Notes from the Farm
As the days turn cooler, we are transitioning to our fall workload. Summer and early fall bring a myriad of tasks— daily animal movements and temporary fence set up and take down (rotational grazing), calving, mowing, fence clearing, and haying.
With each changing season, the farm team looks forward to a slightly different pace of work. Now, we’re ready for a shift to catch up on projects and prepare for a busy fall with new fencing and water infrastructure improvements.
We plan to take one of our warm season grass hayfields and convert it to cattle pasture as we accommodate the growth of our cattle herd. This is a field that we take hay from that has never been grazed. The hay that we make comes from our fenced pastures. We take a first cutting and let the cow herd graze for the remainder of the year, cycling nutrients as nature intended. Fencing this hayfield will allow this pasture to re-mineralize and provide a diverse array of cool and warm season grasses and continue to be an important area for wildlife habitat.
After that project, we will work with John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District to site a new fencing and watering system which has unprotected water. This will entail exclusion fencing around streams that feed into Mill Run. Grazing these perennial pastures cycles nutrients, builds soil organic matter, and increases the wildlife diversity season after season.
Photo above courtesy of Hugh Kenny