Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mob Grazing On A Small Scale

Comeback Farms: Rejuvenating Soils, Pastures and Profits with Livestock Grazing Management

Where have I been, you ask?  Well, I have been here, just busy.  I know, the same old excuse, right?  I promise, I have been.

There are so many things going through my head, right now, that it is causing a little anxiety.  I am trying to do the foremost thing that a grassfarmer should do, think.  It would seem that, since I hit 40, that thinking thing comes a bit more labrously.

But, I am thinking of things I would like to do to prepare for the spring.  The biggest thing I want to accomplish is to get some grass sown.  I plan to do this the same way I have in the past, and it has proven moderately successful.  I plan to throw down the seed in the places I spread hay.  This serves a two-fold purpose.  The first is that the hay, itself, has plenty of seeds in it, thus I spread it around, trying hard to avoid feeding it in the same spot, day after day.  Through this, the seed gets spread, pretty simple.  The second is that when I throw the seed down around the feed spot, the cattle push it in the ground, saving me from having to till.  Dual purpose with good results.

A good source of grass is essential to a sustainable rotation.  I am still working toward this end as what we had to start with was not so good.  We have improved much over the last few years, and I expect that trend to continue.

I plan to cut down the brambles that plague the pastures.  This should help in the microbial action and build the soil.  Last year, I implemented what I call a pseudo-mob grazing on our small homestead.  I liked what I saw and I was even able to extend the grazing season a month longer than last year.  This year, I am going to try to dicipline myself to control the grazing a bit more and mob them even more.  I may chicken out, when the grass is too short, I get nervous.  The goal is to create a longer rest period between first and last paddocks.

I want to study this closer than in time past.  What I want to do is take our small homestead and make it a model for mob grazing on a very small scale.  We're talking 3-5 animals on 5 acres.  Ten acres, if I can get some fence built this year.  I've been trying to build that fence for two years now.  Pray about that, please.

So, I will keep you posted as things progress.  I have high hopes, but first, I need to get some seed in the ground.  THen there are the broilers and the rabbits and the.....

1 comment:

Worldturners said...

Have you thought of electric netting for fence? They sell it at Premier1, and Joel Salatin recommends it.