Hedgerow Summer

The eastern hedgerow of our property was not strictly ours to clean up until Ben bought the farm on the other side of the divide.

Even after Ben bought the farm, it took awhile to tackle this problem area. First Ben needed to focus on getting his farmhouse ready to rent out. Then this summer, he needed to rid his ten acre hayfield of all the scrubby shrubs that sprang up when mowing the field got to be too much for the former owners. HOWEVER, when this job was done, Ben and Jim decided to tackle the hedgerow between the two properties.


At the beginning of the summer, this hedgerow was an impenetrable thicket of wild grapes, wild honeysuckle, wild roses, barb wire fencing and myriad scrub trees all creating a barrier between the properties about ten feet wide.

Ben and Jim went to work ridding the hedgerow of this tangle of vegetation and rusty wire thus opening up space for some of the nicer hardwoods in the hedgerow to prosper.

The barb wire was especially problematic. The lovely man we bought our farm from appears to have had an almost unhinged relationship with barb wire as if he thought the Soviets of the cold war era were living next door not some docile sheep.

It has been mind boggling to see how much barb wire Ben and Jim have pulled out of this hedgerow. We can only wonder what kind of livestock break out this mild mannered farmer was expecting when he felt compelled to put up five or six layers of fencing between his land and the neighboring farm.

What a relief to have this paranoid protective energy removed from the hedgerow. We can almost hear the remaining trees sigh with relief!

Today, Hedgerow Summer continues with the task of pulling up poison ivy at the top of the hedgerow where it mets True Road. Poison ivy has a vibration a lot like barb wire, so it comes as no surprise that in a hedgerow rife with barb wire, poison ivy moved into place in a big way.

Ben and Jim donned their version of hazmat suits early this morning and started pulling the vines.

First reports are that this work has made even the removal of all the barb wire fencing feel like a pleasure. Their constant companion, MayMay, abandoned ship when a yellow jacket nest added insult to injury. Now it is noon and about ninety outside so I am sure those suits feel really good.

I just hope Ben and Jim made a game plan for who is cutting them out of the suits and how. I am NOT planning to get involved! Already there has been way too much talk of accidentally having vines brush their faces and problems with safely eating snacks. I don’t want to join them in looking down the barrel of the new school year with a blistering case of poison ivy!

In fact, all of us are keeping our distance from our crazy menfolk today. As they soldier on, the rest of us are relieved to be VERY BUSY in the office, able only to shout encouraging words from a safe distance before retreating to our poison ivy free realm.