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The Fence Post

Your Pool Fence

June 27, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

  black hex wire pool fence

Safety Above All 

Getting serious about a swimming pool? Great! However, don't ignore the fence around the pool and pool area--particularly in the case of young children who are curious and are intrigued by water, and will undoubtedly want to investigate the area where all the fun happens. The right fence and mesh products are an indisputable protection. Too many folks have suffered tragic losses--when one thinks about how easy it is to get caught up with what you're doing and for a toddler to slip from your periphery. Vigilance is naturally the key, but it's advised, well more than that, it is mandatory to have solid backup--meaning reliable products that help in our struggle to keep our pool environments a safe place--reserved for refreshment, relaxation, and fun. 

No doubt you have put a lot of thought into the plans for the pool and its surrounds--the shape, depth, and position of the pool, the appropriate (and beautiful) landscaping, and all the details that will bring your ideas to fruition. Here are some thoughts about some necessities to check off your list.

A Must: Self-Closing Gates

Consulting the town building inspector is one of your first stops. Requirements and restrictions are an important key to your pool project. If this is a DIY project, familiarizing yourself with your local pool safety laws concerning your fence and various specifications is vital. Self-closing gates are a good example: a child is not necessarily going to close a gate, particularly if the goal of being in the pool is tantamount! So a self-closing gate is really a universal requirement.

If you are having the fence installed by a reputable fence company any questions you may have can be answered by them. Still, understanding the codes ahead of time will help you anticipate these obligations.

Protection Against the Unthinkable

We must face the fact that installing an excellent fence around the pool of your dreams is for everyone's safety and quite literally a protection for you and your family and friends against catastrophe. Planning the fence is as important as designing the pool.

Here are some, not all, above-ground and in-ground swimming pool barrier requirements: 

  • 48 inches in height or higher
  • should not be climbable
  • is foothold-free
  • have self-closing gates
  • have self-latching gates
  • handhold-free
  • small openings: horizontal - no wider than 1-3/4"; vertical - no higher than 4"
  • able to be locked
  • a clearance from ground level to the barrier should less than 4 inches

Thankfully, there are a variety of styles of pool fence that meet code requirements. 

Moving on, If you are presently planning to upgrade your current fence or planning to install a new fence, one of your choices is fence panels or cutting a welded wire fence roll. Here are some further ideas:

 

Welded Wire Fence for Pool Barrier

Some Options: Panels or Do-It-Yourself

A little more costly, a swift and straightforward method for ensuring safety around a pool are panels that are made flat and cut to your specifications. The savings in time may be worth it. The number of finishes, gauges, and configurations of mesh are many and come in sheets that are unframed. The frames can be created during the time the panels are being delivered. 

To save some money, you can cut the welded wire fence roll into panels yourself. Bear in mind that this will provide some challenge and that two cuts are required for each panel, the first panel excepting. The cut wires that remain exposed must be trimmed so that they are not left ragged. Some fortitude is necessary as wire cutting demands a steady hand and some patience. Naturally, the thicker the gauge of the wire, more strength will be required. On that, going the panel route saves quite a bit of your time and spares your hand.

And for you Do-It-Yourselfers--as welded wire has a memory, so to speak--roll the cut panel in reverse, tie it up, and let it soak up the sun for a day. 

Mesh, Gauge, and Other Choices

The mesh openings, wire gauges, and finishes are identical in the cut panels or in the rolls, and on that, we have a post which may be helpful in making the right fence choices--just follow this link to read about it. 

Opening sizes for mesh are available in various possibilities of finish: galvanized, vinyl coated, stainless steel and plain steel. Standard sized roll widths for the panels, which are made flat and cut to size, come in 72", 60", 36", 24" and 18". However, the length can vary somewhat, depending on your need. Please feel free to ring us with any questions--(800) 225-0508.

Still, relying on these precautions is not enough.

Here is a sobering video showing the ingenuity of toddlers as they outsmart barriers created for their protection.

Vigilance is required! Parents: Put down cellphones, tablets and laptops! At all times you should be in the pool with children 5 and younger and have your eyes on children 6 and above.

Fence Panels

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Topics: swimming pool fence, panels, vinyl coated, 1x1, 1 1/2"x4"

The Cultivated Oyster

May 7, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

oysters on ice in a wooden box

Oyster Farmers: Man your Cages 

Painstaking methods and ongoing research are required in the process of bringing this coastal crop to our tables. Oysters are luxuriant in the minerals they contain while offering us bountiful nutrition and culinary joy. Unfortunately, oysters have been under attack in the past few hundred years and the current restoration of oyster reefs all along America's coastline is providing some protection for the humble mollusk, which in turn will protect us.

Oysters and Nutrition

A single medium-sized raw oyster contains roughly 5 grams of high quality and complete protein, as well as these life-saving and life-enhancing vitamins and nutrients:

Zinc--the humble oyster is brimming with the stuff. Zinc is important for cell division and is responsible for the function of red and white blood cells in our bodies. It is indispensable for physical performance, energy levels, body composition and maintaining ideal hormone levels. Zinc is also an antioxidant--busy stabilizing stress levels and fighting aging. Low levels of zinc are known to cause reduced libido and infertility.

Potassium--occurs in high levels in oysters: it helps lower blood pressure, relax blood vessels, and provide good cholesterol.

Vitamin D--essential for absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth. Low vitamin D is associated with breast, colon and prostate cancers, heart disease, depression, and weight gain.

Vitamin E--aids in making cellular membranes strong and flexible.

Vitamin B12--oysters are an excellent source. B12 regulates metabolism and formation of red blood cells while maintaining the central nervous system, brain health, and development.

Iron--the main component of hemoglobin, which is a protein that carries oxygen in the blood. Iron is crucial to red blood cell production and therefore to vitality. In its fight against anemia, iron stimulates the nervous system, supporting muscles and energy levels, cognitive function, and stomach health.

Copper--regulates iron, ensures appropriate enzymatic reactions, enhances the health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes. It regulates heart rhythm, balances thyroid levels, enhances red blood cell production, and reduces cholesterol. Amino acids and vitamins are metabolized by copper. The body does not manufacture it and therefore must be added through diet. Consult an oyster.

Manganese--a powerful antioxidant. Creates essential enzymes for building bone, maintaining bone structure, and bone metabolism. Assists in the formation of connective tissues and absorption of calcium while regulating sex hormones, healthy blood sugar levels, and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.

Selenium--an antioxidant, a catalyst for active thyroid hormone production, necessary for sperm motility, may prevent miscarriage and is thought to be a mood stabilizer. Healthy levels are linked to reduced cancer and heart disease risk.

Yet as always, consume oysters in moderation as they are so vitamin rich, they can result in mineral overdose, and always buy them from reputable sources. Consume oysters as a preventative and not as a medical treatment, especially in the case of established heart disease. And the martini you might add to the mix? Well...life has its trade-offs. 

Methods of Cultivation

One of the most common methods of cultivation is cage-raised oysters. Many of our favorites, indeed a majority, are bred this way. Fortunately, shell-fish farms are high on the list of sustainable methods of farming--pleasing environmentalists and purveyors. Some methods of cultivation are rack and bag, tray, floating and buoy suspension. 

Cage-raised Oysters cultivated above the bottom of a bay are:

  • kept cleaner
  • protected from predators
  • thinner-shelled oysters
  • resulting in better yields
  • sometimes mixed in their cultivation--cage-raised above, then transferred to the bottom of the bay toward the end of their development--creating stronger shells   

Oysters raised on the bottom of the ocean floor are:

  • similar to how oysters grow in the wild
  • stronger shelled
  • vulnerable to mother nature
    • oysters may suffocate under the bottom of the bay
    • suffer attack by predators, such as the oyster drill or the New England dog whelk, commonly found in intertidal areas of Rhode Island
    • frozen in ice and taken out to sea

Methods used to raise oysters on the bottom of the ocean are many and may depend on geography--beach versus bay, local regulations, predators, and weather. Louis Page will stock your enterprise with a variety of necessities, be it 12.5 gauge galvanized after, 14 or 16 gauge vinyl coated wire mesh in 3/4" x 3/4', 1" x 1", 1.5" x 1.5" openings or hardware cloth which comes in 1/2" x 1/2" and 1/4" x 1/4". The wire mesh heights typically used by the oyster industry range from 12" to 48".

Learn from a farmer in action:

 

Cleaning and Maintaining the Environment

One adult oyster filters 30 to 50 gallons of water every day. Pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon dioxide are filtered from coastal waters by oysters, rendering them clearer and cleaner. The presence of oysters helps to control algae as they build up ecosystems by attracting various types of sea life. A keystone species is central to keeping an ecosystem functioning and as such, oysters are relied upon by other species in maintaining biodiversity along coastlines and in estuaries.

The Mollusk That Fed New York

350 square miles of Oyster Reefs. In the 1600s, that was the approximate number of oyster reefs occupying the waters around the city of New York. Oysters were plentiful and by the 1800s oyster carts were the hot dog stands of the day. At the time, half of the world's oyster population was found in that area. 85% of oyster reefs have disappeared around the world in the last 100 years, due to higher ocean acidity, over-harvesting, and disease. By the early 1900s, the oysters were gone, eaten. Wouldn't you know it, these reefs control erosion and act as buffers from high waves during storms; hence, major cities are protected by them. Oyster reefs act in a sponge-like way, drawing the energy out of passing waves and are actually more effective and inexpensive than steel walls and wooden bulkheads, which increase sand erosion ahead of these artificial structures.

Military and environmental groups are working together to plant miles of oyster reefs along the coastline of New Jersey, which has suffered much storm damage in recent years. Other reefs are being built along the East Coast as far south as Florida. Amazingly, every coastal state in the U.S. is using oyster reefs for the buffering of storms and/or water amelioration. As they struggle to survive, it is best to leave these wild oysters and their reefs to their important work, and rely on farmed oysters for consumption. 

oysters on the half shell

Growing Hope                                                                                                                                           There is a project afoot to rebuild the oyster reefs around the New York Harbor in the next twenty years. The Billion Oyster Project sets its sights on building 100 acres of oyster reefs which will become home to a billion oysters by 2035. Oyster larvae, known as spat, naturally attach to oyster shells and after many generations, build up the reef. Based on the success of a scheme in the Chesapeake, restaurants are returning oyster shells so that after curing for an extended time, they are put back onto the reefs that are being rebuilt.      

Louis Page is committed to sourcing and delivering the finest fence and mesh available to do the rugged and exacting work of cultivating oysters. You can be assured that the products we sell are the best-engineered on the market today. 

 

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Topics: hardware cloth, GAW, vinyl coated, 3/4x3/4, 1x1, 16 gauge, 1.5x1.5, 1/2x1/2, 14 gauge, galv after, 12.5 gauge

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