wired

What is it about Kiwi farmers and wire fences? Do those unforgiving, minimalist steel wires say something about the way we regard our land and each other. Could anything be less inviting than a countryside bisected with wire netting and posts? Compare our approach with that of other countries where in many cases, no fences are present at all or where hedgerows; diverse, living lines of fruiting, nutting, flowering natives and exotics support birds, beetles and all manner of useful creatures that support farming, bolstering the health of the pasture, pollinating crops, controlling pests and moderating wind. Where did we go wrong (did we ever have it right?) I’m for starting a rural movement: Hedgerows from coast to coast. Stop the ‘Clean Slate’ style of farming. Let it grow. Apples, plums, hazels and gooseberries along every gravel road. Give the birds a chance to perch. (Oh, and by the way. Send the Leylandii back to whichever ill favoured continent they came from.) Start the movement by biffing pips, cores, pits and stones out of the window as you drive on through. The real green revolution!

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7 thoughts on “wired

  1. Okay Jack, good thoughts.

    But I wish all farmers would fence – or, better, plant hedgerows – to prevent their stock pooping in the streams and rivers that run through their farms.

  2. Aha – I was thinking only of roadsides Toad! You are right but it takes more than a wire fence to keep them and their foul cargo out of the waterways. I’m not convinced (at all) that riparian planting is all it is cracked up to be. Most of the fell fluid goes down into the substrate and into the watertable to the river, passing under the riparian zone unsucked. Fonterra and Regional Councils don’t seem to have much to say about that!

  3. Especially in areas like where I grew up. Extensively drained swamps now playing host to dairy cows. The reason it is still not a swamp is most of the drainage that has been put in is still working.

  4. stevedore ya gotta go where the gooseberries grow! I know of a gooseberry fence that has been put in to keep kids out of a big garden. Works a treat! They can feed on the outside but they can’t get in (unless they’re very determined!) Worstershire berries are better (more wicked!)

  5. Alot of European countries has open spaces where fruits and nuts and fungi grow and the people can pick them for their families to eat – roadsides, wild lands ans waste lands. Here in new Zealand there is very little of this aside from a few blackberry patches ans some areas of edible mushrooms like the boletes that only a few know about (luckily). Why not get these places filled with crabapples and vines and the soft fruits like berries and plum trees. There’s so much that could be out there to feed people who don’t have much land of their own. It’s a great thing for families to do together.

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