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Hello and a note on grass...

Hi, welcome to my blog! I'm supposed to write a first one, then categorize, then... keep writing. I suspect the categories will vary wildly from cattle to soil health to education to stories about a sheep who fully believes she's a dog. And, when nothing fits a category, I might just add a new one.


I love to share what I know about... well, most everything that I know anything about! Right now, I'm pondering how to succinctly describe how we raise cattle for butcher. There are so many statements out there that are more marketing than fact.


For example, grass fed. All cattle eat grass. Many cattle are then finished on grain rations in short pens. To be clear, the animals are cared for and kept comfortable. They merely don't finish their lives out grazing a pasture. Our cattle finish their lives the same way they start them-- foraging a pasture with supplemental hay in the seasons that require it, but this doesn't mean that they ONLY eat grass, and that grass isn't like what is in your yard. In fact, you might consider a lot of what they eat as weeds.


As we are working to improve the health of our soil, we must plant a mix of things to ensure that the ground has something green growing at all times. This could be cowpeas, sunflowers, clover, millet, wheat, oats, and a number of other seeds. There are places that aren't fenced adequately for cattle to safely forage. We hay those areas and use that to feed in the winter when cattle need extra food. So, that means the cattle are getting grass, some cereal grains (things like oats and barley), and legumes in a bale form plus whatever they continue to forage in the pasture. We roll these bales out on areas of ground that aren't as healthy as they should be. The cattle eat and fertilize-- win/win!


Farming has looked a lot like breaking the ground, clearing it of all growing things, planting new things, and they applying a chemical to fertilize that ground for a long time. We aren't going that, and it is a different approach to many of our neighbors. It's okay to be different, but it also means a steep learning curve and still a lot of expense. We rely on the cattle (and haven't given up on the goats!) to not only transition these green things to a consumable product, but to serve an integral part in bringing the soil back to life.

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