Moving house is always a chore. I’ve moved from one coast of the United States to the other, and from the north to the south on both coasts. I always seem to dispose of volumes of “trash” and various and sundry “things.” I seem to be a magnet for junk mail, “I don’t know where to put this” things, and I admit organization is not my strong suit. All that said, moving farm is monumentally more complex. And setting up house takes a back seat to setting up farm.
This move took us from Montana to Washington. I admit, my first three years in Montana I truly hated. It wasn’t the climate, it was the people, and the community, or lack there of. Otherwise, Montana is a glorious place. It truly was a slow process to meet nice people, to find my core, to find my friends. But once doing so it was time to go. Not just for me, it seems I may have been the first, but those same friends are all leaving Montana also. So they say, birds of a feather… But I digress. My arrival to Washington found me meeting nice people immediately. Even people who would give up their time to help me set up farm. There was resetting all the fencing around the night pens. The livestock would have to be dry-lotted for a time, as the pasture space was not completely fenced, and this would require labor and money… most of which was being spent on the move itself.
Next was the day kennels for the dogs. I’m so grateful that this space has an insulated shop. They are protected from intrusion of the two and four legged kind, they are secure in their space, they have room to play and potty while I’m at work, and when I come home, they enjoy a very large yard acreage which they love. We take time to do some training on sheep and to go to a class to work on obedience or agility on a very small scale.
But this weekend was different. Finally I was in a position to set up the pasture fencing from a financial perspective. But the labor is intensive. But the Weed Control Board made things rather convenient in some ways. The acreages all around me are covered in knap weed. I never saw so much of it in my life. Acres and acres of knap weed. One neighbor has done nothing, but three of us have mowed, including myself. I lucked out, as I saw one neighbor with someone mowing, and hot-footed over to ask for my own fields to be mowed. I paid the man, and he mowed late into the night. Then the space around the creek was mine. I weed wacked a path for the Premier 1 Fencing I had finally purchase… huge investment, but so mobile. The process took much of one weekend of mowing… and then this weekend more mowing, and finally putting the fence up. The only real casualty occurred when I forgot that the electric was on, and went to connect some wire… oops.
There is still the main big pasture to mow, but Summer turned into Autumn, which has turned into Winter. The creek crossing becomes a raging river with each snow melt, so it will probably be Spring before that back pasture is finished. I’m still debating using just the Premier fencing instead of laboring over t-posts and wire again. The new place has many practicalities, though less acreage, and closer neighbors, than I would choose… but it feels as though this property takes good care of use, and so we are inclined to also take good care of it. The owner cares for the property, and I did not have to do much clean up from the previous tenant, as I did in the Montana place – that property had so much trash all over it, and the house was in such a sad state, it was depressing but for the beautiful land itself. It really it true that pride in ownership transfers to tenants. I look forward to next Spring, and the next garden, and putting in some roses.