Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pig Fence, No Pigs

The pig fence is finally complete!  It has woven wire fence on four sides, posts, a shelter, a gate, and even a water bucket.  All we need now are the pigs, right?  Brandon worked hard to finish the fence, because we new he wouldn't be able to lift heavy things and tug on fencing for weeks after his gall bladder was removed.  Let me tell you, this homesteading thing we're trying to do requires more lifting and tugging than I even knew, and for a whole week now, I've been the primary lifter.  Poor Brandon is going stir crazy after only a week of reduced activity!     

The goats make pigs of themselves all the time, but they only get to borrow the pig fence for an hour or two at a time until we have acquired the piggies.  

We had a partial roll of goat fencing, which has small openings that a goat cannot fit it's head through, and thought we measured and planned our fence size to fit what we had.  Not for the first time, our math was off, and we ended up using a piece of horse fencing for the front side.  This fencing has small holes on the bottom and they get bigger toward the top.  The goats like that they can eat the plants growing on the outside of the fence too.  

Peaches and the Rivers were nervous to be left alone in the new pasture, and when it started to rain, they stood on the gate and cried for me to save them.  I walked with them to the little pig shed, and once I was inside they mustered their courage and finally got out of the rain.  

Once inside, they were pleased to find they could munch on grass growing on the floor.  Save some for the pigs!  This pig shelter is pretty far from the house, although the pigs will have a view of the back door.  

During a break in the clouds, the donkeys expressed their unhappiness with being left behind while the rest of us were enjoying the new fence.  Hattie brayed and Rufus pawed the ground and paced.  They weren't happy until they had a giant bundle of ragweed to chew on.   

While the animals were enjoying their dinner, I explored the garden and met a new bug living on the kale.  It's the harlequin bug, a type of stink bug, that eats garden plants.  The poor kale was attacked by cabbage loppers early on, then nearly destroyed by Japanese beetles.  Now that the beetles are mostly gone, the new leaves are becoming the home for these harlequin bugs.  In the photo above, you can see an immature bug and a row of eggs.  It looks like I need to grab my bucket of soapy water and spend some time trying to save the kale from this new infestation.  The poor kale deserves some attention.  The same few plants, despite their many enemies, have kept us supplied with all the kale we can stand to consume.  We mostly use it in our morning vegetable juice, so a few holes in the leaves are no big deal.  

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