One of our aims in partial self sufficiency is to establish an orchard and a vegie patch.
Ideally we would like this to be well established by the time we move into the property so we don't have the years of waiting until the trees come into production.
Wildlife are the main complication with this idea. We talked to some friends in the area bout how they kept the critters at bay. They had constructed a pretty neat fencing system that kept both wombats and deer at bay, so we went to have a look.
What a construction! It seemed this fitted the bill, but did it work? YEP - they said. They never had a wombat breach the defences - except they accidentally fenced one inside, but it soon found its way out.
The fence consisted of strainer posts on each corner, with very long star droppers in between, and three strands of wire. Over this wire is layed chain mesh, including a ground hugging skirt of about 40 cm. This is to stop the Womabts - and no - they are not smart enough to work out how to get under. If they do start digging you just block up all their holes until they get bored and change their habitual routes.
Above the chain mesh is chain link - which is high enough to deter deer.
This seemed like ther prefect solution so we set forth to construct our own.
We chose an area not too far from the house because this area was to the vege garden as well as the orchard. We also situated it not too far from where the chook house is as one day the chooks could free range in the orchard paddock. we also chose a site with a good northerly aspect, not too steep and with good access for vehicles. later on the pig pens and composting areas would be situated above the paddock so that the fertiliser materials do not have to move too far to get to the garden, and the pigs can easily be thrown scraps.
We discovered a great fencing product called mega anchor which made putting in the strainer posts a dream. A business in Lilydale sold us the materials and the jack hammer thing which allows you to put the struts in place. Anyway the end result is an extremely sturdy fence post.
We set to work learning fencing and it was surprisingly easy once we got the knack of it. It took us a couple of days to build a fence to cover the area of a very large suburban block and we were learning so it would take less time if you had experience.
And there we have it - a completed fence ready for planting of our orchard.