Tag Archives: back forty

Fencing

26 Aug

Just when I had to go back to work, my nephew had the fencing supplies delivered (although we are still waiting on the netting), and we’re putting a fence through the middle of my Back Forty.

I hate the idea of dividing my beautiful open pasture, but it’s a last ditch effort to keep the goats safe from coyotes. Nothing else has helped.

I’m going to keep them away from the back hills and west border because that’s where the coyotes live.  They keep coming more and more onto my farm because of houses being built and the woods getting the underbrush cleared away.

Hopefully, this will allow the goats a better view and they can’t be sneaked up on.  The netting we’re getting is supposed to keep coyotes out, especially with a strand of barbed-wire along the bottom to stop them from digging.

Although, it will cut the hay field into two pieces.

It should still give them plenty of area to eat, and they’ll have the ditch with its shade trees.

Although they will lose this part of the pasture and the back hill, which are two areas they really enjoy.  I guess, they’ll still get the whole pasture though when the days are long (May – August).

I hope it works.  While we’re at the fence building, we’re hoping to widen the lane coming out of the barnyard to give the goats the no-man’s land where we don’t really use it to make hay (fence will be somewhere around my black line).  It will be good to have them keep the wild rose bushes eaten out of there.

Hopefully, we don’t run out of time to get this done before harvest.  I hate that I can’t be around to help him.  Luckily, my dad has helped him with setting posts.

Checking the Hay Field

8 Jul

With all the rain, it’s been difficult for farming.  My corn is not happy.  That yellow means decreasing yields.  It needs time to dry out.

It also means we’ve been waiting to make hay for several weeks now.  I took a couple walks out in pasture to see if it was dry enough to make hay.

Of course, it was also a good excuse to go out and take pictures. Since the goats haven’t been back there, I haven’t been either.

dragonfly (I have no idea what kind)

monarch

queen anne’s lace

coreopsis

black eyed susan

Eastern kingbird

lamb’s ear (it never gets to bloom when goats are around)

thistle blossom (the goats usually take care of these too)

sunshine through willow bokeh

red headed woodpecker

swallowtale

The good news is that I think we can actually mow now!

Draining the Rain

29 Jun

My nephew and I went out to fix the fence that washed out and then we proceeded to get another four inches of pouring rain overnight (the rain I shared with you yesterday).  I waited a day and then went back out to finish the one last bit–I had to add a piece of cattle panel to cover a hole that had been ripped in the wire netting.  Unfortunately, because all the cornstalks and old debris from the field had washed with the last pounding rain, this time, it was silt washing from the fields.  Even in my no-till field, there was quite a bit of silt.

The Ranger made it through, but when I got to where I needed to fix fence, it was quite a little pond.

The tile intake was buried except for that tiny bit sticking out, and it was completely covered in water.

While I looked around to find something to push the silt away from the drain, I heard water running.  I followed the sound, and I found a small hole where the water was going down.  Some poor critter seems to have been flooded out of their home, but it was really helping get the water down to the tile.

I continued scavenging and found an old pole.  It had been used to fasten the gate shut before we put the new gates in, and it was still attached to the woven wire.  Luckily, I had brought bolt cutters to cut my piece of cattle panel, so I cut it from the wire and used it to push the silt away from the intake.  Then we really started draining some water!  Video linked below.

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It doesn’t take long to drain when the water can actually get to the drain.

Just about the time I got done pulling silt away from the intake, a frog jumped over to say “hi.”

I finally had enough water drained to go fix the fence.

arrow pointing to the hole

I just put a chunk of cattle panel behind the hole and wired it in place.

I was still standing in water, but it was already a lot less than when I got there.

Before I opened the drain, that big flat shelf of rich topsoil (not to mention all the yellow intake) had been under water.

I figured I better go check the other two tile intakes in the Back Forty.  The first one was fine.  Again, you can see the ledge of topsoil that was just deposited along the running water.

The last tile intake was open too.  I had to use the pole to move the grass so I could see it though.

Hopefully, we get a break from the rain.  And I think the fence is ready for me to let the animals back out there as soon as the kids can keep up with their moms in pasture.