Crow’s Nest: on baling twine…

March 28, 2012

You’ve heard the old expression, “…held together with baling twine”? Now I understand it.

When you have livestock you have no shortage of bailing twine. Jack has taught me to save it, draping it over a peg in the barn. When you need it, it’s there.

Gene Lodgson (“The Contrary Farmer”) writes in praise of bailing twine.

Jack and I are also trying to improve our ability to move our grazers and browsers around the preserve as needed to improve habitat by removing invasive plants. We started prescribed grazing at Crow’s Nest with grant-funded wire fence but no animals of our own. Difficulties in locating animals to borrow and transport led us to get our own goats and cattle. Now we’ve added portable electric fencing (donated) and additional troughs. We can move the animals around inside the larger units to concentrate them briefly where we want them to be.

The latest step in our “adaptive management” was developing our own means to transport the cattle between our management units and winter pasture (the goats walk nicely on dog leashes; our steers do not). We altered the preserve’s dump trailer with removable sides to move the steers. All the wood is scraps from other projects: a confiscated tree stand, wood we milled that was not suitable for other projects, and a few pieces of wood from constructions kids made at past summer camps. So far we haven’t gotten the cattle on the trailer yet but we are acclimating them to it.

And the wooden sides? They’re held to each other at the corners with baling twine.

Posted by Daniel Barringer on March 28, 2012.