Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fences Revisited

I have too much of a driven personality to be miserable for a long time. Probably lucky with that one, as it seems that I have plenty I could allow myself to be depressed about. So yesterday in my misery and depression I started looking for fencing options. The usual was popping up.. Red Brand woven wire, electrobraid, etc. All of it, no matter how economical they declare themselves to be, are outside of my reach. Then I saw another category as an option. Living Fence. I had looked at living fences before and all I had found were huge windbreaks and companies selling blue spruces for five bucks a piece. But what the hell, I clicked. These are two of my favorites that I found.



One of the things that gives me hope is that spring isn't the time for planting willow. I still have a shot at this. Planting needs to be after the leaf has fallen and before the new bud has opened. For us that means late fall or very early spring. It means I can borrow the neighbors tiller and get my rows cleaned and made weed free and till them down so the willow rod can be shoved into the ground. It means I can weave shade shelters into the corners. It means that I can make something that is utilitarian and beautiful and free! It is manpower that I can do on my own!

I have read that a fence needs to be horse high, cow strong and pig tight. The willow can be horse high. There will be other areas that need to be cow strong. If this experiment works then the next tree I try will be hedge. In other areas, hedge means a bit of clipped box. But here in rural Iowa hedge is an incredibly tough tree also known as an Osage Orange. A hedge post stuck in the ground can last fifty years. I will try the other method of planting them side by side, weaving them together and letting them graft to each other. That was the method promoted by the government back in the WPA years when the hedge and the hemp were planted all over this area. From now on I will think of it as "Farmer Bonsai".

I know I will still need some standard fencing, especially areas where guest horses will be staying, but this will free me up to take down some fence that I already have and re use the components. This gives me a chance to keep going. This puts me back on track for chasing my dream. I'm back in the running.


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