Green Pastures Farm 2008 Spring Newsletter
Spring has arrived at Green Pastures Farm and we are enjoying the warmer weather and new spring grass exploding out of the ground. We weaned our summer 2007 crop of calves last Saturday, April 19th. These calves were born last June/July, so they were allowed to stay with their mothers for 10 months. The calves do so much better with access to their mothers milk each day during the winter while eating grass.
We have lots of new lambs being born each day now. It is so entertaining to watch the new baby lambs jumping and frolicking with each other. They hop around sometimes like they have pogo sticks on their legs! They are lightning fast as well. We have an assortment of colors in the new lambs. Pure white, black and white, brown, spotted ones as well. It is a precious moment to watch a 140 lb guard dog sniff a newborn 6 lb lamb. The dogs act as surrogate mothers to anything that is defenseless.
The guard dogs Roo, Dusty and Junior are doing a very good job of protecting the new lambs from predators. When the coyotes start howling at night the dogs go into action. They immediately take off running and barking in the direction of the howling coyotes. The sheep always bunch up at night on the highest point that they can find which makes it harder for predators to sneak up on them.
This will be our 3rd of year of implementing Holistic High Density Planned Grazing on our farms. Our previous 2 herds have been combined into one large group and are moved morning and night to fresh clean rested pastures. The diversity of grasses and clovers in our pastures have really increased since switching to this grazing system. Each year our grasses are getting better and the soils are getting richer due to the extreme fertility distribution that we get with the large herd.
The yearlings and 2 year old grass-finished calves have their own farm where they are moved morning and night to fresh rested succulent natural grass/clover pastures. They have access to all they can possibly eat every hour of the day. They are more than happy to move to the next fresh pasture when they see us coming to open the gate!
We have never seen more deer on our farms than this Spring. You simply can not walk our fields in the evening without spotting groups of them grazing our lush diverse pastures. Our large wild bird flock is back with the cattle herd now that the weather has warmed up. The flock of birds is always with the cattle, catching insects, scratching through manure piles. We never saw this large of flock stay with the cattle with our old grazing system.
The dung beetles are starting to appear in the manure piles. They roll up the manure in little balls and bury it down in their tunnels underground. The female dung beetle lays an egg in the middle of the dung ball and this serves as the home for their new baby dung beetle. By having the dung beetles incorporate the manure into the soil profile, this greatly improves the soil fertility. The dung beetle tunnels catch most of the rain that falls on the pasture as well which helps keep the plants growing well even when things get dry.
We are now taking orders for 100% grass finished beef and lamb from our farm. These beeves and lambs have never had anything but grass to eat their whole life. No wormers, no pesticides, no herbicides, no hormones, no antibiotics and absolutely no grain. We are Ultra Natural, nothing but grass and sunshine for our livestock! It has taken us two years to have our first product ready for sale, but the wait has been worth it. When we made the decision to be 100% grass-finished, we knew that our beeves would take 24 months to finish instead of 14-16 months like they do in a feedlot. Our animals have the best life everyday that we can give them, they will never see a feedlot!
We are hosting our first Green Pastures Farm customer appreciation day Saturday June 14th at 3 PM. Please bring your kids, friends and lawn chairs to join us for a enjoyable afternoon in the country. Farm tour starts at 3 PM , followed by a free picnic at 6 PM. There will be a bonfire at dusk for those interested in staying. Reservations appreciated. Hope to see you on June 14th!
Check out our new website: greenpasturesfarm.net for future farm walks and events.
Have a great Spring!
Sincerely, Greg and Jan Judy