Posted on July 17, 2015 @ 04:13:00 AM by Paul Meagher
Today I want to discuss an aspect of edge design that is not discussed enough in Permaculture, namely, edge removal (you can read past blogs on edge design here and here). Generally we look at edges as offering benefits but sometimes they can just be a nuisance.
This is the case with fences on our farm property. The previous owners had sheep & alpacas and erected several pastures for them. We don't have any animals and don't intend to for awhile as we are not always around to take care of them. The fences have gone into disrepair and are both an eyesore and make the process of mowing the field for hay more
difficult than it needs to be. So yesterday I decided to start the process of removing the fence, removing an edge that once served a purpose but which is now just an obstacle. This is what the edge of the hayfield looks like now without the fence.
Today I'll be removing more fencing so that an upper and lower field are no longer separated by a fence and can be mowed as one unit. This will mean less turning and I'll get more hay because I usually bush hog on either side of the fence before I mow it. I will no longer need to. Lots of benefits of not having fenced edges anymore.
We all inherit situations where edges were erected in the past and are no longer as useful to you. Perhaps before we start creating edges on a landscape we might consider doing some house cleaning and remove edges that might not be useful to our present situation.
Next week it will be time to make the hay for the year. I'll be getting my old mower-conditioner hooked up today to see how it works (notice the useless fencing in the background that will take awhile to fully remove).
When I drag this mower through the field it will be nice not to have to deal with fields uselessly subdivided by old fences. Less turning, more hay, and less chance of getting machinery caught up in old fencing.
Do you have any edges on your landscape or in your business that should be removed? What function did these edges serve in the past? Is it still performing that function? Do you still need that function? If the answers are no, then removal might be advised. Open things up and enjoy the benefits.