Mo Bloggin'

A little o' this, a little o' that

Archive for the tag “pasture management”

What happened to June?

Summer solstice sunset

Summer solstice sunset

Like, where the heck did it go so fast?  I looked at the calendar today and couldn’t believe that we’re in the last week of June, with only a week until July 4, Independence Day and a national holiday here in the U.S.  I suppose part of the reason it feels like it went so fast is because I’ve been busy, and can hardly keep up with everything.  This time of year is a challenge, with the urgency of planting season and pruning back the jungle like two monsters threatening to devour a city, all while working 9-5, caring for a few dozen animals (livestock and house pets), trying to keep up with housework and errands, socializing and the holiest grail of all: down time.  I’ve written about the juicy jungle growth of June before; you think I’d get used to it but the explosion of vegetative growth is stunning every year.  Right now my driveway to

Welcome to the jungle.

Welcome to the jungle.

the gate looks like an abandoned logging road, with the salmonberry, thimbleberry, Indian plum, reed canary grass, trailing blackberry, bracken fern, sword fern, filbert trees, nettles, fringecup, manroot (wild cucumber) and Himalayan blackberry creating a wall on either side of the drive, and down the middle the plantain, grasses, buttercup, and self-heal tickle my car’s underbelly as I drive up (and I’ve already weed whacked it once).  It looks totally abandoned.

1106

Oink. Oink.

Inside the gate, though, the sheep have kept everything mowed down and pruned back.  The piggy BWM boys’ summer job fell through this year (they were usurped by miniature horses), so having the entire flock of nine on site all summer means that I really have to manage the grass crop.  I let them out every evening, and much of the day on the weekends, to mow and munch on pretty much everything on the property.  For the first time in the three years I’ve been here I haven’t needed to mow or weed whack the grass around the house.  The hillside behind the house is almost putting green short (overgrazed, yes, but I’m not trying to grow pasture there).  They keep the grass cropped and sample and prune most everything they can reach.  They don’t like stinging nettles (unfortunately, as I have a bumper crop every year) but they do like Devil’s Club – a wondrous, and wickedly spiny, 4 – 6 foot high

Devil's club

Devil’s club

shrub that grows in little colonies.  Thankfully they aren’t mowing that down (perversely, I love the Devil’s club – it has a magical energy).  They’ve learned to walk into all their favorite understory shrubs, pushing the plant down as they walk into it, and lowering the yummy leaves to where they can eat them.  They’ve kept the salmonberry and sword fern bordering the open area around the house from making further headway in the vegetative master plan to engulf the house.  Everything is pruned at sheep’s head high, and the plants on the edge completely denuded as they employ their new trick.  Still, it feels like a jungle out there.   We had some rain this past week or so, after almost two weeks of solid sun (loved it!), which will help the pasture to recover and regrow.  In the meantime they’re in their confinement area and I’m filling hay nets every day.  Ugh.  I probably should have pulled them off the pasture two weeks ago, given the dry spell we had, but it’s not hideously overgrazed, so will hopefully recover quickly with the recent rain and coming sunshine.  No need to hire the pasture mower this year!

1102I have the garden about half planted.  I think I’m even further behind than I was last year, but I’ve decided it’s all okay.  Local farmers are harvesting lettuce and kale and onions already while mine are just sprouting.  Tonight the soil was too wet and soggy to work after a week of rain, so I wasn’t able to get out there.  This weekend will be perfect for finishing up planting and transplanting, and I’ll have a lovely fall garden in two or three months.

Post Navigation

Saying Hello to Goodbye

Lessons of loving and losing an animal companion

eileenanddogs

What my dogs teach me

awesomedogs

Dog News and Views for Pets and their People: From Pet Columnist Yvette Van Veen www.awesomedogs.ca

BARKS from the Guild

A Must Read for Pet Professionals!

The Science Dog

By Linda P. Case

The Tangled Nest

creative wild life

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said

bookish

looking at the world through book-colored glasses

Cuaderno Inédito

Notes & advice for writers & editors by Julie Schwietert Collazo.

How To Needle Felt With Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

How to needle felt for beginners onward. Full of needle felting ideas, advice, tips, tutorials and tea, lots of Yorkshire Tea!

Anna Blake

Horse Trainer, Clinician, & Author

The First Ten Words by Rich Larson

Because a guy has to keep his chops sharp

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).

Citizens for Duvall

A grass roots group that gives a voice to its citizens outside of city council meetings.

Pet Zoo Shiller

משק חי שילר

camino times two

walking together on the way of saint james

Trish the Dish

Keeping Our Family's Bellies and Minds FULL.... One Dish at a Time

Hen Corner

A little bit of country life in West London...

morrisbrookfarm

Going back...a return to rural life

Relaena's Travels

Eternal Journeys of a Curious Mind

The Global Warmers

8 dogs, 2 elderly adults and an aging RV

KDD & co

Award-winning Scottish publishing and design

Fiber Trek

Calling the wild back to craft

Brookfield Farm Bees & Honey Blog

musings on bees, life, & nature near Mt. Baker Washington

An American Editor

Commentary on Books, eBooks, and Editorial Matters

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

ella gordon

textile maker

Jenny Bruso

An Unlikely Hiker Blog

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Squash Practice

A Growing Concern

Food, Farming and Faith in Snohomish County

Icelandic Fiber Farming in Cascadia

Carol Lea Benjamin on Dogs

Understanding dogs and the many roles they play in our lives

Mo Bloggin'

A little o' this, a little o' that

Living Your Sacred Livelihood

Weaving the Wisdom in Nature with Possibility Practices

Chris Morgan's Wildnotes

A BLOG of pictures and thoughts from the field

Denise Fenzi

a professional dog trainer specializing in relationship-building in competitive dog sport teams

Black Sheep Creamery

Artisan Sheep Cheese, Wool and Lambs

Woolyadventures's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

flippity felts

Curious and Quirky needle felts

Single Life, With Puppy

Suddenly single at 55; what to do but get a puppy?

Eat, Play, Love

making memories through food, wine and travel

Pam Grout

#1 New York Times best-selling author