We have a grove of Black Locust that has grown up over the years and encroached upon the pasture fringes. Locust is a very hard and durable wood and makes marvelous fence posts. This is the first part of post-processing: gathering the posts and using the skinnier parts of the tree for firewood for next winter, letting it dry over summer. We are, in effect, "recycling" and using what we have here on the farm.
Once the trees have been cut, we must peel the bark (using an adze), dig the holes for the posts and then tamp them into place firmly. Each hole is around 18 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate a post that is probably 14-16-inches in diameter.
Filling the hole, we use a combination of small rocks, and hard clay. Each post is tamped into the ground solidly, using what most people refer to as a spud bar. It's a heavy iron rod with a 3-inch diameter end used to pound the surrounding dirt back around the post. Fencing is fun, but it's hard work, too. We are actually salvaging some metal posts and wire which we put up fifteen or twenty years ago. It's been in place all that time, but we no longer need it. So, we are disassembling it for use in the small milking facility we're building.
Remember the little ditty: Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without? That's exactly what we're doing. What I find interesting is that the old posts and wire are so much heavier than the modern ones we can buy. Lots more metal in the old ones and the cost nowadays exceeds $5 PER metal post; and a roll of wire, 330 feet in length, is about $200 a roll, today! It pays to recycle!
The Working Conditions
The Boss --He's 79 years young! Will be 80 this coming January!
What a guy!