…and by mud season we mean mud & manure – lots of manure! While we are incredibly excited to see the sunshine, warmer temps and accompanying snow melt, the mess that winter leaves behind is a monumental task!
Even though the warmer spring weather has arrived, and the animals are spending the vast majority of their time outside, it will still be a full 8-10 weeks before we’re able to start grazing. Last week the spring weight restrictions went into effect for the roads so we brought the remainder of our hay for the season to the farm.
We like to wait a little longer into the spring to start the grazing cycle for the year; by giving the root systems more time to become established and root deeper into the soil early in the season, the grasses are able to regenerate faster and healthier later in the season. This means we have lusher, fuller pastures that we can better utilize – from the hot drought conditions of August to late season grazing into November, we’ve found that patience in the spring pays off in increasing the fertility of our land and extending the date at which we have to begin feeding hay the following winter.
Coming up this week, we are renting a skid steer to clean out the mountains of manure from the winter. Each cow will produce an average of 65lbs of manure per day, which when mixed with straw bedding and excess hay becomes quite heavy. We managed to scrap out the barn about every other day during the winter but the frigid temps of February froze the manure piles quicker than we could scrap them out! So, the mountains you see in front of our hay barn are actually composted manure from last winter (which will make for an awesome soil amendment this year) and the others are fresh manure that needs to hot compost this year.
Other than tackling manure, this week is the Grower’s Fare! We will be at the Downtown Market on Saturday March 21 from 9:00am – 2:00pm. If it’s difficult to stop out at the farm, this is the perfect opportunity to come chat with us in GR. We will have milk samples, photos and information on our farm, in addition to the various other farms and CSAs that will be at the Fare. If you’re looking to meet some awesome farmers, sign up for a CSA, or just enjoy the spring weather, come on out!
Dan + Whitney + Cecilia + Beau
P.S. Chicken Pre-Orders are due this Friday March 20! Minimum 5 chickens per order with a $4 per bird deposit. Price will be $3.75/lb and 100% non-GMO. We will send out another reminder email this week. Click here for more info.