Check out the field in the background of the picture covered in Dandelion fluff. Now look at the closer fields. Barely any. Both of these fields are pasture, but the one in the distance is the neighbour’s field. The excess of dandelions is a sign of over grazing. The grass gets cut down just a bit too much and the dandelions out-compete it. The fields at this farm have also been in permanent pasture since 1857, with only one field that has ever been cultivated. Dandelions aren’t a huge problem in pasture though. The cattle will eat them before they go to seed if they’re given a chance. It’s the burdock, thistles, daisies, asters, buttercups and any other plants the cattle won’t eat that are unwanted.
Solar energy powers the pump shown in these pictures. The spring-fed pond provides water for the cows, calves and cattle all summer long. The water is pumped up the hill in an underground pipe to the permanent water trough. To accommodate two separate herds, the trough is strategically placed on the farm so that fencing can be set up to divide it in half allowing both herds to drink from it at once.
I moved to a new farm for the summer. We take care of cattle for grass fed beef. With all the rain this spring the grass is growing tall and green. Unlike many vegetable farmers permanent pastures are ahead of schedule. I will blog more about what happens here as …