Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Good Day's Work (Tuesday, Apr. 26)

Storm light over the farm warned us that we might not get much work done outside today and we'd better get going.
The first item of business was to make a new paddock and move the animals. Here they are in the new paddock (at right). You can see the difference between this fresh grass and the grazed area (at left).

Zephyr inspects the fence line!  You can see where Herb weed-whacked under the electric fence.  He has to do this to keep the long grass from shorting out the fence.  In other applications we've seen, one single wire higher up is all the farmers use, but since our little Siobhan is a pint-sized Dexter calf, she has been able to scoot under the bottom wire unless we place it quite low.
Here is the left half of the new paddock, with access to water in the creek running to the left of the horses.

Here's the right half, with access to shade.

Our paddocks are a lot bigger than those usually used with rotational grazing, but they're better than nothing.  For now, since we don't have water over most of the property and since finding shade is a problem, we are making paddocks as we can.  We are also able to graze the animals on grass that has been untouched for the last few years since it has never been fenced.

We're still pretty new at this, still getting our routine down, and it took us 2 hours to get the new paddock built and move the animals in.  They are really getting used to the new routine, though--as soon as we started, they were standing there waiting to be let onto the fresh grass!

After lunch, it was time to plant the sweet potato slips and the seedlings that Charis and I grew.

We had to do a lot of weeding first, but several hours later, we had some new pole beans planted and more space ready to sow some new seeds.  Notice Charis' nice big bean plant at left--way ahead of mine!  Go, Future Farm Girl!
Here's Charis' big bush bean, dwarfing mine again.
And here is one of her muskmelons; my poor little specimen is way in the back.

One fringe benefit of all that weeding was having a ton of green stuff to throw to the ducks when we did evening feeding.  They were delighted!
After this good day's work, before a shower and supper, I walked out with the dogs to check on the animals in the new paddock.  Hero thought it was a great chance for a run; I'm glad he had enough energy left!


  1. Time to plant more in the garden here soon---I think I should invite Charis to help!! :)


  2. She would love it! I'm looking forward to picking your brains for gardening advice when you're here this summer--forewarned is forearmed!

  3. Is there a problem if the calf gets under the wire? With our little guys they often sneak under the wire then sneak right back.

    The cows sometimes knock over the post while scratching but they don't cross the wire. They seem to have learned to respect it, or maybe they know the rules now and follow them. I am not sure which. They do seem to like the regularity of things.

    That grass looks good! I see spring is doing better at your end of the country than in the PacNW!

  4. Maybe it's okay, Wobbly. That just shows how much we know! The only possible problem is that one time Siobhan couldn't get back--maybe she couldn't find the same low place where she got under. Sara's bellowing alerted to the problem, and we let Siobhan back in. So I think that maybe when the calves are little, it would be okay; but Siobhan is 6 months old now so she might wander farther away than we would want her to. Also, with a young one, I'd be afraid that coyotes could get it at night if it was away from Sara's protective horns.

    That raises a question for me: Is there anything equivalent to coyotes (that could prey on calves) in your area of France?


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