Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pasture Healing

Every few days the pasture here needs to be rotated and reworked. There isn't a lot of land at Cold Antler and my entire pasture area for 2 horses, 3 ewes, and a pack goat is around 3 acres. To make the most of it electric netting is set up and moved about every few days. This allows places that are grazed to be rested while the fences move to a new area. In the past I had just fenced a large area and without fail it was aggressively overgrazed until clay paths were started in the soil from hooves and no amount of rain wouldn't slide down the hill. This has been corrected over the years and things have been reworked. The amount of sheep grazing for example, the places they can graze, and the management to keep track of it all on paper at times. All of it worth it. The hillside is entirely green here again. The animals that came this spring are all thriving (though the sheep did have a bit of diarrhea that cleared up quickly). And as over-tread areas heal (like areas that were horse pasture moved back for the sheep), things seem to be healing all around. Which is comforting as hell. To see this place better than it's been in years, the mortgage up to date, the animals well, the sun shining... It's so good. I am trying like crazy to keep that feeling going and I know it is going to be tough. Soon as things seem to be okay around here all sales fall aside. Which of course means there's no income to keep things okay! So if you are interested in seeing this place solvent, send an email and get yourself some pork or handmade soap or a logo for your own farm! All of it helps keep this place going on, and going strong. And I promise if I ever sell this book and have any sort of financial security I will be thrilled not to hustle my wares every post. Right now, I need to get through these next big bills.

Going to share what is up with the gardens in the next post, and what is being built for little projects like the dipper gourd garden (gourden!) and training Cade the pack goat! Also, without a hawk here currently I am working on preparing the mews and weathering yard for a new bird in the fall and hopefully saving up slowly to repair the broken cement porch next to the house with an actual deck (Which is only costing me the wood, friends are building it with me!). All in all - lots of small projects and goals if they are all possible. I certainly won't be building a deck if the truck still needs new tires or I'm behind on the mortgage. I haven't even bough new hiking boots yet I need because I can't swing it right now with the bank account where it is. But talking about money and what can be done without it is part of what this blog is. For example: yesterday I expanded the pig's pasture using just the materials found around the farm - removing old pasture fencing and straightening out old woven wire replaced by the netting in the field and rewiring the electric with discarded (but saved) old wiring. Which was a big all-morning project done for free. And done with the help of friends who helped me move old junk out of the way that had piled behind the barn.

Basically, this place is cautiously optimistic and hoping it stays safe. No new livestock or projects planned, just the garden and the pigs, small super-value flock and the gifted baby goat. And going forward may the hillsides and lawns continue to heal and the gardens thrive. Keeping my head high and the water troughs filled to the brim as summer slides into home.