Eco, haha,we dont have foxes around here. I figure I should be reasonably safe unless the neighbours have reason to be annoyed. I'm going to have to figure out a better system for summer though cos I leave for work really early on the weekend and wont be able to put him out at 5am. More and more I'm thinking that I need to have a 'setaside area' for the chooks out of the garden. In winter, the soil is pugging terribly even with them on a spot for less than a week. My contemplations so far are leading me to eyeball hubby's side in the back corner where the pumpkins were last year. I'm thinking that fenceline would be a good spot to build a sound proof roosting house. Puppies dads' garage would block any noise to them and their back neighbour and it would put the chooks as far as I can from the ears of the neighbours on the other side. I might be able to bribe one with fertile eggs or hatched chicks to replace their hens when they get too old. Hi Grahame, I am looking forward to learning more of Roostertalk,be interesting to see how it differs from hentalk. Do you know how long fertilised eggs can be kept before they become unuseable for putting under a broody hen? I had heard that they could be kept til you have enough for a clutch but cant remember how long that is. So far we have two laying everyday, which is fantastic for the middle of winter. Hi Shawburn, Good haul! My advise is to make sure you pick up every single one or you will have the same problem I had this year-way to many plants and everyone getting absolutely sick of them. Chokos (despite what some say) are great to cook with. I prefer to leave them in a basket-not plastic for afew weeks somewhere cool so they dry out little and arent so mushy. They take on the flavour of other things they are cooked with. My favourite for them is still peeled, sliced and steamed then placed on a big puddle of really cheesey sauce with salt and pepper. When they are allowed to dry out before cooking they have a nice delicate beany flavour. ------ I found another use for frost clothe. I became wary of using the old sail bit as a cover cos I was having to tie it To the dome and with the really strong winds we have had got worried that this woud continue to blow over the yard. With the frost clothe, it has 4 corners compared to the 3 on the old sail. I found if I tie a knot in each corner and then ease the prong of a electric fence standard through it; it stays in place and I dont have to worry that it will catch the wind and take the dome with it. I blocks the wind as well as the rain. Its been on for a week so far and handled some ferocious winds we had on monday. My son in law told me that the company he works for had to throw out heaps of pavers after they finished a large job. I was really shocked that they would just dump these and told him if this happened again could ge ask his boss if I could buy them left overs from them. As it turned out they still had a pallet and a half that hadnt gone to the dump so he was able to save these for me. I also got another large book case and some reinforcing mesh to use for more trellises. The bookcase went into the office and is full of hubby's books leaving more room in one bookcase for me to get more books. Now I need to let my dad know I'm up for more books and give him a list of things I want. He loves going garagesaling and secondhand bookstore hunting and was disappointed when I had to tell him we had no more room for any. I dont know if we have enough pavers to do the courtyard yet but I dont think we will need to get too much more to pave it properly. I am so looking forward to this being done, hopefully we wont have anymore weed problems with these down. The pavers are the proper driveway sort which means they wont get damaged with the car being driven over them. I think with all the mesh we have now, we may be able to do the outer edge of the garden and I'm hoping that when they are covered in beans or whatever, that they will help break the winds we get while still letting good airflow in. I'm not happy with the french pumpkins we grew. The Musee de provence turned out to be really mushy which is okay for pumpkin soup but not nice for roast pumpkins. Both that and the Galaeux d'eseyne pumpkin seem to be prone to rotting. The musee... have started rotting from around the stalks in both the huge ones And the smaller 5 kg ones I gave to friend. The chooks love them like this but I didnt grow these for them. I dont think I will grow these again. I have never had problems like this with pumpkins before and it wasnt due to holding them by their stalks-I didnt do that.