Innisfree Farm: Day 16 – winter grass

What do pastured cattle eat during the winter?  Hay!  These bales are around 3 1/2 feet tall, and 6 of them will fit in our bale wagon.  Depending on how cold/snowy it is during a given week, it will take our 30 cows & calves 3-5 days to eat all that…so we need a lot! […]

What do pastured cattle eat during the winter?  Hay!  These bales are around 3 1/2 feet tall, and 6 of them will fit in our bale wagon.  Depending on how cold/snowy it is during a given week, it will take our 30 cows & calves 3-5 days to eat all that…so we need a lot!  This is hay stored in our barn, and we also have outside storage for more bales.  There is a “bale spear” attachment for our tractor that we spear the bale with, then move it to the wagon.  The cows are always pretty excited to see the empty wagon leave the paddock and return full of bales – they usually don’t even wait until we’ve parked the wagon to stick their heads in and start munching.

This just shows that you *can* raise good beef on grass…corn isn’t necessary.  We feed them bales, oats (which is more of a treat than anything), and we also have large mineral buckets out for them (no grass is perfect, and the minerals our grass lacks are important for healthy pregnancies and calves, so the mineral buckets are their “daily vitamins”).

016

Read more at my Innisfree Farm weblog...

Innisfree Farm: Could “earthing” help us rebalance our charged modern lives?

I’m usually skeptical of the claims of most “naturalistic” cures for things, not because I don’t believe they can work, but because history demonstrates they’re no more of a panacea than modern medicine. Yet, there are some concepts that are so logical and contain such an element of historical veracity that I can’t help but […]

I’m usually skeptical of the claims of most “naturalistic” cures for things, not because I don’t believe they can work, but because history demonstrates they’re no more of a panacea than modern medicine. Yet, there are some concepts that are so logical and contain such an element of historical veracity that I can’t help but believe they’re true.

Food Renegade‘s recent article on the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? rings with that kind of veracity for me, simply because it speaks to ways humans lived with a great deal of success for thousands of years before now. Basically put, we’re suffering as modern people because we don’t walk barefoot in the grass enough. Does that seem too simplistic? Read the article and see what you think.

DLH

Read more at my Farming blog...

Read more at my Innisfree Farm weblog...

Innisfree Farm: What don’t they eat?

Goats eat.  A lot.  And with 5 of them, they can demolish a lot of greenery in a short period of time.  Here’s an example – we have the goats on our west hill, which hasn’t been mowed or grazed … Continue reading

Goats eat.  A lot.  And with 5 of them, they can demolish a lot of greenery in a short period of time.  Here’s an example – we have the goats on our west hill, which hasn’t been mowed or grazed for 5+ years, so it’s very grown over:

 

Enter the goats – this picture is after 5 days of goat demolition:

And after 7 or so days, here’s the carnage:

As you can see, there is a lot of thatch and dead grass, but after another year of goats working it over, this area will be looking much better and be growing better grass for the goats to eat!

And as to what greenery goats won’t eat – there is a type of low-growing ground cover (found especially under our pine trees) that they just don’t like.

Read more at my Innisfree Farm weblog...