As fall has approached, two things became clear to us:
1) There was not enough available fodder in our current pastures to keep our 7 goats fed all winter, let alone keep the 15 goats we expected to be hosting when Thaddeus returned for the winter.
2) Due to a number of issues, there was not going to be any new major goat barn construction happening before the weather got very bad.
So, a mini epiphany came to visit us, and we decided to put in a new, temporary fence off the north side of our current barn, down into the forest, for the winter. The goats will have plenty of blackberries and brush to eat, and would still have access to the barn when the weather is terrible. It avoids the compromise of having to deal with a half-built shelter for the winter, and gives the goats access to way more food variety than they would have had. Win-win! But we still had to build the fence.
We started with fiberglass posts and bags of insulators. A few West Wing episodes, and our 100 posts were fabricated into equally spaced insulated posts for a five-strand electric twine fence.
The best way to get anything big done on the farm (and in life) is with helping hands. So we prepped some delicious food, and invited our community to come out and swing some mallets in the damp November weather.
Two hours of putting up the posts, around what would be a 2-acre pasture. We took a break for hot soup lunch, then went back out for 4 hours of putting up the electric twine, setting up the gates, and reinforcing the fiberglass posts with steel t-posts at the corners.
Nearly finished on our way back to the barn – a little math, and we had a fully enclosed pasture in just about 6 hours!
The goats (and the sheep) are in favor of these new developments…
We are so grateful to all our friends and family who drove out on a cold day to help us put the fence up so quickly! Our community is amazing, and we feel so blessed.