As with anything else on the farm, electrified poultry netting is a blessing……but also a pain in the neck. The benefits are obvious….it protects the chickens from predators (and does a good job of it except for the hawks), it is easy to move (so your pasture doesn’t get ruined and the chickens always have fresh pasture to nibble), it conforms to any landscape (almost) and the kids stay off of it (for obvious reasons). However, it is not maintenance free and can become a pain in the neck if you don’t stay on top of it. The type of grass we have in Maine where the chickens are currently pastured is really aggressive and tends to mat. Usually grass isn’t a problem on the lower couple of strands because our powerful solar charger will power right through it and kill the grass with the electric surge pumping through it…….but not in this case……the grass is so aggressive that it seems not to care. Last time we went to move the fence it was a job to get the fence out of the mat of grass. Next comes the rain. Usually the fence holds up nicely in the rain. However, when it rains as much as it has been lately (4.5 inches already in September) the fence seems to sag permenantly so the fence has to be adjusted daily. Maybe these two headaches are not mutually exclusive….more rain = more aggressive grass? Since this is the first growing season we have experienced in Maine I guess we will just have to wait and see, but for now I guess we will just grit teeth and deal with the evil aggressive grass and the drooping fence maintenance.
On the flipside, the chickens are happy and don’t seem to care about my fights with the fence and I guess that’s what really matters!!!!
Cold snap deferred…..36 on Monday morning but now we are experiencing a bit of an indian summer. 89 degrees today and the middle of September. Produce is still rolling out of the beds and into the canning jars and/or freezer! All the produce this year has been a bit overwhelming. We are so used to growing for the public (through a CSA and farm store) that this year has overwhelmed our family’s use. Luckily we will be back up and running with a CSA and farm store in Spring of 2014. The farm store will hopefully be open by May or June. This summer has been a summer of preparation for the 2014 growing season…..working the beds, getting them prepared, rejuvenating our laying flock of hens (who should be laying by April or May), building farm infrastructure to support the growing (sheds, greenhouses, etc.).
With only a few more weeks until fall is officially here we have to pause and assess the progress…..did everything on the list get done? The answer is no, but then when do all farm tasks ever get completed……farming is one of those things that just exist perpetually with new tasks getting added all the time and old ones being neglected……but the progress has been excellent and 47 Daisies is prepared for its Maine launch in the spring! Can’t wait!!!!!
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )