The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Grazing the Far Side of the Moon

October 10th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Posted in farming


Those of you who’ve been following along might remember my battles with the milkweed in the upper pasture earlier in the year. I spent days pushing through the overgrown fields trying to eradicate the milkweed with my scythe. Well, we’ve had that pasture mowed twice since then. Now its an eight-acre expanse of grass and forbs and until yesterday it had never been grazed.

I thought this was the perfect time to introduce our five Friesian ewes and Emily, our Jersey heifer.

They had been grazing recently in part of the orchard, just on the other side of a line of trees and brambles. I ran some temporary fencing through an opening into the upper pasture, erected a paddock with the electric netting and showed them the way.

The sheep are always game. In fact, when they see me carrying the portable fencing the get excited and trot over, anxious for the next new thing. Emily now responds when I call her. She’s so used to getting her portion of grain twice a day. She approached the new paddock warily, though, and stopped just short of entering, sniffing the air. A friendly whack on the butt convinced her it was okay. You can see how happily the animals took to all that fresh grass.

This is the largest expanse of pasture on our property. At a certain point, the grass will stop growing. But I figure there’s enough on these eight acres to keep the sheep and the cow fed until winter arrives and we have to start thinking about a place where we can put them where there’s electricity to heat their water trough.

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  • Diane

    Oh, that grass looks so lush and lovely! I am sure they are appreciating the new growth. Yum!