Wednesday, May 18, 2011

grass growth

This has been a wet spring, with steady rain on a frequent basis. Weather reports tell us it is actually a record setting amount of rain. As farmers we monitor the rain and sun every single day, hoping for a bit of each daily. Our well pump was replaced a few days ago, and the rain barrels have been placed in their spots for the 2011 growing season. 4,000 gallons saved with 1 inch of rain in those barrels! In theory we would use the water on the outside beds right next to them a day or 2 after the rain, but there has been rain every day. Matt Soper gave Homer a submersible pump, and Homer has hooked it up so that the water from the rain barrels is being used inside the hoophose on rows of peas, sunflowers and various other grrens, lettuces and radishes for our CSA.

As a grass farmer, Homer wants grass to groww as much of the year as possible, since it provides the entire feed for the cattle and a good portion of feed for the poultry and pork. He manages the grass by using electric wires or pens (depending on the livestock) and moves all animals daily.

Last fall I loaded wheelbarrows up with cow leavings and put them in our compost pile. It just looked too unsightly with short grass and all those cow flops, so I cleaned up areas in the vicinity of our walking paths. In spots where I left them, the grass growth has been huge this year, outstripping any other locations. And the cattle, as soon as they are moved to a new paddock. run to these spots to eat them first. Especially the big one, Sybil. Here she is having it her way:

video
That looks like pure happiness to me. The smaller cattle need to get growing, there are days when they disappear the grass is so high!

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