Farming is an art, folks. Growing a product from scratch to skillet takes both skill and creativity. And sweat. And blood. And tears. (Just ask our middle son–he got beat up by a trailer taillight yesterday.)
But the good news (great news for us, actually) is that a lot of it can be a learned skill. If you didn’t grow up farming (or building things, welding things, driving machinery, tackling sheep, or shoveling manure endlessly from one location to another) you can learn. Take fence building…
Our farm is a testament to learning curves. Each field on our property is fenced differently and, thankfully, better than the last field. For example, we thought we were brilliant to rent an auger (twisty- hole-driller-thing for the uninitiated) so we didn’t have to hand dig the posts for field #2. Ha!
It turns out that digging is not the hard part–or at least not the hard, hard part. It’s the packing afterward that’s the real pain. Literally. We should own a portion of the Icy-Hot company. There’s more than a 100 hand-packed posts marching around field #2.
And the fence sags.
So we augered more holes and used concrete rather than hand-packed dirt for field #3.
Better for the back, shoulders, hands, legs, etc…
But the fence sags.
Now researching how to build a better fence is not really a particular interest of Mr. Fix-It. But researching (and buying) farm equipment or other complicated shop tools and machinery I can’t even name is. Thankfully.
He found a used hydraulic post driver (we fondly call it “the pounder”) on Ebay. Now, I only vaguely understand the really meaning of anything “hydraulic,” but I do get this–we hook it to the tractor and there’s no more digging, packing, or sagging. Now we’re talking my language!
You just back this baby up to your post, pull the level and bam, bam, bam…presto! Mr. Fix-It and Grandpa Ray had over 100 posts in the ground by 3 pm on field fence #5.
And in case I made that sound too easy and you’re thinking that the title “Mr. Fix-It” is some sort of snide commentary–fencing building is an art too. You have to adjust the angle and tilt of the post as it goes into the ground to balance the pressure expectations between the tension of the wire and any push from the field inhabitants. “Mr. Fix-It” is just my simple way of calling him “Mr. Subconscious-Understanding-of-all-Things-Mechanical-and-Structural-Engineering-Related-So-I-Make-It-Look-Like-Cheesecake.” Believe me, I failed Environmental Engineering in college, I know how valuable his skill set is. But I was beginning to think that harnessing gophers to dig the holes would be easier than facing that tamping bar again. If we had to start all over from scratch, the pounder is the only piece of equipment I would refuse to part with.
We’ll save Mr. Fix-It’s opinion on that opinion for another post.
As to why someone on a 10, 000 square foot lot in a subdivision in Newport News had one of these things…your guess is as good as mine. But I bet it’s something their HOA documents probably don’t cover.