72. That was the magic number of 12″ wide and 30″ deep holes that we had to dig at the farm last week. Between the 26 holes needed for the fence to enclose the garden – 30 for the vineyard trellis – and another 16 for the chicken coop run and sensory garden pergola – it was time to go beyond traditional post-hole digger technology.
Mary and I had spent the previous Sunday with a tape measure and a can of orange marking paint – carefully squaring and marking every hole that we needed. After that – it was time to go rent a bobcat and dig!
We’re very fortunate to have mainly rock-free land at the farm. In fact – we hit only 1 rock while digging all 72 holes. In all, it took us about two hours – in what would probably have taken us 10 days and a couple of bottles of ibuprofen if dug by hand!
For the most part – it was smooth sailing. I will certainly admit though that digging the grape trellis holes on the hill was a little challenging. Okay..to be perfectly honest…maybe somewhat frightening! But once I got over the fear that I wasn’t going to tip – all was well. 🙂
Next up is the long process of running string and setting posts. After spending a few evenings this week of setting the garden fence posts – we are all but positive we may still go through a couple of bottles of ibuprofen!
We have about half of the garden posts and board fencing up so far – and should be able to have the grape trellis and chicken run posts up this week. The vineyard trellis project is a must – as our now 1-year-old grape plants are starting to bud, and will need to be trained up trellis lines this spring.
This past week made us realize how lucky we are to be surrounded by so many great people and local businesses. In building the farm over the last few years – we have developed quite a few fantastic relationships with some great local small business owners. We try hard to support local business whenever we can – not just because it’s the right thing to do – but for the value and knowledge they bring to our projects.
Case in point – I can’t tell you how many times Bob from Paisley Rentals has gone above and beyond in helping us with whatever project we are working on. To the point of even dropping off or picking up tools from the farm when we were desperate. The same goes for a nearby sawmill where we buy our lumber, or the local greenhouse where we get our trees and plants. The knowledge, advice and friendliness of all of them goes above and beyond – and it made us realize that our little farm project would not be nearly as far along without them.
That extends to our neighbors as well – all of them at some point have lent a hand – whether it be feeding and watering our chickens when out of town – or helping to pull our truck out of a groundhog hole that swallowed it up in the field.
All in all – it just makes us realize we are very fortunate enough to be around so many great people, that in their own way, help us to build the farm.
Jim and Mary