Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fencing debate

We were blessed with yet another beautiful weekend. We have accomplished a lot around the house but the list is endless. Our two biggest projects are building outdoor areas/fencing for our animals and the garden. This place came with lots of half falling down barbed wire fencing and rock walls but nothing that will keep the goats and chicken in. This week we were able to get the quail outside in a chicken tractor and last night John completed enough of the chickens pen to get them outside. He still needs to add on a few nesting boxes and we need to buy some more fencing so they have more room to roam once we get them outback. He put wheels on it so we will be able to rotate the areas they forage. Now the debate is on about the fencing for the goats. The plan was that we would install it last weekend then that was postponed until this weekend so I say it's a must this week! Initially I planned on purchasing some welded wire fencing (2x4" squares) and then John mentioned we had some chain link fencing and we should use that. I initially objected then I did a little on-line research and I went along with it. The issue is that it is only four feet tall and I think they'll be jumping it in no time and also I must admit it does not have that "farmy" eye appeal I'm looking for. John is VERY frugal and says we can make it happen for the meantime. Any advice from the goat owners? I'm hoping you'll side with me....joking. I want to hear what works best before I go and dish out any cash if necessary.

As for the garden, we have a few rows of garlic coming up, John took the mulch off today. We will see how the greens fare the cold Spring Maine nights. John also planted some peas and we are hoping to get the onions and potatoes in tomorrow. This is the earliest we have ever planted in the 14 years we have had a garden. The soil here is like gold especially compared to our old house which was all clay. We have some ginormous (Leah's favorite word) tomato plants and we had a bunch of seedlings until they accidentally were fried in a make shift greenhouse (windows leaned against the house with hay bales on both sides) so we are back to square one. I replanted the tomatoes 3 kinds: cherry, romas, and a mix of large tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli. Tomorrow we will replant the rest of our losses. John bought some asparagus roots approximately 40, we are excited to finally be getting a bed in although it will be a few years before we can harvest.
I have basil and cilantro growing as well. This is a first year for herbs, not sure why I never attempted to grow them in the past. I plan on planting some dill and a few others. The great part about them is that you can easily grow them in pots and they can be grown year round.

Last thing I want to mention before calling it an early night. An article I read in a local newspaper over the weekend titled "With start of gardening season, seed suppliers see growth in demand - factors included increased prices for food and fuel" The article is about two local seed suppliers that have seen a big influx in seed purchases this season with many comments from their consumers that the main reason they are attempting to grow their own is to try and offset the costs of everything else. I think it is a great thing, the increased interest in gardening, not the rising fuel costs which are downright scary. There is so much we can all do by producing our own and eating locally. We are not only helping our own pocketbooks but that of our neighbors. I wish I knew what I know now 10 years ago. I sometimes wonder why it took me so long to get headed in this direction in life. I had always been such a career girl until we bought the farm and thankfully it has allowed me to refocus to the important things in life. I still have lots t learn but I am getting there...slowly. We have always grown a decent garden eating fresh produce all summer and giving a huge portion away. Last year I did a little canning - pickles & relish etc but this year I would like to preserve much more.

One of my girls!

The kids made up a sign and put it out by the road with a cooler full of containers stuffed with crawlers with a jar using the honestly method. They sold their first dozen today, they were delighted!


Paula said...

Wow- great blog! I found you through a comment you left for Amy at Twelve Acres, and I just wanted to let you know I stopped by and I really enjoyed my visit! (I love your pictures, too!)
I'll be back!

Lizzie @ her homeworld said...

Hi Country Girl
I am glad I found you, looks like I have a lot of back reading to do! Beautiful cats by the way.& what are crawlers or did I miss that bit?
Best Wishes

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! On the fencing for the goats the BEST fencing is four foot high by 16 foot long graduated livestock panels or "poultry/rabbit" fence with wrapped rather than welded corners is ideal and will last. Or at least that is what we have heard. We used hog panels for the goat pen at the farm because it has smaller openings on the bottom and 6 inch opening at the top. It's 4 feet high also. It's not cheap as we paid 30 bucks per section here. We bought three so it was 90 dollars. We just built a pen though and not a pasture area. You may check into other options or even ask the farm that you got the goats from;) We are getting our girls from the same place and she seems to keep hers in pretty good:) Hope that helps ya out some. Tell the kids great job on there first sale! We are anxious to get out to do some fishing also. Take Care

Country Girl said...

Thanks for the feedback Farm Chick Paula & Lizzie...I will check out your blogs now, can't get enough of them! Crawlers are large worms used for fishing bait.
Sea2Shore..glad to see your back on-line. Thanks for all the info on the fencing. I was looking at spending $300 to get fencing but we are making due with the chain link we have. Melonie does take good care of her goats and she is a great resource!