To Fence or Not to Fence October 2011
  We loved the idea of being totally open into the game farm but the free range cows were driving us crazy. Everywhere we walked there were cow pats (I'm sure that's why we had so many flies around) and they were trampling many of the saplings in and around the forest. They were also making paths through the forest and leaving large indentation footprints in the wet areas. Fencing our section off with a brick, high wire or game fence was out of the question for aesthetic and cost reasons, so we decided to put up a log fence which should keep the cows out but still allow the wildlife free access. We did a costing exercise and it was affordable using treated poles as uprights and cheaper untreated crosspieces. We would also use logs from the forest wherever possible for the crosspieces.

  Campsite Big Tree Down

One Sunday morning we arrived to find one half of the black wattle tree under which we normally camp fallen down. The part now down was showing signs of splitting away from the remaining tree for some time so it was just a matter of time. All other projects were put off for the day and we cut off all the branches (more firewood!) and cleaned up the area.

Most of the branches cut off the fallen tree

  Post Hole Digger

Part of the fence planning was to use the tractor and a post hole digger to plant the upright poles so we shopped around and found a good quality post hole digger at a farm supply yard in Benoni. Another dip into the farm savings account and we had ourselves a brand new and sparkling clean post hole digger. We hooked the digger to the three point hitch, made all the necessary stabiliser arm adjustments, connected the drive shaft to the PTO and everything tested ok.

Quick calculations showed we needed to plant well over 150 poles so this would save us an awful lot of manual digging.

  The Water Tank

While we were dipping into the farm savings we also bought our 1000 litre water tank. We had been looking around for a water tanker trailer which we could store water for drinking and use for firefighting. It would also be essential for when we started building but the commercial and custom trailers were just so expensive. So after much deliberation we decided to build our own water tanker trailer using a general purpose trailer, water tank and a little petrol pump. This would give us much more versatility in that the trailer could also be used for moving earth, wood and animals on the farm if the tank was removed. This tank was the start of that project.