|zig-zag or worm fence|
|Fence posts dug in|
Since we are finally getting some much needed rain (it didn't rain the last time we expected it) I decided to rest my "shovel" foot and hand by working on another of my long term projects -- putting rocks around the base of the house to prevent the chickens from pecking holes in the insulation.
By the way, in the ice cream pail are two elderberry bushes that I'm rooting in water, and the six little trees in the other pots are those that Lara and I grafted at the Woodland Owners Conference back in April. It looks like at least three of the grafts are taking -- a Bartlett and Lucious pear and a Northwest Greening apple. On one tree I see that I accidentally put the scion on upside down, so that one is a dud, but for a beginning graft attempt, overall I think Lara and I did pretty well.
Getting back to the rock project, as you can see from this picture, clearing away the grass and my husband's idea of a barrier fence isn't much fun. So far I've only uncovered one snake that our dog promptly dispatched for me. I should have enough rock to cover the house base up to the front steps. After that I'll need to go over to my husband's garden and pick more rocks; his garden area is only two years old and it will be some years before we get most of the rocks out of it.
This forlorn mess is my next project.
This is an unplanted area of the forest garden. Although you can't see them, there are several witch hazel trees and native juneberry trees in this mess. After I clear away the brush, this area will be the new home of my Bohemian horseradish, Egyptian Walking Onions, and McDonald/Victoria rhubarb beds, and my three remaining grape vines. The little trees should be happier, too.
Now, I've prattled enough about what I worked on today, but I haven't talked about why I do it. Picking and hauling rocks, digging in fence posts in gravelly soil, and dealing with blood thirsty flies and mosquitoes are hardly pleasant activities. I guess it boils down to my idea of what is self-sufficiency. If I had no money to buy materials and build a fence, what would I do? If I had no money to hire a contractor to landscape my house, what would I do? If I had no gas for my car and couldn't get to a grocery store, how would I feed my family? You get the idea. I teach myself by doing. I learn how to build fences with what materials I have at hand. I pick and haul my own landscaping rocks. I grow the majority of my family's food. Et cetera. And sweat equity is all it costs me. I become accustomed to thinking resourcefully and using my imagination to solve problems. I gain self-confidence. So many people think that they can buy some land, read a library of self-sufficiency books, and just become self-sufficient by absorption; but from where I stand, that is just not so. You have to get out and DO it. Failure is part of the learning process, and losing weight from all that exercise isn't bad, either!