I had an hour to spare before picking up up the kids at the end of the drive, so I took the opportunity to wander around the south-east corner of the farm. The ponds are looking good.
I was curious if there was any forage left on the ground. In a few places there’s some food, but a lot of the pasture has been eaten way down. Still, there were some richer places.
This is one of the larger ponds. It is full year-round and sits at the border of the property. When I bid for the farm this year our neighbors bid for the pond. The SAFER preferred to keep the farm intact so it stayed with me.
There are still a few fallen trees around the farm from that big 2009 windstorm. Bringing them in is a project for the future.
The lucerne/alfalfa field at that corner of the farm has a lot of thin grass growing underneath. It looks green but I doubt there’s much food value there.
And despite our recent dry weather, I found this a few wet patches like this one. It’s a spring near the top of the pasture. It feeds water into the lakes.
The sun was almost setting and it made clear the patterns in the hillside. There were several of these light trenches running down the pasture paddock. That water from the springs flows slowly down these trenches. This gives me a couple of thoughts. Firstly, how old is this system? Were there older field boundaries and structures to conserve the water? The parcel structure of the land is very complex, much more intricate than the modern paddock boundaries.
My second thought is whether we can better utilize this water source. Given its wetness, I’d like to use this paddock for summer grazing when the Gers gets very dry. Maybe some obstacles to the water flow would help spread the water around the neighboring soil like Peter Andrews does in Australia.
There’s plenty of worm evidence in the pasture. Michael, the sitcom neighbor, calls this wormsign.
All the rain that falls on the farm flows down into the two main little valleys within the farm borders. Both have lakes at the downhill end to capture the water before it leaves.
I like walking the farm. I’m postponing the arrival of animals until the spring when I know there’ll be plenty of forage, but I still like watching the changes as the weather gets colder. It gives me more knowledge before we face the first winter with animals at the end of 2011.