February 12, 2016

A Homestead Goal Deterred

One of our goals for this year is to work on fencing our back woods. We already bought part of the fencing for it.

Woven wire goat fencing, something I've not been able
to find locally before. The rolls are 330 feet and heavy!

The other day I went down to see about getting a start on clearing the property line. It's very overgrown with bushes, brambles, kudzu, and fallen trees. Winter is the best time for clearing because the vegetation is dormant so I can find the surveyor's boundary pins and clear a path for the fence. When I got down to the bottom of the doe browse, however, I found a newly downed pine tree, just on the other side of where the gate will go.


It's a miracle it didn't fall on the fence corner!

The corner post sticking up in the center of the above photo is on the property line and from where the new fencing will extend. That is more than my nippers and little bow saw can manage, so I headed back to the house.

For our homestead ecosystem, this is ecological succession in action: mature, fast-growing pines giving way to the undergrowth of slow-growing hardwoods which need sunlight to mature. For us, it means a little extra work on this project.

32 comments:

PioneerPreppy said...

Fencing it seems is a never ending process for me around here and one that requires thought and re-thought to be sure it's just the way I want it cause I can't do it over.

Least you will have some more firewood :)

deborah harvey said...

get a peavey.

what is the name of the short fat carrots in the top picture?
thanks.

Leigh said...

Except it's pine! We have yet to get our entire five acres fenced, mostly because of how thickly the property line is overgrown and cluttered with fallen trees. Because so many of those old pines are beginning to go, we rarely even walk back there any more. Every time we do, more are down. It would take an army of chain saws to clear a path!

Leigh said...

Exactly! That or a cant hook.

The carrots are Scarlet Nantes. I'm not sure if they grow like that for everybody. I say that because in the past my carrots haven't grown well because of our heavy soil. Dan added sand to that bed plus plenty of compost, and they are the prettiest carrots I've ever grown.

Bateman Homestead said...

Glad it didn't take out your fence! Can't wait to see the progress, and your goats will love the extra space.

Leigh said...

Stephanie, good to hear from you. I haven't visited your blog in forever. How are you doing? Moved yet?

Ed said...

The key to maintaining fence (once built) is to never stop. My parents have many miles of fences and when I was younger, part of my winter chores was to keep it clear. We would do around a mile of fence every winter, clearing and repairing as necessary which meant that we saw every section of fence about once every four or five years. This way it never got to be overwhelming like it was whenever they bought another property and we had to clean up a jungle of a fence row!

Renee Nefe said...

ugh. Were you able to get to the rest of the fence line to see how much more work you have?
We have some fence work that needs to get done also. Lilly has a nice peek hole to visit with the neighbor's dogs. They bark all vicious, but I think they like each other.

Mountain Mama said...

So glad the pine didn't fall on your fence - wow, just missed it, huh? You have a lot of work ahead of you, good luck with it!!

Leigh said...

"The key to maintaining fence is to never stop." That's it exactly! In addition to fence yet to be put up, we have a list of repairs that need to be made too. It's never-ending.

Leigh said...

On the next nice day I should go see what I can do. Dan suggested started at the back of the property and working forward, because it's not such a mess back there.

Nice to hear Lilly is able to visit with other pooches. :)

Leigh said...

I think that's what they call "a hair's breadth!"

Quinn said...

That was a lucky fall! I had one come down right on the inside of a corner, turning both sides of the 6' fence into crumpled accordion pleats. Got it sort of pulled into a usable state, but it looks a mess. Replacement isn't on the priority list, as lots of more critical sections to work on first.
And yes, fencing is a job that never ends.

Renee Nefe said...

Dan's idea sounds really good. Hope you're able to get it all cleared quickly.
Our fence ...the easy cheap thing would be to just replace the pickets that are broken...but what we should really do is replace the entire fence. If we wait long enough the dogs might tear it apart enough that the neighbors have to chip in for the cost. ;) not holding my breath on that. I'm sure both have seen what their dogs have done and neither has offered anything.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

That sounds like so much work but it looks like you were lucky with the fallen tree! Maybe I should get some sand to add to my carrot boxes. Do I just buy a bag of builders sand? Nancy

Leigh said...

I'd love to ask the landlord of the house next door to split the cost of a privacy fence, but I know he'd refuse since our side doesn't matter to him, rather his tenants are a problem for us. People don't seem to think that way anymore though, about being responsible for themselves and their children and pets.

Leigh said...

Yikes! As long as your goats don't try the fence it should be okay(?)

Leigh said...

Very lucky with that tree!

I used sandbox sand, which I guess is the same thing. A couple years ago I made a sandbox for the grandkids, but after getting flooded out a few times the sand was getting kinda grungy. That's what Dan used in the carrot bed.

Lynda D said...

Oh Dear, as my mother says often, "Only the good die young, so you have plenty of life left in you" do to more fencing. Hi there Leigh - new post just up.

deborah harvey said...

soil here on our side of the street is terrible adobe like. got bursitis trying to break it up with a mattock.
now have a few raised beds and need a shortish carrot. i want them fat, too.easier to cook with.
will try scarlet nantes.
if strength holds up want more raised beds as soon as the ice age leaves northeast ohio!
thanks

deborah harvey said...

leigh,
if those pines are dangerous be careful.
grandfather was killed by a widow maker.
maybe wear a motorcycle helmet when you go back there.
better safe than sorry.
also, kevlar chaps when using chain saw. maybe split the expense with another family who need sawing done?

Leigh said...

We avoid going back there for that reason which is a heartbreak, because when we first moved here I made a walking trail through the woods. Dan thinks it would be best to simply take all the old pines down before they fall. We contacted a logging company, but they won't touch anything under 10 acres. The other problem is that there's really no vehicle access. We hate to not be able to use it, but that's how it seems to be.

Leigh said...

I can relate! I haven't tried these yet, but I ordered a squatty short-growing carrot from Pinetree Garden Seeds called Oxheart. That might be a possibility for you too.

Leigh said...

Lynda, welcome back to the blogosphere! Glad you're still hanging in there.

DFW said...

You guys are lucky it didn't fall on the corner post! In-laws had an 80' oak tree fall right beside their house. Couple of top branches took off a couple of shingles from their garage. Looked like they just laid it in place.

deborah harvey said...

thanks

Matthew Hall said...

Leigh, Your place looks like mine, the brush, the piles of wire, and unfinished fencing. PioneerPreppy, that reminds me. My dad could never settle on where he wanted the fences. It got so bad that I threatened to dig a few dozen holes out in the middle of the field and he could move them where he wanted them.

Farmer Barb said...

Wow, that was close! A true miracle!

Leigh said...

So your place is a work in progress too. ;)

That's too funny about the holes in the field. Did it help?

Leigh said...

So lucky. Sounds like your in-laws were pretty lucky too. It's amazing when things like that happen.

Leigh said...

It was! Glad to see you're "out and about" :)

Rosalyn said...

I'm impressed with your posts in what must be soil filled with roots. If I ever get permission from our town to have goats and chickens (I've been working on that for over a year, now), then the little area that we will be fencing in will be in the woods too and I wonder what kind of job that will be. Our main newspaper in my province actually published a story about this goal today, on the front page! If you're interested, here is the link! http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2016-02-16/article-4438155/Cornwall-resident-petitioning-council-to-allow-chickens%2C-goats/1