by Elisha McCulloh
Better fences are said to make better neighbors, which may be true and we certainly strive to be good neighbors, but our primary motivation for replacing all the Achaius Ranch fences are safety, functionality, and aesthetics.
The ranch currently has three pastures of varying sizes. The front pasture is about two acres. This is where our fence project began. Trees and shrubs have grown up in the old metal fence line where it edges the road. (We haven’t started replacing that edge yet, as it will require a chainsaw and a team of helpers.)
Nicole Wilson (our Ranch Manager) started the Big Fence Project by tearing out as much of the fence as possible, wahich included three of the four sides of the pasture. The fourth side remains intact as it separates the ranch property from our personal property. That strip and the road edge will be replaced later this spring.
So the first phase of constructing new fences for the ranch involved “planting” 75 four inch by four inch wooden posts. Nicole and her husband, Sam, started with an auger they borrowed, which attached to the back of our Kubota. This was easy to use and made a quick job of digging holes. Unfortunately, it turned out that the auger could not dig the holes deep enough.
Nicole, Sam, and his youngest brother, Micah, then rented a Little Beaver one-man auger to dig the holes to three foot depth. Sam and Micah manned it together. I guess that means they cheated or something. But I wouldn’t want to wrestle that thing alone!
From that point, hole prep involved clearing out the last bit of mud with a post hole digger then lining the hole with pea gravel.
Finally it was time to insert the posts, pour in Quikrete and water, stir, then fill the hole with dirt and tamp it down, all the while being careful that the posts were plumb and straight.
We were very thankful to have Rodney helping with this project!
Of course this entire process required close supervision…
Yay! New fence posts!!
We’re happy to report that we have successfully finished phase one of the better fence building project. Much work lies ahead before the entire project is complete. We hope to find a better way to dig those holes before we plant more posts! The boards will go up soon and after the wood seasons, it will be painted dark brown. We’ll keep you posted on our progress!