Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mobbing Along the Meadow

My day begins before dawn. I sip coffee and work on my computer stuff before the activity begins. The sun pops up and then the kids pop up, one at a time. There are breakfasts to get and lamb's milk to warm, and then, once the kids have dined, dressed and the baby diapered, it's time to do the chores.

First, the lambs are let out of their paddock and posts are driven in at the corners to secure it for the pigs.

Next, the pigs are let through to root in the paddock the lambs grazed in the day before.
Posts are driven in to secure the sides of the panels.
The three panels where the pigs used to be are moved to create a new paddock joined to the other one. Then the lambs follow their little mistress into their fresh grazing quarters.
The chicken tractor follows the general path of the sheep and pigs. It is moved to fresh ground on dry days. 

The tall, dead grass from last fall is cut a bit at a time with a sickle to provide fresh bedding for the animals, though enough is left standing to give the chickens plenty of hiding places from hawks.

The spent bedding is spread over the rooted up pasture after the pigs have gone through.

Some areas in the pasture stay green all winter. The dead stalks insulate from the cold, as well as the thick layer of humus below. More biomass exists in the areas where the slope levels off, as it collects the overland runoff from the higher ground during rain showers. Terracing the land for this purpose can greatly increase it's productivity.

Another small resident waits eagerly for a stray seed to grab from pig's breakfast.

Here is a small, terraced garden where the pigs and chickens grazed last fall. It has been divided into beds and paths, and sown with cover crops. The paths are sown with perennial clover. The work is done a bit at a time when there is a break in the rain and a couple of fair days to dry it out enough to work the broadfork.

1 comment:

  1. Well, at least the rain helps you pace yourself. I really love what you are doing with the place!