If you have ever seen a map of ESF you will most certainly notice the large amount of fence that is on the farm. Maintaining this much fence can be quite the job. The yellow is the property boundary and the red lines represent fence rows.
However, a few of these red lines no longer exist, or are in the incorrect place on the map. The fence line around field 69 is a good example. This is one of our hay fields and does not have any fence on the eastern edge of it along the woods. This is a field that we wanted to be able to stockpile fescue in after we made a first cutting of hay. That could only mean one thing, Greg and I have been building fence.
For this project we decided to just put up a 4 strand barbed wire fence through the woods. There was an old logging road in the general area that we wanted to fence so that allowed us to not have to do all that much clearing. The graphic below shows the new route through the woods.
It ended up being about 2,000 feet total, but this fence allowed us to graze another 24 acres. We also plan to put one of the tire waterers in this field as well, but that installation has not happened yet.
Here are a few pictures from our efforts.
The first pass through we cleared just enough to be able to drive the gator along side where the fence would be built. Then we used the gator to string 2 strands of barbed wire at a time, mainly using trees for our post.
The project turned out good and we are looking forward to having this additional grass to graze this fall. And of course, when you are working in the woods you never know what you might run across.
This deer rub was on a 5 inch diameter tree. Unfortunately we did not see the buck while we where building the fence, but I bet he was surprised to see 4 strands of barbed wire steepled to it the next time he came by!
We ended up having to use about 20 steel posts to fill in the gaps where there weren't any trees to steeple to. But I don't think that is too bad considering we put up 2,000 feet of fence.
If you have been to the Eden Shale Farm you have surely noticed the old house that sat on the corner of Eden Shale Road and Hwy 22. It served as a landmark showing where to turn to come to the farm for years. This house was one of the older structures on the farm and had fallen into disrepair in recent years. The house was past the point of being inhabited and was quickly becoming an eye sore at the entrance to the farm. UK worked with us to get the house torn down before it became a danger to folks at the farm. Here is an old picture of the house when UK still operated the farm.
This is a more recent picture taken this year showing the aging condition of the house.
This house had no doubt seen a lot over the years. During demolition there were some interesting findings. In the front original part of the house the foundation was formed using hand hewn oak beams and the floor joist were hand hewn poplar beams. There was not much left of these beams as termites had pretty much destroyed them over the years. This part of the house also had original wood shingles underneath the existing roof. Along with the house, there was on old shed, a small cellar, and a cistern that were all torn down and filled in as part of the demolition.
I apologize for not having more photos of the demolition process, but it only took the crew a couple of days to get the building down.
I would have thought that they might have used bigger equipment to do the demolition, but this mini excavator and skid steer were all that they used.
This site is now clean, level and is ready for some grass seed. I hope the next time you come to ESF you don't miss your turn!
Hello, my name is Dan Miller and I work for the Kentucky Beef Network. KBN took over operation of the Eden Shale Farm in April of 2013. We are using the 961 acre farm as a demonstration and learning center for beef cattle producers. This blog serves as a place to document daily farm activity and host discussions about the demonstrations being implemented. I hope you find this information useful and that you come visit us at Eden Shale Farm.