Tag Archives: fencing

New Frontier

Last winter, we lost our chance for a winter garden to the hungry, hungry deer, who jumped THROUGH our garden fencing and demolished it, and all the winter crops we’d attempted to plant.  Deer make bad neighbors.

So this year, it was time for some more serious protection.  Some planning, an auger for the tractor, and the help of friends, and voile: from ugly old horse fencing to a brand new huge fenced garden area!

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The new garden fence will be 9′ high, and actually encloses the front part of the house, all the way down the hill by where the trees we recently cut down were.  It’s HUGE!  We won’t be using all of it this year, but it’s allowed us to double the garden space we had last year, which seems pretty big right now.

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While digging the postholes we discovered an interesting phenomenon — just 10′ apart, the auger brought up vastly different soil types:  a nice red topsoil to the east, and to the west, sand.  So curious about what’s going on under the surface…

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Another view of the new fence – we worried it would seem bulky out the front windows of the house, but mostly when I see it I just think about all that food we’re going to be eating in December next year.  Take that, deer!

 

Farewell Fencing

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Today we hit a milestone! The last of the original horse fencing, which we had left by the house, was torn down and removed in preparation for garden fencing this week. Farewell, rotting fence boards! We won’t miss you at all.

En Garde!

High on our list of priorities has always been fixing the fences..  previously, we redid the fencing around the barn pasture, but, the big summer goal was to rewire the fencing in the Neutral Zone pasture, and to enclose the North pasture (our hill).  When Thaddeus came up with his goats to visit this month, the need became, shall we say, slightly more urgent.  4 goats can go a long way in a 1 acre pasture, but 14 goats!?  We needed a bigger space.

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I had a traumatic travel experience that led me to get home late afternoon on Friday, instead of as planned on Thursday afternoon.  In my sleepy travel haze, here’s my photo of the work crew (Lela, Thaddeus, John, and Talina) discussing the next steps to rewire the fence in the Neutral Zone.

Saturday we got up early and attacked the fence.  The biggest challenge was rewiring the entire back length of the Neutral Zone; this is where we share a border with a neighbor, so we wanted to be especially sure there were no gaps!  In the end, we left the existing field fencing up, and ammended it with a double length of 5″ stand-off insulaters holding the electric fence.  Hopefully that does the trick!

I was so busy helping with the fencing, I actually took zero photos the entire day.  Whoops! To make up for it, here’s a lovely photo of the Neutral Zone pasture, on it’s best behavior.

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Day two, we wrapped up the new length of fence to enclose the North hill pasture.  When I say hill, I mean, HILL:

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Here’s the same crew, all hands on deck to tie down the supports for the new gate brace.

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One weekend, four sets of hands, two new pastures!  We’re on a roll…

 

Free At Last (Within Limits)

What started a week ago with fence demolition took it’s second-to-last step this afternoon: The barn fence is done! Well, almost done… we still need to string some electric fencing to keep the goats from tearing up the field fencing too much. But for now, it’s secure enough that we can let them off their leads and let them run around for the first time since they arrived here last Friday.

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John, preparing to round the second to last corner by the barn.

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The new length of fence – it’s about 12′ offset from the original fenceline of the pasture, to try to keep the goats from tearing it down trying to get at the tree leaves. We’ll have to keep this mowed to keep it from becoming a forest in time.

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Free at last! The goats barely stopped eating to enjoy their new freedom… luckily the grass is goat-high right now, so they have plenty to keep them busy!

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But, it didn’t take them long to find the toys!  Lela brought these cable spools by for climbing on – Jesse figured it out right away.

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Calamity finds the spools to be great for scratching one’s head on.

Contained

We finished another task this afternoon:  installing deer fencing around the garden!   Once we put seeds in we were basically racing the clock to get this done before someone decided to go prancing around and destroy our beautiful beds or, worse, eat our seedlings!20120516-215428.jpg

First, we drove 8′ stakes around the outside of the garden area.

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Then, we stretched Deer-X brand plastic netting around the entire 1500 square feet.  We don’t expect this to be a permanent fencing solution – in fact, the garden plot where it is is only 1/2 the eventually planned garden area.   But, we’re hoping at least to protect our garden this year, and buy us time to expand the area and build a permanent fence around the entire yard in the next year or two.

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Finished product! Tomorrow, I’ll string some silver ribbon around to make sure the deer and birds can see and hopefully avoid the fence.

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Bonus goat photo – this is Beau, being adorable as is his nature.

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Talina took this gorgous shot of the goats working the blackberry row along the north ridge.  They’ve been so well behaved thus far, being staked out every day.  But, I’m sure they miss being free to run and go where they choose — the barn fence is almost done, but even that will only hold them a few more weeks before we need a real pasture.  We have work to do!

Barn Fencing

We’d always talked about improving the fencing, especially the horse fencing around the barn area. It was probably put in in the mid to late 1980s (almost 30 years ago – oh god I’m old), and the fence planks were rotting and falling off the posts. A few things happened this week to force us to take real steps towards improving our fencing, the most urgent of which being: we’re getting goats on Friday!

First step was, of course, to knock down the existing fencing planks, and haul them to the stockpile we’ve created behind the shop. Here’s Talina, making short work of a length of fencing:

Here’s the finished view – old planks, awaiting pickup.

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The next step was picking up new fencing to install. Because this pasture is intended to eventually only house poultry, and not four-legged farm critters, we were able to go with a cheaper more lightweight poultry fence. Hopefully it will hold the goats for long enough to let us get the electric fenced pastures up and ready to hold them in the next month! The grass is waist high, so, that should keep them busy for a while.

John and some friends knocked out the first 330 feet of fencing on Friday – it looks great!!

On Saturday, John and Talina collected new fence posts and laid out the path of the rest of the fence – we’re breaking new fence holes in, because we need to pull the fence back from the hill edge in order to keep the goats from stressing the fence too much (and to keep everybody out of the poison oak!).

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Defence!

When we first saw photos of this property, we loved the pastoral look of the white horse fencing. It was a lovely fantasy…. But the fencing, upon closer inspection, turned out to be very rotten and falling down in several places. Over our dramatic winter, we’ve lost several more sections of fence to wind and falling tree branches. Plus, this type of fencing is not actually ideal for the type of animals we plan to keep here eventually.

So… The fencing has to go! Today, armed with a few crowbars and a mallet, we managed to take apart a section of the garden fence, and all of the fencing around what was a pasture and will someday (with a lot of pulling of weeds) a lawn.

We started in the garden, where some fencing needed to go in order to make it easier to get compost and materials in the space — the gate was too narrow for a dump truck to pass through safely. So we pulled down about 30 feet of fencing along the driveway. 20120325-162232.jpg

Before: fencing between the garden area and the driveway

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After: Only the fence posts remain! Those are buried pretty deep, we’ll need to dig them out, or get a special tool to remove them. Getting the boards off the posts was pretty challenging in this area, because the nails used were not weather resistant, and they’d all seriously rusted! … wondering what’s in the little white fence? That’s our 3 week old chicks, enjoying an outting in the briefly sunny weather. They learned to eat slugs today!

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Next up: the pasture over our drain field, which we’ve learned really shouldn’t have animals standing on it on a regular basis. Since we don’t have a lot of flat area around the house (and since our house plan looks like it will have even less lawn than we currently have), we decided to turn the pasture into a lawn. First step, removing the fencing!

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The fencing around the future lawn was significantly easier to remove, but wrapping up all the electric fence wire was exhausting! Our forearms were killing us when we were done.