Tree Hay and cleaning up pastures

I am still faithfully cutting and feeding out tree hay to the flock, they seem to really like it.. they come running when called an they will clean it all up, by tomorrow all the leaves and all the thin green tips of wood will be eaten off, leaving me with thin fire starting branches and large branches that are ready to be cut into small fire logs for stacking.

The still in milk ewe’s are without a doubt the ones that eat the longest at a time, they seem to really! like it. The lambs are more a graze or nibble.. the goat kids however are also crazy about it.. they really enjoy it!

On the flip side in the newly fenced off pasture (now called the Front Pasture) I have kept all critters out of it for the past weeks and intend to keep it critter free till mid aug at which point, it will be opened up for the sheep flock only as it will be my fall finishing lambs and flushing ewe’s. Then everyone is being pulled off it and I will be working it and re-seeding it heavily for stripe grazing next year with hot line fencing.

However this weekend we needed to get rid of the Canadian Thistle that was just ready to start blooming, they were cut down and allowed to dry in this crazy heat for two days and then they were done in a slow burn in our burning pit.  Every single other county around me has fire bans on and the truth is, we should as well.. but we don’t!  I got a nice started with some of the branches that came down in a storm and did not get feed to the critters (such a waste of greens) and once it got going, I dumped the somewhat dried thistle on top of it to smolder itself down.

None the less I took great care, I did it in smaller slower batches and used the hose to wet the area down around it just to be on the safe side. It made me hmm in regards to anything that could “ash” upwards in regards to possible spread.. its just way to dry to mess with..

It meant that I got to spend a couple hours in the shade keeping a eye on this, glad the job is done now as I did not feel I could leave it even for a few minutes at a time. I did do chores and cleaned out the rabbit hutches an raked up some of their poo as well.

The next chore that I must do in this pasture is to take the pitch fork and the wheel barrel and pick up all the horse poo’s and haul them out and stack them in a compost pile for future garden use. The sheep and goat can stay there and I will spread out some mixed finished compost in certain area’s of the pasture as I want to feed the whole pasture. I will look forward to seeing how it will do with different seeding out.

The chore after that is that there is a old feed area that now is in effect a five year old compost pile and I have a lot of compost-soil blend there that I need to dig out and move for garden use in the food forest area and then once I get to soil, I want to put it out a mix of fodder radish and beets into that area on the inside fence line. and on the outside of the new fence line, I am working that area to be a new garden area for next year.. my planned corn garden.

Its another hot one and we are still waiting on rain..  I am pleased and surprised how green our land is compared to those around us.. There are hay fields that have been cut and they are so brown, the lawns in town are brown as far as the eye can see. Other folks gardens are struggling more then our. I think we are holding at the moment due to the cover crops, the intercropping and a whole lot of compost in the soils. Still we are saving grey water from the house and using it to water in new transplants in our soft and hard fruit tree’s and bushes. I do not want to have those new guys die off due to our drought.

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