Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Creating a Second Goat Pasture

In preparation for separating Jedi and Pepper into their own field, Sean and I worked this past weekend on fencing in the second pasture for them. Eventually, the goats will have a total of 5 pastures to rotate around, ensuring fresh green edibles for them most of the year. Though this is exciting work to be getting another one complete, it is physically draining on Sean, since he is digging them manually with a post hole digger. Good exercise, for sure, but the repetitive motion is tough on the back, shoulders and arms. My job is to make sure the placement is accurate, hold the post in place, once it is set, and to help back fill the holes around them, while he tamps them in. I also provide cold drinks, keep black flies and mosquitoes at bay, and of course, capture the event with photographs or videos.

Sean starts a new hole by ramming the digger into the sod to cut it. Then, with a small assistance of gravity, he continues thrusting the sharp digger into the hole, scooping out clay and dirt as he progresses. He set 10 poles in this manner on Sunday afternoon, then finished setting the last 3 Monday morning.

When the hole is 2-3 feet deep, he sets the cedar post into it and back fills with the dirt he removed, tamping it down with a stick so that the pole sits straight and doesn't move too much.

After all the poles were set, Sean muscled the 330 foot roll of livestock fencing onto the wagon of the riding mower and I drove it into the field. This roll weighs 190 pounds. It is not easy to maneuver it to where it needs to be. I certainly can't do it alone! I help with holding the end and pulling it tight to the post, so Sean can secure it by hammering fencing staples into each post. And here again, I keep the black flies from their blood-thirsty attack of Sean's person and mine.

Sean unrolled the fencing, but we had it upside down! It was at this point in the proceedings, that I wisely decided to stop talking, while Sean turned it all over and got it settled properly. It didn't take him much longer to fix it, but as much as the fencing weighs rolled, at least it is movable. Unrolled, it is ungainly, difficult to work with as it wants to bend into itself and sharp! I bravely kept up my assault on those pesky mosquitoes while Sean fought with the fencing.

After 3 hours of working, Sean used his heavy wire cutters to open the wall where a new gate will live, after it gets built. And, I showed the goats into the new pasture. They were hesitant at first to venture inside, but soon wasted no time mowing the field down, happily eating budding brush, and field grasses.

As tired as both Sean and I are at the end of each day, it feels so good to be getting so much accomplished! I would love nothing better, but to have the money it would require to just stay home full time and devote more of our time and effort to farming. Maybe, someday, as the critters produce and we sell what we won't use ourselves to others, that dream will be a reality.
For today, we just keep working along towards the goal of
sustaining ourselves from the good of our land.

Before I go, though, I had to add this picture of the beautiful group of butterflies I saw in the horse field. I don't know anything about butterflies, but it was really neat to see them all in a group. And, then, they flew off all together across the field.
Hope you all have a great week!
Sonja ♥

1 comment:

  1. A nice soak in a bathtub filled with hot water and epsom salts is in order I think.