One of those things that we are doing while we wait for the building of the house to start is fencing. Not the sport with a funny hat, we are talking about proper fencing. Fencing for real blokes!
Because we are building in the middle of our biggest paddock, we also split this paddock into two while fencing off our house and shed. This means fences on both sides of the driveway, around the shed and the house, around the duck pond, around the orchard too, all across the paddock, and so on. Some of the hardest decisions to take are actually : Where do the fences need to go exactly? What type of fence, battens, electric, battens with top wire electric? Where to put gates, how many, for what kind of traffic? How can me move the stock in the future without big frustrations because the animals can’t see the gate, or don’t want to go where we want them to go?
I admit it would be better to live there for some time before making these decisions, but we have to do something while we are waiting for the building to start and I already had enough of putting up temporary fences all around the place every time the stock came in this paddock. The good weather was just to good to be missed.
Thanks to our helpful neighbour we could use a tractor with a post rammer! It is such an easy job to whack in those posts – compared to hand digging and ramming. It still took me several days to place about 200 posts. End strainers are 2.7m long, the intermediate ones 1.8m. After this was a lot of handwork needed again. We had to fit stays, that is a diagonal or horizontal support to a post that has to deal with sidewise forces, like a end strainer or a corner post. Gates have to be fixed, underground cables to carry the power under the gates have to be buried in.
Because the original set up wasn’t quite right we repositioned whole gates in an existing fence line. It is just a pleasure to be there and work with a nice set up. It doesn’t always have to be new, we reuse whatever we can.
There wasn’t just fencing for livestock but as well to keep the pests out: we fenced off the orchard with a rabbit proof wire mesh, about 1m high, and we have 2 live wires above the wire mesh (which we connect to earth). That’s against the possums. The trick with the rabbits is to get the wire mesh as close to the ground as possible, but I didn’t want to bury it because it would rust away too quick. The solution will most probably be to put some timber all around between the ground and the mesh. We will see what our rabbits think about that…. And I can’t wait for the possums to try to climb our fence: ZZZAPPP!!! Hehe.
To protect the orchard from the cold westerly and southerly winds we have put up a windbreak cloth on the rabbit mesh. Between the fence and the fruit trees we also plant a mix of native plants and trees for bees that will over time form a nice shelter belt. More on that in the post ‘planting’.