Tea and Rabbits – Fencing in the Fen
Thanks to Cropshare volunteer Ivan for this great write-up!
A bright sunny winter Saturday, what to do? With just 14 shopping days before Christmas does one “shop till one drops” Grand Arcade stylee or……..? Nope…….let’s go fencing. So with a bunch of other “Onion Cropsharers” we popped up to Lode on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fen.
There we planned the day with Paul and Doreen– our organic farmers – and drank some tea. The plan was to drink some tea and fence off a 5 acre rectangular plot with anti-rabbit fencing. Apparently it had been decided at an earlier meeting that the sharing of the crop was to be confined to people only – NO RABBITS! The 5 acres will give us more choice for future cropping and because we’ll be growing organically, land for fertility building as part of any future crop rotation.
Now the thing about fence posts is that they come in two types: Thems what goes in easily and thems what don’t. The other thing is, its best to put them in so that they are all the same height, all vertical and all in a straight line. It has a psychological impact – on the rabbits – apparently it looks more intimidating. That’s what I was told!
|Fencing is Fun!|
Erecting fencing can be quite hard work. And fun. And fun – mustn’t forget the fun. We’d self-organised into small work groups and shared the strenuous work taking little breaks as needed. Some of us taking more breaks than others. Then it was time for a big break and lunch and tea.
And what a lunch. One of those yummy “bring and share” lunches where despite no planning a fantastic spread was had and enjoyed. A tasty Farmhouse Vegetable Soup. “Is it local?”
“Yes mate, about as local as you can get!”
A real soup, made from real veg, in a real farmhouse, by a real framer’s wife – thank you Doreen. And bread including onion bread (made with our own 2011 harvest of course!), cheese and tea. Lots of salads, pasta, fresh vegetables, a curried coleslaw, edamame beans,
“Are they local?”
“No yet, watch this space”,
a curried coleslaw and ROCKET – the sort of rocket leaves that could put satellites into low earth orbit, definitely a winter warmer. Lots of cakes and of course tea. Then it was back to the fen for more… fencing.
|Quite straight- well done guys.|
Rectangles, as we all know, come with two side lengths, short uns and long uns. I’m sure it wasn’t entirely by chance that Paul had arranged for us to do the long one before we had our lunch and tea. So once we had “turned the corner”, as one might say, we could see that “the end was in sight”. Bish, Bosh, Thump, Crump, the rest of the posts went in. Nearly finished, on with the straining wire, on with the linked fencing, bury the bottom and back fill the trench. Stand back and enjoy. Job well done.
|Transition wind turbine looking good in the sunset on the farm|
The sun was setting, the moon was rising, lapwings were winging off to roost and the cranes on the next-door farm (no word of a lie) were making a bit of a fuss. Should you really, really wish to know what sort of fuss these birds can make http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/c/crane/index.aspxwill take you there. Make sure the volume is on low!
Picked up the tools, loaded up the trailer, back to the farmhouse for cake and tea.
An enjoyable day, 300 meters, 105 posts, fence nearly finished; that’ll give the bunnies something to think about. Chatted a bit about what we could grow next year, Edamame anyone???
Where to in 2012 for Cambridge Cropshare?
Well that’s up to us. Watch this space and the www.transitioncambridge.orgeBulletin and contact Anne or Helen if you want to get involved!