Monday, March 9, 2015

Fencing and Fishing



To make a sturdy, long-lasting fence is quite a complex process. It's also a very laborious one. We started the work on our new garden fence this week as the sun shines and the ground is warming. We're using 78" deer fencing and 10 foot poles for corner posts and H-bracing in hopes to keep our orchard trees and vegetable garden away from the resident moose, elk and deer. Many neighbors have complained about their trees getting eaten down year after year and we really don't want to take that risk by using shorter fencing. It feels kind of sad to put up such an imposing barrier on this beautiful plot of land but it will ensure us plenty of food, which, for us, is the central point of homesteading. 

On Saturday, Shaun spent countless hours hand-digging holes for our main gate into the garden. He just barely made it 2 feet down while all of the fencing guidelines say to go at least 40" deep for the size posts we're using. We spend a couple hours scanning the internet trying to find just one article mentioning that 2 feet would be enough and we just couldn't find it. Visually, it appears extremely deep and adding concrete to the stability seems like more digging would almost be excessive. Our theories are fine and well except that we're not experts in the realm of fencing and there is a lot of time and money at stake if corners are cut. A lot of time and money. I posed the question, as I often do when we're unsure of how to proceed, is "what did the old-timer's do?" Would they have cared about a systematic 40" depth and 8' T-stake spacing? I have no idea. Maybe...in their old-timer fashion. Driving along the highway, one can still see sturdy corner posts from decades before on older farms and pastures. They did something right...  Fencing is physics and the pull, weight, angles, are so crucial, so we've decided to follow the algorithms of the internet fencing experts.

Sunday, we decided that a $30 rental for an augur was worth it and so, together, Shaun and I busted out  the remainder of the holes corners, gates, and H-braces. Sometimes the modern way is just easier. And we got our 40" holes.

After the jarring and noisy work with the augur, Lars and I took a break to go "fishing" in our seasonal creek. He caught a three whales and I caught a shark. Not bad for 10 minutes of fishing.