Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fence Post and Barbwire on Old Farms

Before the pretty white, plastic fence, or the green T- posts so common today, there was the cedar fence post strung with barbwire along road sides around the south. This fence was the choice for most farmers in its day and time. Cedar was selected due to its ability to resist decay, strenght, and availability. Most were cut by hand by the farmers and their family, trimmed from all the branches, cut into lengths and buried into the ground about two feet.

The fence was used to keep some things in, like cows and pigs or in some cases, things out, such as goats away from the garden. Fences were a very important element of the family farm. Without them, the farmer would have had a difficult time suviving. The farmer understood the important of the fence and often rode or walked the line checking its integrity and repairing as needed.

Today, the old cedar posts fence, which were placed in the ground years ago, are quickly disappearing. It is no longer a clear line between properties; it has deteriorated to being barely visible with only rusty barbwire sections and broken or missing posts. Not too far in the future, the cedar post fence will be gone forever, returning to the earth in which it came, just like the family farms it once protected.

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