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Aidan's Got a Pasture Challenge

The colder spring (complete with several April snowstorms) means we are running behind our usual schedule.

The good news is that the soil has finally warmed enough for crops like asparagus, garlic, lettuce, peas, carrots and beets to sprout seemly oblivious of the late date on the calendar.

We had our soil tested, and it was found low in both phosphorus and potassium as well as a few micro-nutrients. Bill and his walking tractor are doing their best to correct that as they rekindle their relationship while incorporating the needed amendments.

Onions, lettuce, chard, and kale have been transplanted with spinach, broccoli, and some herbs planned to go out by the weekend. Inside the greenhouse we are constantly monitoring flats of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, etc. to keep them watered and warm enough. It feels reminiscent of the old days listening to a baby monitor as Bill carries a remote sensor for the greenhouse everywhere he goes!

In the barn all the ewes have lambed while goat kids and calves will arrive in the next few weeks.

The baby chicks, both layers and meat birds, are almost ready to leave their brooder pens for move-able ones out in the pasture.

Aidan is busy making fences and moving cattle daily in a rotational grazing system. The challenge is determining the sweet spot of giving them a big enough area to graze evenly (without getting it too short so it can recover quickly and be grazed again in a month or so) before they stomp a bunch of the grass down. This determination is a moving target though as the growth rate of the pastures increases as the weather becomes more agreeable.

He is working to get the feel of looking at the pasture and gauging its length against the rate that our cows eat - kind of a mix of bovine intuition and knowledge. He's consumed with this animal husbandry project, and the herd is benefiting from his attention.

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