Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Restoring Pasture

This weekend Byron got on a restoration kick...outside, that is. A few weeks ago when he helped the farmer who cuts the field next to us, he volunteered to cut hay for him next spring. We're going to give him some hay in exchange for using his equipment, and we're planning on cutting our own side field. Since hay can last for about three years if kept dry, it will give us a chance to stockpile for when we're able to get a cow or two. Speaking of, said farmer blessed us with over 20 bales this fall, so hay is now residing in the loft of the barn...for the first time in decades!

In order to prep our pasture for spring, we had to break up the ground in several bare areas. We're not sure why it was patchy, but we planted orchard grass and a sprinkling of red clover. They're good companion plants, and we'll use the rest of the red clover for a winter cover crop in the garden area in order to put some nitrogen into the soil.

Breaking up the soil:

Red clover seed...not what we expected!

The kids helped gather leftover hay from the field next to us...

...and we placed it over the seeded areas. The next morning brought a nice, steady rain, so we're hoping our little experiment yields more than our garden did this year.

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