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Pigs and Apples & Bale Grazing Cattle

October 4, 2020

We've got the newest little piglets eating right out of our hands now And they come running over when we call "pig-pig".

They are loving the apples just like the older ones do and it's been fun to watch the girls work on their patience and wait for them to come to them. 

We've got hay in their little "huts" to snuggle into when it gets chilly out at night, but most of the time they still prefer to sleep under the stars.



The beefers are always on pasture but we have started feeding them hay again. The grazing season ends for us about the same time we get a killing frost. We never want to over-graze our pastures to keep our soils healthy and fertile and that carbon cycle going, so we are now "bale-grazing."

We bale graze two different ways, depending on what a particular field needs. In some of our really hilly pastures, we roll the round bales down the hill and let them trample and eat the hay. It's great fertility for the ground with all that extra carbon and manure in a strip and we've seen huge improvements in the ground where we've done this in past years. 

The other style of bale grazing is to just put out several bales and let them eat them down whole. We tend to do this in spots that could use a massive amount of cover or re-seeding, or spots that need more soil building. When they’re done eating on the bale there will still be lots of feed leftover that they pooped on or laid on that they won't eat and that is the fasted way of building inches of soil and feeding the microbes that I know of. Next Year those spots will be so lush and full of good thick grass, they will be their favorite spots to hit up first.  



You can see in the picture above and below, where we had rolled out hay for them and how there is lots of residual left over to cover the ground.

 


Rob and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on the second of this month! How time flies! We have been together for 12 years total and it has been an adventure!

I always tell people, if you want to truly test a marriage, start a farm from scratch a month after saying "I do". That's what we did with a dairy of cows back in 2010 and while we loved that journey very much we are so happy to just have the beef, pigs, and chickens now. We were never able to go do things as a family with the dairy because something always commanded our attention and twice a day like clockwork those girls needed milking. If you know of a family dairy farmer still in business, go give them a HUGE hug! I think they have the hardest job on this planet. 

Needless to say, we’ve been enjoying the weather this fall as things start to slow down, picking apples, going for walks, and an occasional horseback ride with the kids. 

I hope you are also enjoying this beautiful fall!



Megan Wilcox