Sunday, June 27, 2010

Natural Lawn Mowers, Wildflowers, And Re Growth Of The Pasture

I have stopped the rotation on the land next to our farm and have the cows up in the yard to mow the grass, the chickens are having a fun time too scratching up the cowpies, and our egg customers wonder why the eggs taste so good! We tell them that our chickens get to run around and eat good thing ,sparing the details!

Below are non grass plants that are growing in the pasture. I am amazed what is coming up and blooming, there are plants I did not know were out there since I would have let the animals re graze it by now.
Black eyed susan
Red clover
Hairy vetch seed pods they look like little pea pods
Cinquefoil a member of the rose family
Spotted nap weed
Or sometimes called star thistle it is an non native plant from the steppes in Russia and is the only reason migratory beekeepers bring their hives up here, it makes a very good honey.
A fun guy
Ground cherry it is a member of the nightshade family it gets a little berry like a little yellow tomato and is edible.
A hairy vetch blossom with a bumblebee on it.
I don't know the name of this plant nor what the bloom looks like either.

Crown vetch
Pepper grass it is not a grass but a member of the brassica family.
This is how the pasture looks after 50 days after it was grazed once

It is very tempting to re graze this grass but with the new holistic system I will wait 40 more days this will let the grass grow long and then I can hopefully graze longer into the early winter, that up here can start in October.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

pasture update

The pasture is maturing but is a bit stunted do to no rain for three weeks. But we just got a few inches and so it should start looking better.
This is how it looks between the three stones now a month later.
There is a lot of wild Hairy Vetch growing in most sections of the pasture. It is hard to see in this photo it is the lighter green stuff with a bit of purple.
I found a new use for my scythe. I could not get the push lawn mower started so I used my scythe to do the mowing of the path where the fence goes to keep it from shorting out. The scythe worked well for this and it does not shred the clippings but puts them to the side of the path and then the animals can still eat it. It also cuts down on the farm's fossil fuel consumption.
A portable "shade tree" I rigged up for the hot sunny days we had.