Trash & Treasure
Johnson Grass is the bane of the corn-farmer's existence, yet the fruit of the grazier's.
One man's trash is another man's treasure... We are all familiar with that refrain. Johnson Grass is a cousin to king corn, and competes for the same space as corn without producing an ear, so corn farmers go to extensive, toxic length to eradicate it. On the other hand, graziers love its annual presence when temperatures are hot and fescue is ridden with fungus, because ruminants prize its protein and energy. These cows are chest high in Johnson Grass - a very appetizing feed, which will grow for about another month. They couldn't be happier, and therefore nor could we. Below we see the pasture after a day of grazing and then just before, as cows are turned into new feed.
An update on our new fencing program for sheep is that it is working quite well. It is still early in the journey, so the full test is not yet in hand. New woven-wire fences are containing them fully, and relieving a lot of work previously involved with moving portable electified netting. As you recall, we installed the fencing seven inches off the ground, to enable mowing beneath, with a hot wire at the seven-inch mark. Sheep have not tested the fences, by ducking underneath, because of abundant grass, so we have stopped trying to mow beneath fences as sheep are moved. Tall green grass has also tended to "ball-up" the mower. We will thus tend to mowing later in the year when grass is not so ripe. When grass is not abundant will be the real test of these fences. But so far so good. They have saved us a lot of labor, which makes a difference to the aging-set.
We started out moving the flock every three days and have now shifted to every four, given slower regrowth of grass, due to heat. We have 13 five-acre paddocks to move them through, which, at four days per paddock, will provide a 52-day rest period for the grass.
We have been working to find the right interaction for us at Findlay Market. We have been attending the Farmshed over the past year, but have not found that to be remunerative. It has also been difficult logistically because of our large truck & trailer. At suggetion of the creative marketing team at Findlay, we are transitioning to a new venue, and will now be selling product and delivering orders to Madison's, a long-standing, boutique grocery-store right in the mix of the market. So, feel free to place orders on-line for delivery to Findlay, and we will communicate about pick-up times at Madison's.
Below is a persistent and mighty red-stone, making its way to a hearth in the new house. The stone is 7 feet long, by 28 inches wide, by 8 inches thick. Big enough for all to sit on.
Long hot days of work tend to suppress appetite, until the cool of early evening, when three meals can be brought into one. Bolognese sauce on pasta fills the cracks beautifully every time.
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at Hyde Park, with grilling team in force, on Wednesday at Blue Ash, and on Thursday at Bexley.
May we all continue to find treasure where others do not.
Drausin & Susan