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Winter 2023 Project - Garden Fence Replaced

The fence around the Essig garden was showing signs of deterioration with posts that had rotted in the ground causing leaning fence sections, gates that were not hanging straight, missing and broken pickets, and repairs to the stringers. Yes, rustic looking, but despite continuous ongoing repairs it was looking sad and additional repairs did not seem to be the answer. AKA The Fence Company visited and accepted the job to replace the fence with a new one. The challenge was to not make it appear brand new and perfect but rather to resemble the rustic look of a fence from the late 1800’s. Matt Koch and his crew worked with us to accomplish this goal. The rectangular posts are Locust wood known for its rot resistance, the stringers and pickets are Hemlock. The materials were sourced from Leonard Rohrbach’s sawmill in Bernville who cut the lumber to Matt’s specifications.

Dave Johnston and Dick Schuster removed the old fence and posts which were surprisingly heavy. This task would have not been accomplished without using the farm’s Kubota tractor to pull posts and move the 10-foot fence sections.

Matt and the crew began work on January 16, 2023, setting the new posts, installing the stringers and pickets and wrapped up the project by the end of the following day. The crew’s biggest challenge was to not make the fence look new and perfect as they would for any other customer. Instead, they used random width pickets, with a bit of variation in their length, and the tops of the pickets not perfectly in a straight line - all designed to make the finished project more rustic. Well, the crew nailed it (pun intended) and we have a great looking, sturdy fence with gates that operate effortlessly. The wood will age naturally (with no stain or paint) and Matt suggests that we should expect it to have a weathered patina within a year. Our thanks to AKA Fence Company for this project which enhances one of the first areas that visitors see as they visit the farm.

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