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Don't Fence Me In


Fences have always been an interesting subject. Even the government has differing views of what a fence does and doesn’t do. Some states have fence out laws, while other states have fence in laws. Some people argue that fences break up migration patterns. Before all of our fancy equipment, fences often defined property boundaries.

Fences are a funny item. Sometimes I like them and sometimes I don’t. This will be the third year planting the garden on the grove and the first year to have it all fenced. Putting up the last side of the fence really bugged me. It made me stop and think, “Why is this such a big deal? You wanted to keep the deer from eating your hard work.”

By completing the fence around the garden, somehow made me feel confined. Analizing this feeling, I had to look back to the growing up years. The pastures I roamed were wide open spaces to my young mind. I could run forever and not make it to the other fence. There were no fences around the house and crawling under the fences seemed easy. Becoming an adult and having to live on a city lot definitely boxed me in. It was challenging and my mind kept running to wide open spaces. Then we moved to the high plains desert. This was wide open spaces on steroids! We could see for miles and miles and miles. The fence lines were a minor distraction and when looking off into the distance, very rarely did my eye meet the fence. The fence line was there to define the property more than anything else.

Here at The Grove, the fences around the property are mostly falling down. Along the perimeter they don’t even match the property lines. Just try to tell the old timers that the GPS is right and they would be quick to correct you and say the fence has been there a lot longer than GPS. We have great neighbors and at some point, the fence will match the GPS lines, but for now we are all content with how the fence defines our space. After all, isn’t that what fences do? They define space.

The garden space defined seems boxy, confined, restricted. How is this possible? We made garden bed frames and they don’t feel confining, they feel defining. It just comes down to restriction of movement. Having to change an established walking pattern confined me. We will just have to add large gates that can be open when we are working. Then the garden will be protected from the critters and our planting space will once again be freeing.

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