Suddenly Summer

Aug 26, 2021

Obviously, summer means different things in different places. In coastal Mendocino, it means it’s warm enough to plant basil (in a sunny sheltered spot or unheated greenhouse), and… fog! Summer solstice was a lovely, sunny day, and for those of us still scraping off winter’s moss, it was a welcome sight. Then through today… mostly fog, overcast, and a balmy 60 degrees. Ahh, coastal summer. We’ll still have nice, sunny days, but they are scarce enough that we really appreciate them!

Here are the promised financials from our recent work. The project was to remove vegetation and till on a new field of about a quarter of an acre, fence against deer (still not finished – or even started, to be honest), and then remove grass and till up as much of the already-fenced area as possible.

$100 – Brush mower rental, 24 hours

$400 – Tractor rental (24 hours = 8 operating hours), delivery & pick-up

$65 – Diesel fuel can, extra fuel and fuel surcharge

$250 – Deer fencing (three 100 ft. x 7 ft. rolls) and 20 tree stakes

TOTAL – $815

One side of the field has fence posts already, so we didn’t need as many stakes. We decided to use tree stakes because a) lightweight plastic deer netting doesn’t need much physical support and b) they are far cheaper than steel t-posts. We’ve used tree stakes before, and they’ve been fine for semi-permanent lightweight fencing (and are still standing after a year-plus).

We still need to amend the soil in the new areas, which will start with cover crops in some areas, and liberal application of compost in others. More on that when it’s all planned out.

We recently had ravens start stealing eggs from the chicken coop (or so we strongly suspect). Today Matt installed bird netting over the area directly adjacent to the coop. Hopefully this will be enough to discourage the thieves; otherwise we’ll have to net in a larger area.