After weeks of brush clearing, part ordering, putting up insulators, and stringing wire, we have a functioning electric fence surrounding the chicken run.
Since Tuesday, when we went live, I heard the foxes the first morning–that is I heard the chickens sounding their raucous alarm–but have not seen any foxes and they have not been audible or visible since Wednesday. I dare to hope the chickens are safe.
The energizer that powers the fence is nestled inside an old hamster home I picked up at the ever wonderful Urban Ore for 50 cents. The energizer pulses red to show the fence is functioning and not shorted out. This is a huge improvement over the electric fence we had in Oregon in the 70s. The grass was always shorting it out, and the pigs would be off down the road. Now I can just look out the bedroom window or over the deck and see that the fence is working. It’s reassuring to see it pulsing away before I go to bed.
Meanwhile, it’s harvest time every day. We ate the first eggplants last week, along with squash blossoms and zucchini fritters. Wonderful lemon cucumbers make terrific Greek salads along with the tomatoes, and the little Persian ones go into regular salads.
I’ve also begun reclaiming the labyrinth which was so overgrown I had to reimagine where the paths were and recreate them. In the process of taming the oregano, I found this growing behind it in the wall.
I had very painstakingly levered some dirt between the rocks and set some succulents in the chinks. This is one reward. All in all, it’s a very happy urban farm this week!
And I also found this little excerpt from a poem on my computer, very appropriate to the harvest and the Jewish New Year, which is coming right up.
If you’ve never heard a shofar, it’s worth sitting through the service just to hear it.
from Zucchini Shofar
This moment’s chord of earthly commotion
will never be struck exactly so again—
though love does love to repeat its favorite lines.
So let the shofar splutter its slow notes and quick notes,
let the nieces and nephews practice their flutes and trombones,
let the living-room pianos invite unwashed hands,
let glasses of different fullness be tapped for their different notes,
let everyone learn how to whistle,
let the girl dawdling home from her trumpet lesson
pause at the half-built house on the corner,
where the newly installed maze of plumbing comes down
to one little pipe whose open end she can reach,
so she takes a deep breath
and makes the whole house sound.