I’ve previously mentioned some unexpected costs that came with buying bees, but recently I have come to realize that growing vegetables comes with its own “unexpected” costs… I used quotation marks, because the things in themselves weren’t unexpected, but the cost was something I didn’t think much about other than it being some abstract number somewhere in the future.
In farming – even though I’ve just started – there seems to always be unexpected costs. And while I suspect that there will be other types of unexpected things, perhaps even on a daily basis, when we have expanded into more animals and such, it will probably still feel unexpected.
Anyway, this time it’s the fencing that is a major cost. I wanted at least a 100m2 garden, but would probably need an even bigger space, as I plan to grow pumpkins and squash (they need lots of space). I suspect that my beans will want decent space as well, just like the brussel sprouts… at least compared to carrots. Luckily one of my main crops will be carrots. Phew!
Still need covers (non-woven fabric, is this the right term?) for the carrots though, and cabbage nets for all brassicas. I don’t have many varieties planned, but I do want to grow a decent amount of brussel sprouts. Not making it easy for myself, but…
I’ve already purchased 2 cabbage nets (5×1.8 meters) and 2 non-woven (10×2.8 meters), but I suspect that I will need more, especially cabbage nets, but non-wovens as well, as I will need it for the beans too… and peas, I guess?
One of each costs around 20 USD, so it adds up. I’m not rich, guys… Just a little jobless girl who can’t hold down a straight or even crooked path into any kind of employment, trying to make herself some money. My only source of it right now is a small amount of savings from student allowance (yes, I’m lucky, but most of it is loans anyway and I will have to pay it back eventually, soon maybe…).
My plans for a cheap (ish) fence
I’ve been looking around a bit and doing research, and I think I will try to go for a 1.5m high chicken fence, topped with an electrical wire. The main things we need protection for are deer, rabbits and wild boar. Yes, we have lots of wild boar here. Eventually we’re going to fence the whole property to keep them away, but it would cost a decent amount of money, and I figure it’s OK to start small. Hopefully I’m right.
I suspect this will still cost about 600 usd for, say, 200m2. Yikes. I needed to choose pumpkins of all things???
In farming, and in life, you sometimes just have to try and see what works. Different things seem to work for different people, different climates, places and contexts… I have yet to learn what works for me and my context, but I will surely document my journey in doing so.
Brassicas, beans, carrots…
These all need to be protected by more than a fence, as it can’t possibly keep away insects and birds. That’s why I will need to invest in more cabbage nets and non-woven. All this to protect my plants, all to keep them safe and not eaten. To keep my income as safe as possible.
But, there’s only so much you can do. Even the most experienced farmer can be victim to disasters. All we can do is try. See what works and what doesn’t. Very similar to starting a youtube channel, I guess, except you don’t have to entertain the plants (spoiler alert: future post: My plants aren’t entertained enough. Jk, I hope…).
Jokes aside, I think all will go well in the end. Even though I seem to have abandoned my backup plan, I think it will go well (maybe because I did?).
I’m not alone in this. My family is at the farm too, doing their stuff. We plan to get more hens so that we can sell eggs, and I’m not the only one in the vegetable business. Next year, or later this year (whenever covid allows), my future husband will come here and I will officially be a married woman. A lazy housewife and farmer, that is my goal.
Wish me luck and thank you for reading. Any advice or questions are welcome!
My latest farm vlog: