With sunny days and temperatures in the mid-60’s, Spring is slowly but surely coming to the Willamette Valley. Driving through Corvallis today, I fell a little more in love with my town. The bike paths abounded with families taking lazy Saturday bike rides, runners taking their dogs for a jog, and roller-bladers eating up the 16 miles of multi-use paths around our town.
Keith and I utilized the good weather to get some work done in preparation for the busy season of the farm. It won’t be long now before we need to get animals out in the field! I won’t lie; it’s a little stressful trying to get all the infrastructure in place. There’s the delicate balance of figuring out how we can pay for it all while still setting aside enough money to buy livestock.
Today’s project was completing the purchase of electric fencing materials for rotational grazing paddocks. We’ve already bought all the 17 guage aluminum wire, fence insulators and wire reels. The only remaining item on the list was 3/8″ rebar for 4′ fence stakes. Our local lumber store sells rebar in 20 foot lengths, and so we took the old pickup downtown and got to work cutting rebar.
Here’s a little secret. You don’t always have to own all the equipment you will need for doing farm work. I’ve borrowed tools and vehicles from all my generous friends and neighbors before buying them myself. Don’t be intimidated by the job because you don’t have the appropriate tools. If anything, it’s an opportunity to get more creative or to practice old fashioned neighborly tool-sharing.
So, obviously, I don’t own a tool for cutting rebar. I tried out Tyler’s bolt cutter on a stick of 3/8″ rebar, but it required more muscles (or body weight?) than I could recruit at the time. That’s a dignified way of saying that I huffed and I puffed but I couldn’t cut the rebar. And then I took my pride and got my butt back in the weight room at the gym.
But, fortunately the lumber store has a rebar cutter that looks like this, and requires minimal muscle:
It is available for use by the public, as long as you stay out of contractors’ way while you chop rebar. I’m willing to bet that most lumber stores have these on the floor. So, Keith and I got busy and in no time flat, we’d cut 200 four foot rebar fence stakes. Totally do-able, no equipment cost. And that, my friends, is how you get ‘er done!
For my next trick, I will attempt to set up rotational grazing paddocks with nothing but 17 guage Al wire and some rebar stakes. Stay tuned…