build the fence. {before & after}

You know the old adage, “Don’t fall in love with potential”?

It’s wrong.

This place is brimming with it. It’s like we’ve unearthed this little gem that is just begging for a little love, a lot of tender nourishing, and loads of new life to be breathed in. As we uncover and weed and tear out overgrown things, we’re opening up new spaces not only from where we can see all around, but can bring in healthy, new plants and rejuvenate this yard.

Yesterday, we showed you the little barn, and started to highlight how that would open up into a garden room and eating area. Since that demo, we’ve started removing the high privacy fence that surrounded the old kennel runs, removing the nails, cutting the boards down to a shorter size, and reattaching them to the bottom fence supports.

Below: Looking from the garden, overgrown as it is, toward the fence that separated the garden from the old kennel runs. So far we’ve found asparagus, raspberry bushes, roses, and iris here. We’ll dig up the iris bulbs to replant in the fall, but we’ve already removed the asparagus, raspberry, and roses that had been too neglected.

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We’ve tried to reuse as many boards and nails as possible to cut down on waste, and boards that have split too badly during removal or are unusable for another project are being burned in our fire pit. The bottoms of the boards are being saved to use on the chicken coop build and maybe a loafing shed for the goats, but we’ll most likely need more wood to finish out those projects. It’s felt really important to both cut down on waste and keep some of the history of this place for our family.

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We’ve worked on the fence for about three days so far, and there is still more to be done. Behind the longest portion of high fence is a pretty big debris pile with lots of overgrown thistle in it; we’re gearing up for that tackle since there might be critters in there – like snakes – about which Hank is none too happy. But, that’s where the coop and loafing shed will be, so it’s gonna happen soon. *scary face*

The boys have worked SO HARD. The week before we moved in, they each got a new pair of Carhartt’s and work gloves, and Ewan got his first pair of little work boots. Since we don’t have a washer and dryer on the premises right now (the boys say we’re hobos), any outside work requires “work clothes” so we can keep the laundry pile down a little. Surprisingly, they’ve loved the work and are so proud of how’s it coming along.

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Below: Looking toward the west side of the little barn. We removed the overgrown juniper and a couple of tall, thorny bushes (I can’t remember the name of that bush, but I know it comes in a thornless variety, too) so that we can put a second gate over here that will lead through a small vineyard and into the goat pen. Also, we learned pretty quickly to wear long sleeves when cutting out juniper. Holy Moses. Poor Holden woke up with rash from it the next day that we’re still working on, three days later, to go away; it’s almost gone now.

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When we came to the corner post, we had to tear out a tall, overgrown bush on the inside of the fence and accidentally disturbed this little dove.

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She flew off when we got too close, and we had to cut that post down. We tried to save her babies but bobbled one of the eggs and it fell. :(

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Ewan saved the other one and took the nest and egg to the chicken coop, hoping they would feel broody and sit on it.

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It was a little learning curve for us. It didn’t work. When we checked on the small nest in the nesting box the next morning, the egg was gone. We assume the chickens ate it. Bah. Live and learn, I guess. It did give us the opportunity to talk about how eggs can be fertilized or not and how we shouldn’t disturb nests if at all possible, but also a conversation around that we blew it by having to move her nest and she wouldn’t come back anyway.

On a happier note, more friends showed up to help and I learned how to start the chainsaw and USE IT. That’ll make you feel like a freakin’ rockstar. Seriously.

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And also, I started that fire in the fire pit. I’m telling you: I AM A FARMER! Ha.

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Lastly, found treasure.

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We found some lovely pieces of ornamental edging under the mess of the garden. I just love these pieces. Not sure yet how I’ll use them, but they’ll be a pretty little highlight somewhere fun.

And a final before and after (still in progress – I’ve got to come up with a different term).

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