Community property seems like a good way to distribute labor and reap the rewards together. Then you come to realize that a few are doing all the work. The others either do not see the need for action, do not believe they have the resources to act, or have excuses as to why they are not doing something. More likely, they are calling the “doers” to ask why they have not started…. Our friend Jacquie say “Life is made up of doers and coasters”. Maybe this is why David Hume wrote “life, liberty, and property” as the core of his philosophy, not “communal sharing of possessions”.
Ownership is a key concept to farm life. When you own something, you take care of it, or id rusts. As many of our family friends express curiosity about life in the mountains, I shall begin a series of “farm life” blogs. For clarification, we live on about 35 acres of woods 2000 feet in elevation, 400 feet above the valley floor and 600 feet below the ridge. Less wind here. We have cleared about 3 acres, leaving the rest for the forest critters, from whom we are borrowing the land. In addition to our cabin, we have a garage/shop/root cellar outbuilding, goat/calf barn (“The Raddison”) in the paddock, and goat shelter (“Motel 6”) in a field. Our gardens expand every year, but probably cover, collectively, about 1/2 acre. The “meadow” grows over the septic field. We have plans to cut 2 more fields, but I’ll write more about then when I discuss wood stoves.
Our garden fencing has evolved over the years. We have found that a 4 foot fence w/ 3 electric wires (made hot by a solar panel) keep the deer, groundhogs, rabbits, et al out. Once we got dogs, we had to put fences inside to keep them around the cabin and in the meadow. Cats are allowed to hunt rodents anywhere. The most effective fencing system has been garden stakes (5 foot) with fencing. Not exactly stylish. Linda had suggested that I could build some less rustic (rusty?) trellis gates at the entrance to the gardens. Not having had a shop set up yet (more on that later), I procrastinated until last summer when I made a trip to the Tractor Supply Store. I happened to find in the “sale items to move” section 3 trellises for sale for 1/2 price (lay-away which must have gotten waylaid). I scrapped my planned errand and secured the 2 that I could fit into the back of the truck before heading home. Fortunately, Linda liked them and I got back to pick the 3rd one before someone else discovered it.
Our friend, Paulette, had been coming out for “garden weekends” through the Spring and Summer. She stained the trellises and put 2 of them up before the end of the garden season. A few days ago, a storm rolled through, toppling these, as you can see in the photo, above. Oh, the joys of private property. No one else was going to come along to right them and figure out how to keep them from going over again. As universal as duct tape is to urban living, garden stakes and baling twine are to farm life. Four stakes and four lengths of baling twine got everything secured again, to be tested by the next westerly wind.
By the way, the mail box sitting on an old ladder, holds hand tools for easy access in the garden.