Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grass is where it's at!

I have come to learn that here at the farm one of the most important elements to make the wheels go 'round is what is the state of the grass! In the spring, we want the grass to grow so we can rotate sheep, we want it to be certain length as to avoid parasites and we want plenty of it for the hungry little sheep munchers and their lambs. We also have two horses that love grass and a little donkey that does not need so much grass but is always interested anyway. Of course, this is all tied up with rain and sunny days. But then of course because we are high maintenance so we do not want too much rain because that casuses black spots on the clover and resultes in 'slobbers'.
One of the other issues that greatly interest us in late spring is cutting the grass. My husband is a compulsive mower so the yard is never my concern. However, I lay away nights thinking of where will the sheep graze and what will we cut for hay. We have access to 33 acres of pasture so it keeps me busy. I am all about rotation.
This year we had ample grass to cut, hay and graze. Yippee! What is different about this year is that we got to be involved in 'putting up' our own hay. I never thought it would be so rewarding. I got to drive our neighbor's tractor and what fun that was! The whole family was involved and so far we have 1/2 our goal for hay in the barn. We even bushhogged the first cut in the big field as fertilizer because of the boon this year. My grandfather used to do this to shaking heads, and disbelief of his neighbors. Stories are told that after this practice produced hay stands so thick they would not fall over, they were not so quick to question 'Pa Delk's ' methods."