HAY! It’s what makes a grass-fed cow’s “winter world” go round! So what is a pea plant doing in our hay field? Conventional farmers might cringe…most hay fields are a mix of alfalfa plants and pasture grass. Why? Mostly because of the time it takes to get plants dry after cutting. Grass and Alfalfa do well during the drying process. But, we decided to change things up a little. About a month and a half ago we rented a “no till drill” (implement pulled behind a tractor) and seeded a mixture of about ten different species into our existing hay field. Sweet peas, Daikon /Nitro radishes, and Hairy vetch to name a few. Our idea is to increase the organic matter and re-vitalize the soil with a variety of species. Each plant brings it’s own contribution- the radishes bring nitrogen, etc. It’s been done. Check out some of the great work by Gabe Brown out in S. Dakota with regenerating soil. http://brownsranch.us/
But inter-seeding in a existing hay field is risky business. Drying hay might be a problem next June and who knows what the cow’s will be eating next winter! So what’s the long term goal for the $3000 worth of seed we sprinkled into the soil? We’re hoping we’re going to produce some happy and healthy soil organisms which will help sustain happy and healthy plants….and then eventually happy and healthy cows…and then finally-finally happy and healthy buyers!
And Elsewhere Around the Farm:
What happened to Lacey? Fast forward one and half year’s later-
…and my best friend!