February Frost Seeding

Certainly, it’s time to get any frost-seeding done!

In February, the land “usually” is not frozen that deeply, whenever, and therefore makes it fun to build or repair fence. Discussions drive into the ground quite very well and you would not have to struggle the maximum amount of vegetation adding up wire.

My spouse and i find this to be a good a chance to spend verifying fence lines, clipping limbs back as needed and finish sawing up any trees or hands or legs that fell during summer storms. Of which is apparently a job that never quite gets finished. My spouse and i also find that this can be a good time, only can drive myself to do it, to lower and remove any woody and or briars from wall rows. Completing this task makes it a whole lot better to gain control of them once the growing season is here. In case the dead growth is removed, it is a lot better to tackle any new shoots later.

That is also the time frame for frost-seeding clover upon fields that want it. If you paid attention during the last season, you should really know what grounds are lacking sufficient legume. I like to see at least thirty pct of the stand up being legumes. Dried beans, such as clover, raise the quality of a pasture and can also fix nitrogen to ensure that the lawn component of the pasture. When fertilizer is expensive, you want as much natural nitrogen produced as you can.

Red and white clover the two are reasonably easy to frost-seed this time of year and generally which is least expensive way to improve dried beans in the meadow. It is simply the process of broadcasting the legume seed onto the soil’s surface during the winter heavy months. I usually the ideal time is somewhere between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, but it may be usually a little bit longer than that.

Occasionally in the southern part of the express our company is a little more limited most abundant in ideal conditions to truly “frost” seed – that is not the case this season. Ice seeding depends on the freezing-thawing action of the soil, which is honeycombing of the soil’s surface with ice deposits. This causes the soil’s surface to expand and agreement, thus allowing the small seed to discover a route into the ground. It is important that the seed have good seed-to-soil contact.

Any time I genuinely have my choosing, I can wait until there is a light snow on the ground and then do the seeding. The snow will serve two good purposes. One, it helps “catch” the seeds and transport it to the surface and two, it serves as a great marker for the tractor or ATV.

It is best to put together if you determine to frost-seed. A person might have wanted to graze the meadow down a little shorter than normal to reduce competitors and help that seed find it is way to the soil easier. In the event the field is being stockpiled, you can either hang on until after it is grazed or broadcast it really preceding to grazing and let the seedling be “hoofed” in. When there is too much cover then it makes it hard for the seeds to reach the soil and also helps it be less likely to thrive.

I actually usually recommend a bit higher seeding rates for frost seeding than for regular seeding. White clovers can be seeded at 1-1. 5 lbs. per desagradable, remembering that it is a smaller seed than red clover and will be around extended. You can get it on too thick and sure, I am aware, it’s hard to seed that small amount! I have found that blending it with another seed as the flagship is good. A little Cola or any soda pop pop (whichever you might have on hand, although not diet in any case) mixed in with it to acquire a little sticking action proceeding also really helps. You can also mix the seeds within fertilizer or some pelletized lime green, but spread immediately – don’t let it sit, especially with much nitrogen. Red clover should be seeded at 6-8 lbs. each acre; birdsfoot trefoil at 5 pounds. per acre and common lespedeza with hulled seed at 9 lbs. each acre.

All dried beans should be inoculated with the proper inoculants (rhizobia) for your types to insure proper bacteria, good germination and growth. Layered seed, when available, can solve a lot of problems including seed size, the inoculants it will even help the ph level for the plant. Coated seed should be used the same year that it is purchased, mainly due to the inoculant : it has a shorter storage life.

I do believe the primary details for a successful frost seeding of legumes are grazing the pasture down before seeding to lower the amount of litter and spring competition, seeding during freezing and thawing conditions to help move the seed into the soil, and then keeping the lawn growth under control during early early spring to give the seedlings plenty of sun and a fighting opportunity to endure.

Should you choose plan to do any frost-seeding or any seeding within the next few a few months, it might be a smart idea to check with your seed seller and get your order in. Many species are in short supply and prices have increased in a great deal of cases also. Multiple bad creation years in a row on the west coast where nearly all of it is grown, along with pumpiing, higher packaging expenditures and more costly shipping are the primary reasons. Knowing where you need to add more dried beans and only adding where needed this season may be important to your wallet.

February is one of my biggest reading months of the year. Today don’t get myself wrong, I read a little virtually every day, but some months just provide themselves as being more primed for reading than others. I tend to take more time reading during the winter time and may easily find myself getting rid of program time. At this time there are usually several books and periodicals covering the small table by my easy chair which I find to be the best way to maintain to date with all the latest in grazing management. My spouse and i can stay conscious a long time reading, but My spouse and i can’t stay conscious more than twenty minutes into a TV show and quite often hear my partner say, “you conscious? ” I do believe it is merely the subject subject.

The way we now receive information and news has sprinted fast in advance into almost instant information here at our fingertips. The main problem with this growing and huge amount of accessible information is, “what can you trust? ” I find myself spending time explaining why something that was on the internet somewhere in addition in the united kingdom or world, won’t work here. Because it was successful in Fresh Zealand, doesn’t signify it will work the same here! You must consider soils, climate and a number of other things.

Public media can be “interesting” you just read, but it is harder to decipher or separate out filler or bovine muck from truthfully. In the event something is printed out in a guide or magazine it are at least a little more probably trusted, but not always. I generally read material from well-known authors that I know have done the walk and also the research. When it is guaranteed with a white paper, it is normally more persuasive and believable. Though I actually do read quite a few of the people research papers, an at the book based on that information is usually an improved read and certainly more relaxing.

I usually encourage producers to keep learning – reading, observing, and inquiring why to both positive and negative things. Inquisitive heads want to know – just always remember to validate the source and take it all with a materials of salt!

Keep in mind, it isn’t really about maximizing a grazing event, but maximizing a grazing season! Keep on grazing!

2021 Wrap Up

Just like that, we blinked and are at the end of the year. There is not a whole lot new and exciting at the farm.

We have both been so busy. Our goals have changed a little bit, and unfortunately a couple of the projects we started and were so hopeful about had to take a back burner. For starters, we put our MushRoom on hold for now. We hope to come back to it at some point, but with both of us working full time and having so much other stuff going on, we did not have the time to devote to that project. There were a couple of issues that we hadn’t worked out yet, just small kinks in the hose. Due to our always going schedule, we just had to take a step back.

We have been in the seemingly never ending process of cleaning out and repurposing some of the outside building space. Some of that space has been devoted for our dogs. At the end of 2020, we welcomed our Golden Retrievers to their new home at the farm. We love our girls so much, and Mr. Link is such a good boy. We now have space for them to run and play, and also have repurposed some of the outdoor space to be welping pens for the girls. Right now we are also working on getting them a larger area to run and play and hope to have that completed shortly.

We also did take a step back from our cows to a degree. We welcomed a renter, who is also leasing the cows. I have talked before how a cow lease works, as we had previously leased some cows ourselves. We were also leasing some property for our cows through the end of 2020. When that expired we just decided it was time to welcome a renter of our own, and he leases the cows as well. It has been so nice having him there to take care of our animals when we had to take a step back from it. Having a renter also made it possible for us to go on vacation this year, as he was able to step in and take care of everything while we were gone.

We had big dreams this year for our garden and our MushRoom but it was not to be. I have a vision, however, of how I want to make the garden work for us going forward. I plan to spend the winter months getting everything ready that way in the spring we are ready to go.

We went last weekend to pick up a new stand for taxidermy. That is something we have been interested in for a while, and have even had Dermestid beetles in the past. We have now been in the process of repurposing a small shed for this. B is super bummed that he has been unable to trap this year, and we hope in the future that he can pick that back up.

Another big change that has happened for us is that B and a couple of friends have been working on the project of starting their own business together. That has been months in the making, and is now a reality. The business is officially off the ground and we are working to get the word out and build the business up. It has been stressful, as all of the partners also have full time jobs and a lot going on in their personal lives, so they have been working on this in their already stretched thin spare time.

I am hoping going forward to be able to write more here and have more exciting news to share regarding our updates. I have been the worst about not updating and neglecting my writing and social media.

As always, I hope everybody is doing well.

Farm Updates: December 2020

As of today, the MushRoom is nearly ready to go. I have went through the process of getting our LLC registration, and we are excited to get some mushrooms growing out there. Taking on this project has been more taxing than we originally planned for it to be, but probably would have gone faster if we didn’t also both have full time jobs and a toddler. We have a couple of last minute kinks to work out, and then we will work on our test run. We have learned a lot in this process, and what we would do differently in the future when getting our second MushRoom up and running. Overall, we are very happy with how things have turned out.

In this process, we have tried to do every piece of it ourselves. It was both exciting and overwhelming starting with a blank canvas and working to what we have now.

May 2020, upon delivery of shipping container to our house.
Electrical wiring installed, countertops built: October 2020
Putting together the box for our filter and flow hood: October 2020
Installing the insulation for the grow room
Insulation complete and support beams installed in grow room.
Our DIY sterilizer

Hopefully this weekend we will be doing our test run, and from there we should be on the ground. We are so thankful for the help and support we have had during this journey of getting things started. We could not have done this without help and support.

Greener Pastures

Unfortunately, I have neglected my duties in keeping up with this blog. Having a newborn is busy, and I did get caught up on that and left my blogging to fall to the wayside. This last year has been a tough time for us, as we have tried to decide what we could do to make our small farm more profitable. Should we focus more on custom hay? More or less cows? Should we keep the sheep? What are we going to do with our chickens?

We started this year with few conclusions to the questions above, but have slowly worked this year to do away with certain areas and start new projects. As we are wrapping this year up, we feel like we are finally in a place to update and move forward.

Last year, we were heavily focused on two new projects: hatching and raising chickens and raising a sheep herd. For many reasons, these two projects were not right for us. In regards to the sheep, we were unprepared for the different needs they had to cattle. While we did feel like we had done adequate research, it seemed like there was always something new going on with them. We had several get sick, and a neighboring dog who killed several of our babies. After a few months, we decided it was best to sell what sheep we still had and take a step back to clear our heads. As for the chickens, we got a little (a lot!) carried away. We are the type of family that goes in head first and again while we did do a lot of research, and felt prepared for this step, we were very unprepared for the amount of chicks we would end up with no outlet for them. After hatching our last batch of chicks we ultimately realized we did not have the outlet for the chicks at that time and decided to cut our losses. We sold our incubators and the last of our chicks, keeping only a few free rangers for our egg supply.

We sold our sheep very early in the year, and spent the summer only dealing with our cattle. B took a full time job in the spring, so our summer has remained busy with both of us working full time jobs and keeping up with the cattle we have. Mid summer we made the decision to let our leased cows go back to their owner. We have about 20 head of cattle, and were leasing another 20 head of cattle at that time. The lease cows are no longer on the farm. Instead, we have now turned around and leased our own cattle to another farmer in the area.

A cattle lease is pretty straight forward: one person owns, one leases the cattle. For ours, we provide the land and we are responsible for the vet bills on our animals. The other farmer is responsible for feeding the cows through winter, taking care of fences, helping them calve and providing a bull for breeding. When it comes time to sell calves, we will split that check 50/50 with the other farmer. It generally works out for both parties as the lessee is not financially responsible for the animals, and we both benefit from the profits.

The thing that has been in the back of our heads all summer though, is what can we do to potentially be more profitable? As it stood at the beginning of the year, we were losing money on the farm, as the expenses from last year were not completely covered by the money we made from custom hay and selling calves, and that does not include wages. We weren’t even making enough money to cover the fuel, netwrap, vehicle maintenance, vet bills, and the long list of expenses that goes along with running a farm. By the end of hay season, we had decided that making custom hay is not something we wanted to pursue as well. It is a very time consuming task, and it is something we hate doing. Therefore we decided we did not wish to continue with that.

All of this brought us full circle to a small project we looked at last fall/winter. Last fall, B had looked into growing mushrooms as a hobby. There are many different varieties of mushrooms, and we have at this time successfully grown two types: pink and blue oysters. We had purchased a shipping container in the spring, and we are now in the grueling process of turning it into a MushRoom. The grow room will be at the back of the container, and we will have lab at the front to prepare our mushroom spores and liquid cultures for growth. It has been a long process for us, as we are both working full time now with a toddler. Slowly but surely we are making progress in this venture. We are really looking forward to sharing more of this journey with everyone, and we do have some ideas up our sleeves.

While I am sad to see so many changes in the farm over such a short period of time, it has been good to see changes. Change promotes growth. We couldn’t grow with the way we were doing things. We have goals in mind for our farm, and if there is not growth on the farm we are stagnant. This does not mean that we wont one day have sheep or chickens again. However, we will take a hard look at why we failed before. We will take time to improve our methods and learn from our failures. We appreciate everyone who has followed our journey so far, and who has been supportive or offered advice. We could not have done it without everyone’s support.

Until next time,


Lion’s Mane Mushroom Stir Fry – Gluten-Free and Vegan

We can’t wait to try this!

Of Goats and Greens

About 3-4 weeks ago, I ran into something named Lion’s Mane mushroom at the Litchfield CT farmer’s market.  The taste is supposed to resemble crab meat.

YAY WOW, something NEW I’ve never tried before!  Sussed isn’t quite the word!

recipe, lion's mane mushroom, stir fry, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, bok choy, soy

I bought some, and attempted to make the “crabmeat” salad recipe they handed me at that time from it. That recipe was not a success, at least in my hands.

recipe, lion's mane mushroom, stir fry, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, bok choy, soy

Last weekend, I managed to pick up some more of this mushroom, and decided to do my own thing with it.  I like this variant!  (A new YAY WOW, and I want more…)

Yes, there is a mild sea-foody-crabish taste to this mushroom, and I do like that.

recipe, lion's mane mushroom, stir fry, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, bok choy, soy

I hope you can find this (the vendors grow this rather than wild-hunt it) and if you do, that you enjoy!

Apparently, there are a lot of good health benefits from…

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