Fences and Waterlines, Oh My!

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A big thank-you to Randy Cutler, Scott and Chad Ristow, Arik Salzman, and Joseph Zaiger for the fencing, electrical, excavating and plumbing work respectively. It all looks so good. We have a 3 acre pig pasture for rotational grazing in woven wire with barbed at the bottom. Also fenced in is a 1/2 acre paddock for a horse and dairy goat for the girls. The rest of the 15 acres pasture is fenced in electrified high tensile wire. The water line runs to an insulated winter waterer which will service both the big pasture and the horse paddock. There is also a water hydrant from which I will run a waterline out along the length of the pig pasture and out the length of the big pasture for summer water. This will allow us to intensively graze a small section of pasture and the area near the waterer will not be compacted and overgrazed. We are almost ready to get down to business (good thing too, since animals come in about 4 weeks).
Other things going on around here: SlowFood Marathon County should have its charter and 503(c) non-profit status this summer just in time for farmers markets and summer events. We have a few really activated and motivated members-I expect we will do some great things over the coming years! The WOW space art show happens in 2 weeks. I’m not *super* excited about the work I have for the show, but also not embarrassed to hang it next to my much more talented aunt’s work. Parts of the garden are going in- cold tolerant beauties like beets, spinach, carrots and rutabaga. I expanded the garden this year its something like 3,200 sq feet (more than twice as big as my house!). Also experimenting with deep mulch this year -I spread 2 round bales of organic barley straw and then 3 pickup loads of old hay on the garden- 12+ inches thick so all the seeds in the hay can’t germinate (I hope!). I am using the deep mulch concept because 1) I would prefer not to till.  I mean  it’s easy enough to do with our tractor but i hate how it disturbs the soil ecosystem and leaves a hardpan about 8 inches down and 2) I hate weeding! I would like to grow the biggest majority of our own food this year. I know I can grow it- but the trick is to learn how to store it and spread out the harvest so I don’t  have everything at once! ( and oh yeah, getting my kids to eat veggies !)

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