As anyone from this part of the country knows, the gas drillers and pipeline companies are tearing out trees, leveling land and adding noise, air pollution and countless people, equipment and vehicles into areas that used to be quiet and pristine.
In other words, the animal habitat has been vastly altered. Deer have been forced out of the woods. Their food plots have been removed and they are pushed to other areas to live and to eat.
Last summer the drillers found their way to our area of Washington County. They began clearing land and drilling about 1 mile from our farm. Once they began clearing land the deer pressure started. By late summer when the woods were teaming with workers and equipment our fields went under siege. You can read our blog post from last year here to read about that.
Adding to the pressure is that the pipeline will be extended this year and will be going through the woods adjacent to our farm. This means they will clear out 30 yard path of trees and brush, bringing in heavy equipment and literally buses full of workers. Needless to say, land that saw an occasional human being will now be overwhelmed with industrial activity. The deer will be pushed even more into our fields.
So this year we put up a fence. I am not a fan of fences. Fences are built either to keep things in or keep things out. That doesn’t seem neighborly. Livestock fences make sense. But the “keep out” fences seems less so. Fences are a way to separate us from the world. And a field that looks open and free just looks nicer than one that is fenced.
Yet here we are. Owners of a “keep out” fence. We installed a 7’ fence around the perimeter of our crop land. It looks like a prison now, and it cost a lot of money. A LOT!
But a CSA without crops wouldn’t be a CSA. We can’t afford to risk the use of non-physical barriers to keep the deer at bay. And we need to make sure our customers get the quality and quantity of produce they deserve. So a fence it is.
The fence was completed Tuesday and I can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing my seedlings will be safe. Later in the summer when the crops are all producing I won’t walk out to the fields in the morning to see all of the vegetables eaten from the vine like I did last summer.