Let me preface this by saying my weekends extend from Wednesday morning through Sunday afternoon (or every other Saturday).
I attended the fun shopping day on the 7th, see Who Said Having Fun Can’t Be Productive?. While there I brought home a few items I needed for the farm. The last planning shopping day was at Hoosac Valley Farmer’s Exchange in Schaghticoke , NY. This local shop was planning a free pancake breakfast on the 11th during their annual open house sale. After this sale I’d just need to finish up gathering the rest of the fence supplies.
I attended the open house and scheduled a delivery for my items. Last Saturday I received my order for the 60′ round pen, 2-12′ gates, and 10-8′ locust fence posts. A local farm supply store has an annual pancake breakfast and sale and for a small $35 delivery fee I scored a wonderful deal on all of these items.
- Green 12′ Gates: $67 each
- Green 60′ Round Pen with 4′ gate: $1199
- 8′ Locust Posts: $9 each
- Pancakes, sausage, hash, coffee, and local-made Battenkill chocolate milk: FREE
There were so many local farmers to show up for Wednesday’s pancake day. I wish I knew some of them as I felt isolated, but they were all pleasant people. I stayed to my shy self, ate, purchased my items, and went home.
They were delivered Saturday on a big flatbed truck.
I began digging holes that very day.
Locust posts are HEAVY.
I was expecting 4-6″ round posts. I got tree trunks.
I chose locust because I hear they have the best longevity as far as fence posts are concerned. After speaking with several professionals I decided to dig my own holes and not use cement. Instead I am tamping down the dirt/rock in layers as I fill the holes back up.
My intent is to have 5′ posts above ground, so ideally I would want my post holes to be 3′ deep.
I have come to learn that my suspicions are unfortunately correct….I live on shale.
About a foot down, I hit rock. I dig and dig, and slam the poker into the earth, chipping away at the rock. I get through, taking out a couple of large rocks. Another foot down, shale. This rock isn’t as easy to get through. After another 15-20 minutes of fighting I’m able to get to 30-32″ where I ultimately and quite literally hit a stone wall. At first I was a bit worried. My first post ended up being a little too heavy and too wide for the first hole, of course I would choose the LARGEST post for my first attempt. As I tried to lift it back out to make the hole wider I got stuck, and the post fell deeper into the Earth. I gave up and decided to bury it where it was. It’s a little tall, but it’s down a couple feet and very sturdy.
I approached the next post much smarter, measuring the width of the base. It slid in with no issue and will not budge. I now have a solid gate post!
The following day I went back outside and put in a thinner post at the far corner. The other corners of this paddock are trees. You know what that means, folks? The first paddock is ready for line posts and insulators!
I’m now dreading the next paddock, which will require 5-6 of these posts. Aspercreme won’t touch the muscle tension in my shoulders and deltoids. Looks like Absorbine’s liniment may be in my future!
In other news, I’ve receive nearly all of the items I ordered online.
Fence charger, insulators, post caps, polywire, and gate handles. I’m still waiting on the grounding rods and I may need for connecting hardware, but everything is coming together!