January 4, 2014

The Ongoing Job of Fencing

Living close to the land means that everything we do is contingent on the weather. Last year, the rain (over 84 inches total) slowed all of our outdoor progress, but meant we got a lot done on the house. This year, who knows?

Fencing part of the woods for my does has been a project we actually started on about a year ago. I started last January, clearing a path for the fence through the brush, but that's as far as we got. Last month, we were able to pick the project up again. The next step was to do clear away a clump of falling trees which leaned precariously over where the new fence would go.

6 trees caught up in each other, right over where the fence will go.
This is where we left the project one year ago.

Removing the trees both cleared a
path for the fence and the view. 

The next step was corner and bracing posts. The first one worked off of an existing fence.

Dan decided to concrete the posts since he had the mix.
A snoopy goat (Surprise) is very curious about what he's doing.

A gate to the rest of the property will go in where he cleared away the trees.

Our red southern soil is clay. That means it's heavy as
all get-out when it's wet, hard as a rock when it's dry.

Our project deterrent has been rain and mud. You probably can't tell in the
photo but there's a huge mud puddle right where the gate should go.

The next step will be the t-posts. If we don't get any more rain over the next several days, they can go in. We bought the welded wire fencing for the project last year, that's next, but the ground needs to be dry enough so that the t-posts aren't loosened when the fence is stretched. Lastly is a gate, of course, although we may simply run fence across the opening for now. Then the girls can have their new browse. 

The Ongoing Job of Fencing © January 2014


Farmer Barb said...

Ooh! It's so GREEN! I am about to go out to water and feed. It is -8˙F. I envy your off season time to get things done. Do you think you'll put some kind of threshold material down at the gate? I am the Queen of Wood Chips. I love them for everything. I have them for our threshold and I love it.

I always learn so much from your posts. Will you be using the tree in the fence line?

Sandy Livesay said...


Putting up fencing or replacing it is a major job. Especially if you're doing the digging by hand. I hope Dan has a auger to use for those holes.
When finished this fence will look totally amazing.
I hope the weather remains calm in order to do this work.

Unknown said...

Isn't clay soil fun? The more you work in it, the heavier your boots get!

Gill - That British Woman said...

lived with clay soil before, had to use a pick axe to dig out holes, not fun at all. Your girls will love it when it's all done!!

Renee Nefe said...

I grew up with red clay... mom hated the laundry.

Glad you're able to get the fencing done...I hope your goats appreciate all you do for them. :D

Anonymous said...

And won't they have fun in there when the fence is finished! My girls are enjoying the browse provided by a friend's Christmas tree. I don't even have any weeds to throw them right now, poor things.

Izzy said...

Should be nice once finished. I totally understand your pain, it seems our projects get done piecemealed and never when we would have hoped to have them done. It's always one thing or another. Can't wait to see the final results and your does happy in their new space.

Leigh said...

Barb, well, this has been a year to get this done, LOL. We'll definitley cover that spot by the gate, in fact wood chips would be great if we had a free source of wood chips. Dan will probably fill it in with more dirt and they we'll cover with pine needs.

Yes, we're using the trees as we're able. Not only does it save on fence posts, but they are also strong enough to not have to put in dummy posts to stretch the wire fencing. That's a big help.

Sandy, so true! Dan used a post hole digger. We had an auger for awhile, but it really was a lot of trouble, so he sold it. It's almost done now, except for rain the past few days to slow progress.

Camille, LOL. So true!

Gill, I don't know which is worse, wet clay soil or dry. Both are a lot of work!

Renee, it stains white goats too. :)

Sue, my girls (and boys) love those Christmas trees too! I admit we're fortunate to have at least some green all year round for the goats to eat.

Izzy, I have to admit we're pretty piecemeal with our projects too. So much is dependent on the weather. The rest is dependent on time and money!

Kev Alviti said...

Ive been fencing in the rain today so I know what a disheartening job it can be. It's always great when its done though! Looking at your pictures I hope you're not going to nail to that tree!
I've also just posted a review of your book on my blog!

Susan said...

On our five acre list we have many of the jobs you describe. I enjoy your writing style and will be getting your book as soon as funds allow.

Mama Pea said...

Your pictures make it seem like you live in a different world than we do right now!

Gosh, I love fences. Don't know why but they seem to stand for a way of life gone by. Structure. Security. Planning. Stability.

Anonymous said...

This rain has been unreal lately. Hope this isn't a sign of things to come for the garden this year. Praying it dries out for you so you can finish.


The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

So what are you going to do with all those red bricks after you mold them up and fire 'em?? :)

Leigh said...

Kev, it is a lot of work, isn't it? And thank you so much for the great review! You just made my day.

Susan, thank you!

Mama Pea, fences certainly are useful. Especially for goats, LOL

Stephanie, I'm certainly curious as to what the summer will bring, especially after this latest polar vortex. One good thing that may result will be less insect problems (which seem to be worse after mild winters)

Cloud, good to hear from you! Don't think we haven't thought about making bricks from that dirt or something else!