April 2015

April 2015

We’ve decided that March and April are the hardest months around here. The pasture isn’t ready to graze, hay stocks are running low, mud… Now more than any other time, patience is required of both us and the animals.

Animals have needs of course. Food, shelter, water… Grass has needs to. Water, food, grazing, and recovery time. In early spring they need to grow, restore their roots and get ready for summer. Grazing at this time of year robs the grass of this early growth, potentially slowing down growth for the rest of the season. Anyway, I had to graze more than I wanted to this spring and hope that things are set back too much later in the summer.

The cows are grazing ‘candy grass’ right now. I’m moving them twice a day to spread out the impact and allow more recovery time.

I built an eggmobile this spring! Very cool.

Old on the left, new on the right.

Old on the left, new on the right.

 

The idea is the chickens sleep, eat, and lay eggs in this contraption. They have a door, so they can leave and spend most of the day down in the grass eating, scratching, and enjoying themselves. I can also graze sheep and pigs in there with the chickens, they can’t get to the chickens food and I can move 3 different species at the same time. Hopefully this winds up being as neat as I think it is.

We installed a drip irrigation system for our vegetable garden, hopefully greatly simplifying the irrigation process around here. Last summer it was 3 hrs a day, 3x per week.

Lastly, we bought a young steer.

2 belted critters, funny.

2 belted critters, funny.

He’s a Belted Galloway, a heritage cattle breed. The first few hours were tough, trying to get a new cattle in with our existing and trained to electric fence all at the same time. Then I remembered, duh, we have goat netting. So I put him in the netting, able to touch noses with his new friends, but not able to escape. After 2 days of that he is trained, friendly, and as lovely as the rest of our crew.

Our first farmers market is May 23 here in Montrose. Lots of little details to take care of between now and then…

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