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Wild or Tame, keeping Animals in and out of the Fruit Trees and Berries.
Tools for the healthy Backyard Orchard and Homestead Food Forest
Four decades of Growing
in the Northwoods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula
The Corn is Secure! - August 13, 2017
We had finished a significant part of the new fence -- posts and fencing -- the end of May, securing the garden and orchard from deer intrusions and anything else that might wander by but not be of the climbing sort. Off and on over the next months we worked on other odds and ends of finish work, removing the old fence posts, filling in the holes, tying poultry wire to field fence, eliminating gaps, finishing the gates. But we hadn't yet done the big, important last part -- the electric wire. From long and painful experience we knew that without it there was little chance of us harvesting our corn, or cherries (when we once again have cherries), and maybe other fruit. Thankfully the raccoons hadn't shown up to go after the strawberries or blueberries or raspberries. They must have been busy elsewhere. But the corn was ripening, so we went to work.
We sorted through the old insulators for those still in good shape, bought new ones. Went back to get the RIGHT new ones. Went back again for yet another bag. Screwed insulators to wooden posts, finagled appropriate ones through the poultry fencing onto the metal posts, untangled and strung out miles (it seemed) of electric fence wire, went around again and again and again making sure the electric wires weren't touching the poultry fencing which had a tendency to bulge out at the wrong places, tying it back to the sturdier field fence or a stake where necessary. Around and around the fence pulling tall grass and weeds out away from the wires. Figuring out how to electrify the gates without electrifying us whenever we went in or out. Turn on the fencer, find out why it wasn't working, what was shorting out where. Pound in extra rebar 'staples' to make sure the fence was well grounded, and make sure there were no gaps for someone to slip under. A few days of intense long hours but in the end - hurray, five bright lights on the fencer tester! We slept well last night, and are looking forward to the first ripe corn soon.
ORCHARD - New Garden/Orchard Area Enclosed! - May 15, 2017
There is still a lot of work to be done on the new fence (and removing old fence posts) but the new area is now enclosed, and it feels good! We've been working on it over several weeks but the big day was when we had to take down old fence and re-install it in the new form. Once we started it had to get done that day to keep the old garden/orchard secure from interested deer. These things seem to always take longer than one thinks, but it was done before dark. And we're satisfied with that.
ORCHARD - New Fence Stage 1 - April 30, 2017
At the north end I had to move an old brush pile that was in the line and
discovered a gold mine (if one is a grower of plants and trees) of well
rotted stuff at the bottom. Well worth the work! At the south end I found
(unfortunately with the lawn mower!) a nice rock, maybe 10” sticking above a
raised area. Since we’re collecting rocks for our someday pond this was a
good find. It was mostly buried, and I had to flatten that area anyway, so I
got the shovel to dig it out. Surprise! Turns out it is maybe 3 feet across,
and who knows how deep -- I didn’t go that far! So I dug out around it and
we have a nice “point of interest” along that part of the fence. Thankfully
the chosen fenceline runs just north of it. The large rock is a companion to
our old “snake rock” about 100 ft away. This one is mostly above ground
(actually, we don’t know how much is below ground). In our early years here
we saw a garter snake sunning itself on this large rock and henceforth it
has been Snake Rock.
Photos - Every project needs a friendly supervisor. Lilli enjoyed the job for a short time. But what I was doing just wasn't that interesting for very long.
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Have you read "Frost Dancing - Tips from a Northern Gardener" ? A fun short read.
or "Homesteading Adventures" Creating our backwoods homestead--the first 20 years.
and "Growing Berries for Food and Fun" A journey you can use in your own garden.