Joel Salatin on liberty and farming

http://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/joel-salatin/

I don’t post many political items nor do I try to glean links to other peoples stuff just for filler on our website. However, liberty, farming, and Joel Salatin are all topics I’m interested in so I thought I’d pass along this post by Joel.

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Another misty morning

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The view this morning. Can you spot the cows?

Cool weather is coming. Although its going to be another 90 degree day today, lows in the 40s are coming this weekend.

The grass looks really good in the pasture where the cows are on the top of the hill. Its very thick with 0 signs of overgrazing. The paddocks are about 25 feet wide and the full length from the old fence line to the golf course.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Thistle

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So last year I was really frustrated by the amount of thistle in my pasture. It was taking over and driving me crazy.

I have been fighting such a battle with dog fennel this year that it didn’t even occur to me that I had way less thistle this year than in previous years. And what thistle I did have didn’t hang around long, it flowered and died pretty quickly whereas before it would be in the pasture right up till fall/winter. I did apply lime this year which raised my soil PH. Looks like there could be something to this PH thing after all.

I don’t want to pay 1000 dollars for lime every year but rotational grazing is supposed to help greatly with soil PH. Since this is our first year there isn’t supposed to be a huge turnaround but within a few years I should see my PH in a good range without the application of lime. By next year we should have double the stocking density and should really be able to start trampling some grass and building carbon. With even more fertility, maybe the thistle will be a thing of the past and even this dog fennel will go away. One can always hope.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Grazing update

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The grass continues to be grazed well. The interns made their own decision to widen the paddocks. They didn’t consult me, the grand poobah, they just did it on their own. I couldn’t be prouder. Yesterdays paddock is on the left, todays on the right. The clover isn’t quite all eaten in yesterday’s paddock indicating the cows didn’t come back for seconds and thirds. That’s a good thing.

Moving the mineral feeder uphill this morning was a chore. It rolls nicely, better than I had hoped originally but boy is it heavy. We added two bags of phosphorous yesterday. One as a refill, and one in the empty salt slot. We did this because salt is already in their salt block on the waterer and it means they now have twice as much phosphorous. The didn’t touch the phosphorous in the new position but have already dove into the refill. Trace mineral C and silica are both getting low now and are ready for a refill. I tested the cows PH when we were without Phosphorous for a couple of weeks. It had rocketed back to 9.0. Phosphorous definitely makes a difference.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

New, new fence charger

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So I ordered a new, new fence charger to backup the one that failed. We hooked it up this morning and with miles of fence connected we had 8.5K volts in the cows paddock which is really good. It only took a few minutes to swap out the chargers so except for the sting of the price it wasn’t too bad. Plus they sent some sporty caps in the box for our trouble. Spork was the lucky recipient of the first hat since he was up early and looking to work. The early bird gets the worm.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Thin grass

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The grass in yesterday’s paddock looked a bit thin when I walked it a few days ago. Apparently the cows felt the same as there was some grazing under the fence by the waterer. I didn’t walk the whole paddock to see if the trend continued since most of the overgrazing appeared to be clover so it wasn’t a crisis. As we continue up the hill the grass thickens up nicely so we will keep the paddocks the same size going forward until we see how the cows react.

Speaking of going up hill, pulling the mineral feeder is getting interesting. The next 5 paddocks are going uphill and the mineral feeder hasn’t gotten any lighter.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Another foggy morning

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The cows are just barely visible through the mist this morning. It was pretty neat watching them appear.

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Here they are a minute later as we moved paddocks.

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And now moving back down the new paddock grazing. Note the nice sunrise in the background. As usual, the picture doesn’t do it justice. Mornings like this make the other days worthwhile.

The grass still looks very good. Its not growing as crazily as it was, but I think we still have plenty of growth coming. We cut out 6 acres for winter forage so this will be our first experiment with winter grazing. The grazing pressure looks just right and the cows continue to perform. Tomorrow the new fence charger should show up and we should be back in business.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

7125 Old Stage Road Raleigh NC