Around the pastures after the snow has gone

A few days ago: snow. We had 12 days of cold with nights dropping down to –10 and days remaining below zero. But we had sun, which warmed the heart if not the water lines.

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The snow has since gone. The grass wasn’t affected by the snow layer.

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Legumes are springing up all over. For example, clover. And there looks to be a bit of a different legume sneaking in at the bottom of the photo. Maybe some lotier?

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This paddock is called Sleepy Hollow after a sunken communal road that runs by it. It was grazed three times last year and had a fair bit of litter build-up. Over winter (and under the snow) this has been forming a nice thatch below the grass. I’m curious to see how well this paddock resists drought this year with this extra sponge protecting the soil.

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One of the benefits of not using fertilizers is that the soil is a more welcoming place for life. More bugs, more spiders, more birds and best of all more worms. We have huge amounts of wormsign in the pastures as the little guys turn dead grass into fresh soil. The moss is getting covered with this new soil. The grasses are outcompeting the moss with these soil improvements.

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Don’t forget the dung beetles.

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The neighbors are hammering in replacement vine posts.

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Some local pilot decided to buzz the farm. This is a lot less disturbing that the usual Mirage or helicopter gunship.

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And a stop by the cows on the way back home.

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5 thoughts on “Around the pastures after the snow has gone

  1. A.A. says:

    I didn’t see your post before the mail. The grass looks really good! Isn’t it amazing to walk around the pastures going “A clover here, another there, oh there’s another one and there too, where are all these coming from!”

    I heard recently that when the mycorrhiza in alive and the plants partner with it, they send up to forty percent of the solar energy they capture down to the soil and basically do with forty percent less themselves, yet grow the same of better. Apparently the mycorrhiza can be huge too, something like one single organism per field. Artificial fertilizer destroys it. I’d check my facts, put it was a streamed talk by Christine Jones, couldn’t find a way to save or browse it.

  2. wobbly says:

    A.A., thanks for the pointer. I read a couple of her articles and learned more about this mycorrhizal fungi. There’s a bigger role for this fungi than I thought. Christine Jones is pushing permanent pasture and pasture cropping as a solution. Since I need to crop my lucerne paddocks every few years maybe there’s something here for us.

  3. wobbly says:

    Hey Susan. We grazed through the winter so the paddock with the most rest has the most growth. I am surprised how much growth we got through the winter.

    I gave them a bale of hay today to go along with the grass to ease the switchover. I’ll probably keep feeding them some hay for the next couple of weeks or so until the grass really gets going.

    How does the early grass look at your place?

  4. Susan Lea says:

    Our grass is coming in, but slowly. We had lots of rain in January, but very little in Feb. We’re still slightly ahead on our yearly average, but almost 2″ behind for Feb. So the grass is feeling the lack of moisture! I’ll try to get some pictures up on my blog. It will be nice to compare to later in the year.

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