Thursday, July 22, 2010

fencing and french toast

No pumpkins this year, at least not so far. The one softball-sized globe was chewed apart my a deer. It's a sad, but accepted fate here at the farm. The garden was a bust this year. Between the heat wave, animals, and lack of proper fencing and size: it failed. But I did get some decent onions, potatoes, salad greens, and whatever ate all my squash won't eat the basil, tomatoes, or peppers. So while half of the crop was devastated, the rest was still food. I guess that makes it a half-success?

I guess it's a matter of opinion. If you're a friggin' deer it was a 100% success.

Support has been pouring in about the barn raising! Folks have been emailing me asking for the mailing address and donations have been trickling into the community bucket. So far I think I have enough nails, plan suggestions, and ideas to get started in September. A pre-built structure is an option, but so is light timber framing from wood already on the property. I'll contact a local logger and see if I can work out a barter. Something like: you clear this pasture for me and you can keep the wood you hewn, just leave me enough for a 10x20ft pole barn. It's worth a shot anyway. I think it's a win-win. I get land cleared and a barn wood for no effort.

I'll be putting up fences Sunday morning. Some friends are coming over to help me expand the sheep pasture once again. We'll be working from 10-noon and enjoying fresh-baked bread and farm-egg French toast (and coffee too). It will be a morning of good work and good food. I can't wait. This place is becoming a real livestock operation, one day at a time.


Blogger doglady said...

You should be able to get a permit to eliminate your Bambi problems and there is nothing quite like fresh venison. Next year will be better because you'll know what to do to prevent all the problems of this years garden. That is unless Mother Nature decides to throw another curve at you.

July 22, 2010 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

You won't be able to use fresh cut wood by Sept. It will need to dry and cure for awhile before you can use it.

July 22, 2010 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

i'll just get an extension cord and put it in the barn with a de-humidifier.

i kid, good point!

July 22, 2010 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Mundi said...

I have it on good authority from a pumpkin farmer that stringing electric fence around the patch and hanging metal pie plates smeared with peanut butter will solve your deer problems. According to him the deer lick the peanut butter, get a jolt and don't come back. Worth a try!

July 22, 2010 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Has Finn come home yet? Let us know when he does.

July 22, 2010 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

i can't find the Donate here button. Wha' happen to it? Rats love peanut butter too-great trap bait.

July 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

there's a giant banner with "barn raising fund" above the barnheart! thank you!

July 22, 2010 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Jerry O'Dell said...

I am told and have some experiance that using Irish Spring soap and a cheese grater to grate the soap around your garden will prevent deer. Many of the farmers around here use it and swear by it. Deer do not like the smell of Irish Spring Soap.

July 22, 2010 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Jerry O'Dell said...

You could use fresh cut wood if it is Black or Yellow Locust it is not known to rot and has been used as green fence posts for centuries.

July 22, 2010 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

..and will practically last for centuries. Well, not that log, but Black Locust is known for lasting 60-70 years as a fence post. It also makes the best firewood, having a high BTU content, and they can be coppiced successfully, so you can cut them and come back years later and do it again. Its blossoms in the spring are excellent bee forage. There is nothing bad about these trees other than they sucker, which is why I can't risk planting them here in the 'burbs, but if I had a snug little property...

My heart sank when I saw your pumpkin- I know how much of a heartbreak that must have been for you.

July 22, 2010 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Hunington said...

Used wood is sometimes an option in farm country. When I was 14 I helped a farmer dismantle several sheds/buildings piece by piece, which he then used to construct a new barn. All you need is a pickup, a crow bar, and a strong back. If you're patient, over a period of time you can collect enough reclaimed wood to do everything except the roof trusses, electrical, and the concrete, which you'll have to purchase. The exchange usually requires that you clear the building completely, so you have to be willing to make dump hauls as well. Ask around.

As to the deer, the only thing that really works is electric fence.

July 22, 2010 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

Oops! Sorry about your pumpkin!

It's nice you have friends to help you with the fencing. Ours seem to disappear when there is hard labor involved! Can't even bribe them with good food and beer.

July 22, 2010 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Harpy 101 said...

THIS is my worst nightmare. I have a pumpkin the size of a soccer ball already and I'm in the process of fencing off the garden. I'm so SCARED my pumpkins will get eaten before the fence is up...*horror movie music****

July 22, 2010 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger MollyKnits said...

Sorry about your pumpkins! My garden (small and urban as it is) did very well. I am in the process of clearing out one bead and planting a second crop of green beans. The whole 3x9 bed will be devoted to green beans for canning.

My tomatoes and egg plant are still going strong in the first bed, but when they are done, more onions and carrots are going in. Maybe a few beets for pickling.

July 22, 2010 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

If my husband and I weren't all the way cross-country from you in Oregon, that would sound like fun!

July 22, 2010 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

I am with doglady. venison is yum

July 22, 2010 at 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great cyber barn raising!

Send eveyone out here for a cyber general cleanup!

July 22, 2010 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Electric fencing, when contructed to keep out wildlife, will do just that. Used around your whole property will keep all your critters...sheep, chickens, dogs, and your veggies where they belong. Just hunting and trapping alone won't solve the issue, since there will always be another deer, another raccoon, another skunk, another coyote...not that venision isn't tasty (it is!).

July 23, 2010 at 1:16 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Jenna...I have read that deer hate the smell of deodorant soaps like Dial, etc and if you place a bar in the toe of a stocking and hang them about your garden the deer will stay away. We don't have a deer problem here in town, so I have never tried it, but I thought I would put it out there as a possible inexpensive deterrent. I hope it helps!!!


July 23, 2010 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

I'm with Doglady - venison is DELICIOUS, and you'd have tasty eats for both you and your dogs.

July 23, 2010 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Jerry O'Dell said...

Another harmonious way of dealing with deer is to plant a plot in a spot far away from your garden that is easily accessible and filled with their favorite goodies. Deer love beets, beans, barley, and cucumbers. You don't have to put too much effort into it its not a production plot and it serves a dual purpose. If you happen to see a less than stellar member of the deer population during deer hunting season eating from the plot you can harvest it and improve the herd while filling your tummy. Harmoy. .

July 23, 2010 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...


My friend here in Ripton VT worked out a deal like that with a local logger. No money, he just got some of the wood in exchange for leaving rough hewn timber. Unfortunately he had to move before he used it, so I bought the stack. I have a pile of 16' 6x6 waiting for my small pole barn to get built someday.

I'll try to find the contact info and forward it down.

1/2 Acre Homestead
Middlebury, Vermont

July 24, 2010 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Jody M said...

Jenna-just a thought: We had 6 pines that we had cut down last year so that we could tear down our garage and rebuild it.

We then hired a guy with a portable saw mill to mill the wood from the trees into boards. The boards have been stacked properly and dried.

We are using it for siding for the new garage. You could probably do something similar with your trees. It cost us a fraction of what new siding would have cost. All we need to do is put it up and paint/seal it.

July 27, 2010 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I had a friend who used metal roofing sheets that she laid on the ground all around the garden. She said the deer never went in there because they didn't like stepping on the metal. Not sure if it was the noise that scared them or that it was hard to get across with hooves. But it worked! I'm sure you can find some reclaimed somewhere.

July 30, 2010 at 10:39 AM  

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