So, summer is finally upon us. We had 6 long months of winter and 2 weeks of spring, except that spring came in late January, so I’m not sure it counts.
I have a list of farm projects a mile long.
1. Cut down on sheep. My herd is currently at 30 head, 2 rams, 20 ewes of various ages from 3 month to 12 years, and 8 wethers being grown out for meat. Too much work. The rams are sold but not picked up, most of the ewes are for sale – I will keep the 12 y/o and 4-5 younger breeding aged ewes, and all the wethers will go to auction in late July. I have a brand new ram that’s not quite a year old – worked out great, traded one of my ram lambs for him.
2. Cut down on goats. 9 does and 1 buck. 6 does bred, one has kidded with quads (3 lived), which I am currently bottle feeding. Too much work, babies are too cute. As soon as they are disbudded (probably today), they’ll be put up for sale as cute bottle babies. I want the milk, not the hassle of cute little goat babies. I believe I will sell ALL the babies, and maybe a milker or two.
3. Replace all the perimeter fencing and cross fencing. I fenced my property 25 yrs ago, the summer I moved here. Actually, I just sort of rehabilitated the old (100 years?) homestead fencing. My fencing job lasted about 20 years and I’ve been patching ever since. Now I need good fencing because the asshole who has leased me the 20 acre pasture/hay field next door has suddenly decided he doesn’t want my livestock over there – okay, I get it, he wants to sell his place, but he’s ignorant to think the pasture will be in BETTER shape with no animals eating it. So… refencing and xfencing my 25 acres totals like 3 miles of fence. The first 3/4 of a mile (the fence between his place and mine) is DONE. So now the animals can’t escape at will over there, and the value of his frickin’ property just went up considerably – since I already fenced the REST of his property in over the past 5 years. Yeah, I have a considerable investment in HIS fence, and now I can’t use the property.
The old fence standing behind the new fence, waiting to be pulled out. We recycled the old barb wire by restringing it onto the new fence. The posts are to be remilled on our sawmill for cedar siding battans, provided we can get all the old nails and staples pulled. It was amazing how they smelled like fresh cedar when cut. They were likely hand split from the property about a century ago.
The new fence standing and ready to be strung. 7 strands of barbed wire alternating with electric. Some people can’t keep goats in with wire, but if you string them tight and close together, it works. Did the stringing in about 6 hours – the fence continues behind the picture another 500′ to the road, and all the way to the trees in the background. Pressure treated posts were sunk in concrete every 50′, braced like you see in the picture every 100′, with 3 metal posts between each wooden one. This fence should last longer than 25 years – but probably not 100.
If I didn’t have to spend the entire summer fencing, I would probably go on vacation, see my grandkids, have a garden, or just lay around.
Oh yeah, I’ve returned to college after a 15 year absence. I need 24 credits for a BA, so I thought “why the fuck not?”. I worked as an office business manager most of the last 3 years – writing grants and doing finance stuff, totally out of my league – hoping I can make up for lost time. Almost all the classes I need I can take online through the Oregon University system. First class starts June 20th. It’s kind of cool being a student again, especially since I don’t have to fight for parking.