Wednesday, June 18, 2014

To Make A Short Story Long...

I think it was two years ago this fall, that a group of Mennonites started buying up land in our area.  Lots of land, mostly between our town and high school town.  How the early arrivals survived that first winter I don't know.  They were hard at work early last spring though, plowing acres and acres of former pasture and hay fields.  More of their kin arrived.  Huge barns were built here there and everywhere, almost over night it seemed.  Buggies became almost commonplace on the highway.

Rumour has it, these Mennonites might be from Kitchener-Waterloo area (where my granny's people lived), or from Aylmer.  I haven't asked, so I don't for sure.

Last summer they opened the Railside Country Store.  I would drive by it on the way to high school town, on one of the back roads, and I would think to myself I really need to go check that out.  Alas, my timing was never good, and I never went in.  Then the township decided to close an old bridge on that road, making it shorter for me to take the highway around, and I stopped passing by the store.  Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

Last weekend we decided to take the plunge and return to solar electric fencing.  We used solar electric when we lived down south.  Despite all of our fence repairs and construction last year, I looked around this spring and see myself in the exact same position this year.  Broken posts that need to be replaced, Fencelines still waiting to be installed to divide the pasture.  Pasture grass way too short.

The thing that pushed me over the edge though was the yard fence.  Few of the posts remain standing now.  The grass was getting really long- long enough that the goat became invisible when lying down.  Long grass is a safe haven for bugs, and the mosquitoes were atrocious.
I needed to get that cut.  But I don't cut.  I am philosophically opposed to cutting grass when I have hungry cattle who would love to take care of it for me.

I pulled the solar chargers out of the workshop and stuck them on posts to see if they would charge.  Husband fiddled with one and got it working- fine except the wire ends were corroded and had to be replaced.  The other is more complicated, but will probably be fixable.  The old wire we had saved was a tangled mess and had been spliced together so many times it wouldn't run a good current.  We had some posts and insulators, but needed a few more.
So off we went to the flea market (also our feed store) but they didn't have what we needed.  So we thought we'd go and see what that Country Store had to offer.  Alas, it was closed.  We went to Southern City, an hour and a half to the closest TSC.  We got what we needed, and even managed to hit a sale.  Sunday afternoon the lawnmowers were hard at work.

But that Mennonite store was still on my mind, they're much closer, but I'd never been in, so didn't know what they had for sale.  We decided to drive over and browse.

It's wonderful.  And funny.  They sell natural honey (but not local), huge cheese blocks, eggs, and grass fed beef.  Salves and creams, sewing and quilting supplies, quilts, aprons, bonnets, hats and boots.  Chicken feeders, waterers, horse dewormers, cattle meds, and all your basic farm store supplies.  Hardware, knicknacks, fencing, seeds, and so, so much more.

And they sell these.
These gate post holders were on the fence when we moved in.  They work great-big and solid, and they allow the gate to swing in either direction.  From our first winter here, 7 years ago, I have been looking for another set.
 I wanted to lift the gate higher through the winter.  Even with plowing, the snow pack builds up and we get to the point that the gate can no longer be opened or closed, and eventually ends up just leaning there, chained to the post.
Now we've got dual settings for the main gate.  Little things make me happy.

I'll definitely be going back to browse again.  It's nice having the Mennonites in the area.  Feels more like home. 

1 comment:

  1. Great site! Hi Wendy, do you have an email address I can contact you on? Thanks and have a great day!