Fields and meadows are wonderful, bucolic, and scenic, but where animals are concerned, they need fences, and fences mean a lot of work! Last week, Roy took time off work. He and the boys, intent on enjoying the opportunity to get outside during the heat wave, set about fencing in a field we had been reclaiming from the adjacent forest for the past 3 years.
We had a nice gate, but the lower area had been overgrown with briars and poor sickly trees and underbrush that we beat into shape last year.
The trouble is that until you can get animals to graze on it, the woods come creeping inexorably back until you are back at square one.
Of course fences need posts and it’s essential to have some mechanical help in the form of an auger driven by the tractor, unless you want to spend a lot more time than you usually have, or end up in traction!
But of course you cannot avoid the hard physical, hands-on work completely. And frankly, we would not want to!
And fences need mesh – we use this to exclude predators, not so much to keep the sheep in. Coyotes are pretty handy at getting past many forms of fencing. We have yet to add 2 hot wires of high tensile to the top to discourage rogue climb-overs…
This is an area along one side that we are leaving with trees to provide shade for the sheep.
Another view along the bottom.
Cedar makes the best posts! And it lasts forever…. well almost. They just needed a bit of modifying first…
Dropping it in place…
And plenty of rocks must be tamped in around the base to stabilize the post. We learned the hard way why pouring concrete in the hole just DOES NOT work!
And of course gates need to be strategically placed for optimal access.
So now we just need to get the sheep to chow down and enjoy this beautiful New England landscape!