Friday, September 7, 2012

Dreaming of Greener Pastures

Pasture Seeds
Okay so if you've been following my crazy ideas, you may remember that I attempted to grow alfalfa. It sort of worked, mostly. At least, the cows said it tasted great and preferred it 9 times out of 10 over flakes of dry alfalfa hay...

Anyways, that pasture area needs some love. It's growing alfalfa, wild amaranth...and a here and there crop of tumbleweeds. I figured since things grew there with not too much work, I should not give up on the idea of pastures. It's a great idea if it actually works and I can manage it properly by controlling the grazing of my gigantic ruminants. That kind of control will mean a series of fences and gates so animals can be rotated...but that's another project for another day.

In the meantime, I need to actually grow pastures so that I will have areas that require fencing and gates.

The 'Empty Gap' between the bucks and the sheep.
Some time ago, Jorge, my huge Alpine buck, and Lucky, my Blackbelly ram, decided they wanted to kill each other and the fence between well as the creepy old coop since it was there and it's fun to beat the heck out of things with horns, if you happen to have horns on your head. So, that led to a 1/4 reduction in the sheep's large fenced area. It led to corral panels tied with horse fencing on Jorge's area. And this change left a gap between the two species so they couldn't hit each other through the fence anymore. I know, I know, I'm always ruining everyone's good times.

The empty gap was heavily fertilized with sheep poo and it's been sitting their composting for some time. For a while, it was a dumping ground for unused construction junk, but no more. Today it becomes a mini pasture. I have a couple bags of mixed pasture seeds suitable for my area that I got from Peaceful Valley aka that I wanted to try out.

Highly technical seed spreader.
So I whipped out my fancy dancy seed sowing device that I got from the local Wal-Mart, filled it up with several cupfuls of seed, grabbed my rake and headed to the gap. There, I was watched over by my trusty sidekick, Max. He was fascinated as I raked a long area, seeded it, then raked it again to cover the seeds. He laid in the newly planted area to test the ground for...whatever it is dogs test it for.

It didn't take very long to finish this patch since the ground is very moist from a nice rain yesterday. Maybe it will keep raining and this stuff will work. There are already wild amaranth and purslane seedlings popping up in there. It could work...

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