Building Better Fences
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!
How exciting to see the physical beginnings of this great, lifelong project for Elisha and Nicole, with the supportive assistance of Rod and Sam and the gifted members of your Board of Directors. I know that Elisha has been building toward this goal through years of schooling, training and private practice in counseling with troubled teens and adults, while Nicole has devoted the past 10 years to the discipline of learning and practicing the Parelli method of communicating in effective, loving ways with horses. What a team! God Bless you each and every one, and all of God’s 2 footed and 4 footed creatures who come your way. We will be praying for the success of the Achaius Ranch.
Just looking at the work done on the fence project so far makes my back ache. When I was about 16 I helped my father and Brother James build 80 rod of fence along the east side of the home farm southwest of Russiaville. On the other side of that line of fence were various stretches of land owned by three neighbors. So, we had help from each of them on their section. I and my brother James dug most of those post holes by hand and set the posts. Our father and our wonderful neighbor, Loren Leckrone, set each head post and brace post. That fence stood till just a few years ago. So, I well understand the sore muscles that can be achieved by building fence. LOL
My kids can help with fencing. let me know and we’ll put them to work. Also, AA and Robbie have had time at Judy’s working with horses, so they would love to help there, also.
I noticed Rodney showed up when it was time to hold the level. Good job!!