Amazingly BeautifulTeamwork


We got our first big fence posts in the ground.  And there are two proud, but tired women heading for the house.

It was not as easy as a person would think. These fence posts weigh between 300-500 pounds apiece. As I have said, I live on a hill and it is still wet and muddy in places.  And we had no machine.

A couple of months ago, my daughter found a listing on Craigslist that had creosote soaked posts for sale.  We arranged to go get some and what we found was not posts but pilings.  These things were huge!  The man that we were buying them from hauled them out of the woods with his 4X4 and cut them in half.  And the rest was up to us.

We rolled them close to the trailer and wrapped a strap around one end. With one of us on each side of the strap, we lifted them onto the trailer then slid them into place.  The hugest posts we saved for when there would be 4 of us, but my daughter and I loaded the first trailer ourselves.

Today we wanted to get some of the fence line started so we can let the goats clear a previously unused part of the property.  So we figured out where we wanted the fence to go and she started digging while I cleaned up the old field fence that had to be removed.


Then came the tricky part.  How to move hundreds of pounds of post; up a hill, around a house and barn, through the pasture and some mud, and past the pond to the waiting hole.  We were thinking about the different ways to create an axle when I thought of the hand cart.  So we took the hand cart to the pile and pulled off a post.  We selected one that was on the smaller side, but remember none of these are small.  Using the technique that we used in loading them on the trailer we got it onto the hand cart and strapped it on.  That is when the fun began.


Have you ever been at a fair and watched the draft horse teams pull a huge load?  The well matched teams get settled against their harness, brace themselves, and then they step out together.  One foot on each horse moves together, then another, then another.  Inch by inch they set their backs to the weight and step almost perfectly together and get the pull done.  I have always loved watching that teamwork.  Today I experienced it.

Of course, two women didn’t just pull it without stopping.  We would stop, take a break, and breathe.  Then set our backs and, matching steps, we pulled it some more.  I am sure that if I was watching, I would have been amazed at the beauty of the teamwork.   It is something I will never forget.

When we got it to where we needed it, the next part was lifting the thing upright without tearing up the hole.  Then I had another idea.  I had just cut a piece off of a plastic barrel to make my grain bin.  With that in the hole on the far side, the post might not catch on the edge or lodge in there sideways.  With one of us pulling on the rope and the other lifting, it worked perfectly.  The post slid into the hole without a problem.


Then one of us had a brilliant idea.  Do it again.  This time we drug the post up our driveway and down a back access road to where we needed that one.  It was a longer and steeper climb, but there was no mud on this trip.  Again I was amazed at the teamwork.  One step at a time in unison, bearing our part of the load, and getting a hard task done.


Now there are two posts that are set.  Unfortunately…..or maybe fortunately……..we were both ready to quit for the evening.  It is time for food then a shower…..or maybe shower and bed.

About Janolyn

I am a mother of 5 wonderful children, 4 boys and 1 girl. During the years that my children were growing up, we grew most of our own food with a vegetable garden, many fruit trees and berry patches. I grew flowers for joy. We milked goats and raised our own meats and eggs. I learned to make my own cheeses, butter, canned foods, sourdough, and fermented foods. I made our own health products like soap, hand creams, lip balm, and herbal tinctures. We live off the power grid and have learned to do without conveniences that most Americans consider essential. The land clearing and building has been mostly accomplished with hand tools; some of them even the right tool for the job. After a couple of miscarriages between #2 and #3 due to “standard medical procedures”, I consulted a midwife and my last 3 children were born safely at home. That was when I was first alerted to the fact that doctors did not know everything nor would they have the time to share it with their patients if they did. As I learned the basic principles of heath-through-nutrition from my midwife, I learned alternative gardening practices from her husband. That introduction started a lifelong love of learning the practical life of our ancestors. I want to share what I have been learning with you and learn from those who are also living a sustainable life.


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