Sunday, July 25, 2010

fences up!

I woke up and before any other farm chores were seen to, started making two loaves of bread. I had company coming in a few hours and french toast was on the menu. Few things are as delicious as butter-patted homemade french-toast with farm eggs. I got the bread mixed, kneaded, and set it to rise in a big red pyrex bowl on the counter. In a few hours the house would smell amazing. I looked forward to playing diner and getting a slew of scrambled eggs and toast ready for my friends Steve, Patrick, and Phil. I promised them all a good breakfast before they helped me put up the next section of fences.

While the bread rose I went about morning chores and my mile run. It's been over two weeks of my commitment to running and healthier eating, and while I can't claim any major weight loss—I can say I feel better. What started as a mile a day is now up to sometimes two or three. I can now make it up the steep three flights of stairs at work without huffing and puffing. I don't have pain in my hips when I lay down because of my homegrown yoga post-jogging. My hair feels healthier and thicker from the daily intense sweating—cleaning out my scalp of oils and toxins. I sleep better at night. And today while building fences I didn't break a sweat, even running to and from the house for pliers and wire cutters. So the running is paying off in the farm labor department. I felt good today out in the field. I weigh in with my doctor on Wednesday so I'll find out then if any actual pounds dropped.

When the guy's arrived (filling my driveway with pickup trucks-a happy site) we dined on breakfast and coffee and then headed outside to unload my truck's bed of fencing (One roll of field fence is about 230 pounds. It had to be loaded into my bed with a forklift... so you can see why help's a plus). We staked out and pounded posts (really, Phil pounded posts) and before we knew it we were zip-tying fence to posts and creating a second pasture. It's coincidental luck that I can only afford to create one addition at a time, but it turns out what we can set up, complete with gates and such—is a perfect rotational grazing system.

In just under two hours we were able to double the sheep's pasture. It was sweaty, hard, work with side effects such as caught fingers, sore muscles, twenty pounded posts, and the occasional black-fly bite: but our efforts proved worthy of the cause. The fences are up. The sheep ate fresh grass all day. And I now have two fenced paddocks to rotate grazing in. By Fall I hope for at least three, maybe four. As long as this girl can bribe a few guys with breakfast: the farm will keep growing.

And now: time for bed. I helped put up 250 feet of fence, ran three miles, walked dogs, cooked dinner, and wrote. It is time for this girl to circle three times and lie down. I apologize for any grammar or spelling mistakes. I will fix them in the morning when luck starts all over again.


Blogger Funny Ernie said...

Oooh, I get to be first commenter! Girl, you actually made me consider taking up running with that post.........I almost asked hubby what he thought......still thinking on it :)

July 25, 2010 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger djp said...

What a day! You deserve a good night's sleep! Sweet dreams sweetie!

July 25, 2010 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Getting out... said...

Congrats on a very productive day! You probably did more today than most people do in a week. Make sure you go back and replace those zip-ties with wire before the sun's UV rays(or something with four legs) eats away the plastic and you come home to a fence laying on the ground. ;)

July 25, 2010 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

Thank heavens your former landlord evicted you!

July 25, 2010 at 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


July 25, 2010 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger Thistledog said...

What Joleen said.

And good on ya' for figuring out how to feed men in exchange for work. Your networking/persuading skills make me jealous.

July 26, 2010 at 12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

July 26, 2010 at 2:24 AM  
Blogger sheepkelpie said...


July 26, 2010 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger Flartus said...

I like Joleen's comment!

So, did you get rave reviews on your homemade breakfast? Next thing you know, you'll be opening a B&B!

July 26, 2010 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Jenna, it sounds like you are really making alot of progress there. I wish ya'll would come on down this way and help me! Keep up the good work. It will be the way you want it some day. But there is always something else to do when you think you are done.

July 26, 2010 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

It's great to read that your jogging and yoga are paying off so well- stretch your quad muscles well. I looked into why my knees hurt so bad and it turns out that a LOT of women in their upper years fight knee pain borne of not stretching- the outside quad starts to shorten which pulls the knee cap out of alignment- so stretch girl, stretch!

Also glad to read that you're getting stuff done, and enlisting strong backs to help with it. I think a fine farm breakfast is a more than fair trade off, and evidently, so did the guys!

July 26, 2010 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

I read the interesting post,
& really would like to put FACES to
those post if they choose!!!
And this includes JENNA!!!
How do we do this???
Will continue reading a very
interesting, DRAMATIC BLOG!!!
CHEERS with a health drink!!!

July 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger E said...

Farm progress is so fulfilling!
Food for work is a great trade - what could be better than homemade everything for breakfast?

Make sure the zip ties are replaced with good wire (no sharps) before you put animals in there.

July 26, 2010 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

You're making great progress! It'll be done before you know it.

July 26, 2010 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

That sounds like one full day. Hard work pays off and it feels so good knowing things are done right. Isn't it wonderful knowing that you have a constant hand in creating your own destiny? Luv it!

July 26, 2010 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

Jenna! I'm so happy for you. It sounds like homemade french toast with farm fresh eggs was a wonderful trade off for the sweet young men who came to help you. Glad to hear the running is a help and you are reaping the benefits. Blessings to you!


July 27, 2010 at 1:29 AM  
Blogger miz hannahlu said...

Yay,Jenna! i wish i had your energy! i'm not yet back to running myself,but miss it soooo much.for now,pushups and zumba are what i'm relying on to get some weight off so that come Fall,i can start running races again.i've been losing about a pound a week (i weigh myself every Friday)...which is probably un-American in its slow rate, but suits me just fine.Thanks for writing about how good you feel exercising,which is really the true reward of it all. you are inspiring so many strangers!

July 27, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Gremlina said...

this is a task that looms over our heads. those rolls of goat fencing are large & heavy & rolling through our woods--aka future pasture land, fills me dread. how good it will feel once it's actually been done...

July 27, 2010 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger M said...

Absolutely love this post, Jenna. Good for you for the running and the yoga, I need the same. Keep on keepin' on!

July 28, 2010 at 11:05 PM  
Blogger Hughes ap Williams said...

I knew that you sould love this post from the Beekman 1802 blog - The Top Ten Things I've Learned from Goats:

July 31, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

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