Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fencing over weekend


The baby lamb is growing and is very fast now, hard to catch
the little booger!
Well I spent most of the weekend fencing.  Sarah and I set railroad ties in the orchard on Saturday.  She got sick about 2/3 of the way through.  She is so not used to hard manual labor any more.  I ended up finishing with some help from Annmarie.  We are trying to get Sarah to take her drivers license permit test so she can start driving.  This means she has to practice driving when we are on the farm.  I made her drive the pickup when it was out in the orchard.  The only problem with that is there was an irrigation ditch on one side of us and four foot drop off on the other side.  The pickup needed to be turned around by jockeying it back and forth.  Witch then left her with a drive over a 10 foot culvert and eventually to a 10 foot gate opening.  After much yelling and screaming (partly out of fear for my life and frustration with the amount of time it would take to get the pickup out of the ditch) we did make it out of the orchard.  We had to stop twice so she could finish crying, but she persevered (dad would not let her quit) (and only the front tire went into the ditch while crossing the culvert and she managed to back out) and the pickup doesn't have any new dents.
Anything not in line with the metal posts will be
removed and on the far side a couple more will
disappear also.  After the fence is installed I will
shorten the posts.

Orchard fence with tie posts installed, they look tall
because I have not cut them off, will do that after
stringing and tightening the fence.  It is the very
last step to the fence construction step.  


This is my second attempt at an orchard fence.  The posts are very obtrusive.  They are sticking way up in the air and making an eye sore.  After some discussion it was decided that I need to minimize the number of posts utilized in that fence line but I didn't know how to do that as I am crossing the irrigation ditch twice.  So my engineer wife came up with a great idea.  I had to install extra posts so that I could cross the irrigation ditch at a ninety degree angle.  I was using boards across the ditch to stiffen the posts and the longest board I have is 16 feet long.  She told me to use a piece of cable and I could then hang wire panels from them.  So I am going to do that.  This will allow me to pull up four posts and I will remove two more from the back side of our people gate.  This will let me remove 6 of the 13 posts.  Great ideas usually never occur in my life on the first or second try.  This is why experience is invaluable, but how do you get experience if you have never done it before?  By doing the same thing over and over until you get it right!  This whole farm thing is one big learning curve.  I am still not over the hump of the bell curve yet.  After I finish the fencing, the bridge and rebuild the barn then I will be at the hump.

So on Sunday, I went up and set the posts for the upper barn lot fence (I need a new name for that area, may start calling it the spring pasture for the spring (water) that surfaces there).  Way more posts, but not as obtrusive as they are very spread out.  I will be installing three gates on that section of fence.  A new gate in the outer fence so that the person leasing the pasture can drive in and out of the pasture without going through the barn lot.  The ruts in the barn lot are over a foot deep now after having had a tractor drug over them.  That new gate will also allow me to tighten the fence.  There was nothing I could pull to as most of the fence is pretty loose.  I needed an anchor point.  After all that fencing is completed I want to put in one small internal fence to separate the barn lot and the spring lot.  This will give us six separate pastures to rotate the sheep and horses through.  Should be plenty of opportunities to keep the animals rotated and the grass happy.
Horses up by the house, they keep trying to stay in
pen sized areas.  We are pretty sure they didn't see a lot of
pasture.  

Purebred Arabians, they are so tame they come when called like the
dogs, sheep, and chickens.  It is incredibly handy.  
To top off the whole weekend, Sarah and Annmarie got the house very clean (looks great for us!) and the plumber came out yesterday and installed our utility sink!!!  This is great news, not only that, the custom built sink enclosure was the right size and worked great!!  This is fantastic, thanks Doom!