The biggest move over will the comfrey, I have at least 15 plants to dig, split into two or four and replant them. I will be replanting 30 to 40 Comfrey plants into the this new fodder garden.
This will still leave me my main two rows of comfrey for use this year but it will up the production in a massive way on this plant on the farm.
I want to be able to take out many more baskets of freshly chopped comfrey leaves for the farms livestock. I still need to produce enough to do all the garden use I do. This area is one of the few that its spreading habit will be a good thing.
When I have enough I feed it out typically at these rates The chickens get 3 oz per bird per day, the piglet get a pound per day, the weaned lambs get half a pound per head working up to a pound per day, the milking rabbit does get a leaf a day and the milking sheep a goat can get up to two pounds per day. Comfrey is a plant that has a long history as fodder plant.
The second big row that is having a line of transplanting will be nettle roots, Nettles are outstanding as livestock feed for use in winter and or use with my milking animals. This area is not for fresh use, its totally for harvesting, drying and outside summer use. I have enough now to meet my fresh needs, the household year round needs, and the garden-livestock fresh summer needs.
What I need is more dried for livestock needs and I need to have a larger area so that I can start digging a percentage of roots for livestock use.
The third row will be digging out my current Sunchokes patches and doing a clean up and replanting of all those extra roots that will create the 3rd row in this fodder garden. I am going to share a great post I did on Sunchokes back in 2016. I am after the greens of this plant for fall fodder and the roots for barn use into fall-winter as fodder.
The last row in the area will be a annual.. sunflowers. Black Oil Sunflowers. I have grown the big Russian sunflowers on the farm over the years but I want to increase the Boss use on the farm as a fodder, so I will be adding in a second sunflower growing area.
These four will be the backbone of the new fodder garden. The best perk of these is that it will not cost me a dime to do the planting of these. I have all the plants, roots, and or seeds needed on the farm or in my current seed storage. That is outstandingly frugal in its own right.
This post is part of the 31 day challenge on what are we doing to increase our self reliance, the most I can grow, harvest and use fodder that is raised on the farm, the less I need to buy off the farm. What will it cost.. time of course
Still the plants are at the point they need to be split, or dug and replanted so this is just taking a job that already needs to be done and turn it into very productive replant that will return year after year.
What do you grow on your homestead that is used to help reduce costs and feed your livestock? Beyond the normal of pasture or hay or if you really have a larger farm, your own grains. For those that have limited land, we need to get more creative on what we grow to help in this way.