Monday, September 3, 2012

News from the Ranch

Well, I see I've been remiss is transmitting news of the ranch in the past two months. During July and August, the Severn clan sweated a lot, building fence, fixing broken fencing equipment, building fence, stretching wire, tying wire, digging post holes, and did I say building fence?

Today, the Dans completed the perimeter fencing of El Rancho, about eight-tenths of a mile. The next step is repairing/replacing the fence we share with Frank Leggio. Right now, the fence is certainly good enough for donkeys or cattle. In fact, I have my eye on a pair of jennys (one white, one light gray) who are about six years old. Hopefully I'll get out to see them on Saturday and see if they will fit in.

So, anyway, in all these weekends of fencing, we've really done a lot of planning and I've got a preliminary livestock rotation plan. Goats, followed by steers, followed by rest. So, we are planning this and looked over the fence and thought, gee!, we could buy more land! So we got a contract on another 14 acres, adjacent to El Rancho, and soon to become part of El Rancho.


Working along the fencelines has also allowed us to get a closer look at the native vegetation. D3 and I saw a plant with big leaves and lots of purple globular fruit. We both figured that anything that looked good was probably poisonous. On Sunday, I snapped a few pictures and looked it up by color and was pleased to find that we have lots and lots of Americana Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana. Deer and other foragers love the berries, the leaves are thought to ward off mosquitos, and they look pretty good, too! I even found recipes for making Beautyberry jelly.

I also noticed that while we still have some small yellow flowers (mostly bitterweed and sleepy daisy), lots of the other flowers are in the purple range, like wild petunia and bindweed. So, I guess if summer is yellow, then fall is purple!

1 comment:

  1. I'm pleased to meet you, Karen. Having a well built fence is important for it serves as a barrier for domestic animals from leaving their territory. It also serve as a mark that it is the side of your own property. By the way, beware of plants that you don't know. You actually made the right decision for taking pictures of those plants, and have them consulted if their poisonous or not. This is what I loved about ranches; livestock and crops.

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