeth in NC

  17. Hello Rhonda, I have added your button to my site. I hope I am able to send more traffic to you.

  18. Wow! Well done Hanno! I know a strong back and a good deal of energy is needed for working with cement and laying posts. You're a boss! You remind me of my grandfathers, both strong and capable well into their 80s. You've got a keeper there Rhonda ;)

    Blessings and many fruitful years to you both,
    Trinidad & Tobago

  19. I really do admire you and Hanno and all the work you manage to do at your ages! I am almost 61 and I struggle mightily with my gardening and any kind of heavier work. With arthritis in my hands, sometimes even just simple things like sewing or knitting are difficult. So, I do what I can.

  20. l love seeing such a well-organized work shed! The fence looks great, and I'm sure the fruit will be very satisfying!



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