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Wednesday, February 25, 2009


"Good neighbors make good fences"--this is our current twist on Robert Frost's classic line.

Last Saturday morning dawned cold and crisp. As I headed to town for my appointed rounds, the neighbors were gathering. I counted 6 pickups, two cars, plus Steve's old Volvo wagon and George's truck. There were two little Bobcats on trailers, and two tractors were turning into the drive.

This was the neighborhood fence raising, erecting an 8-foot deerproof fence around this part of our new communal organic farm, Bells Bend Neighborhood Farm. Tom's worries about costs--have you priced an 11-foot post lately?--had lessened as a pile of posts just accumulated over the last week, thanks to Steve, Joe, Keith, and Allen. His worries about the size of the job began to melt away as the workers rolled in.

By lunchtime, Kay and Sharon had a lavish spread laid out in the kitchen, and at least 60 posts were in place, including a pair of wrong diagonals that had been tidily converted into handsome notched cross-braces.

I counted more than 40 eating lunch, including several of Eric's buddies from Appalachian State. Farmers, doctors, nurses, a home ec prof (well, food arts), a preacher, a trucker, a heavy-equipment operator--the valuable man with the auger!--our cow man, a sculptor/jackofalltrades, a movie location scout, tree surgeon--you get the idea.

Finally a cold driving rain sent everyone back indoors for hot chocolate, and home.

We're all in this together--Sulphur Creek Farm (that's us), one of the Bells Bend Neighborhood Farms, is taking shape.

Good neighbors make good fences!

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