Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mow, baby, mow!

As much as I drug my feet around Paul's huge desire to buy a tractor, I have to admit it's really been a blessing. We no longer have to push and shove 1000+ lb bales of haylage out of the back of the truck during the nastiest part of winter, things that used to be a pain - like bringing in tons of wood pellets for our winter heat - are now easy with the pallet forks attached, and...we can mow the fields!

We are so impressed with how much our pasture grass has improved over the last year. I cringed every time we fed flakes of hay on the ground, knowing the cattle would eat some and waste most of the rest. Setting out haylage bales around the pasture during winter brought me worries of our herd's feet pugging the soft soil and causing damage. Imagine my delight when the grasses started to grow last month! I truly can't believe my eyes...even without harrowing to break up the manure piles and spread the old hay and haylage like we should have, the grass seeds, clover and other legumes bundled in the feed we bought have seeded our pasture. Granted, we don't have much, and some areas still need a lot of work, but now that we've seen what ground feeding around the pasture can do, you can bet we'll do it again this winter!

Right now, Paul is outside on the tractor, brush hogging (i.e. cutting with a rotary mower) our 2.5 acres of pasture. I wish we'd gotten to this chore a little sooner when the spring rains were more reliable, but we'll make do. I see some rain forecast for the week and am hoping the freshly mown grass - cut to about 6" in height - will get a chance to grow and stay ahead of the weeds. As pretty as the purple seed heads of the orchard grass were to look at, they and their fellow grass species have been wreaking havoc on my ever-present allergies. We may be slow learners, but we do learn, and boy, is it ever fun!

The first pass of the morning.

The height of the grass almost makes my knees weak!

We have a long way to go before our fields look like our leased pasture, but that's ok! After all, we're just going for a little winter stockpile at our place.

1 comment:

  1. The pasture looks great! We're clearing our first plot of land using pigs this year. I hope to be able to graze the cows on it a couple times next summer.
    I had to go back and reread about the two new bodies in the last picture. What's their story?



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