Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seeds and great resources

My first batch of seeds arrived today (Thursday), which was quite a surprise since Jason and I only placed the order Tuesday night. It's the cover crops, legume inoculant, and biodynamic calendar. Now, I just need to learn what to do with these things. Some of the cover crop will go in the garden in the fall to provide soil building for next year; the others are for trying to improve the places we plan on pasturing. The current thought is to put chickens in this field this year while planting a soil builder (oats, peas, vetch) behind them. Depending on how it goes, we would then let them eat it later. Not sure if that will actually work, but I feel certain the chickens plus the plant diversity will improve things at least a little. Then, we want to put berries here (5 year plan?) with room between the rows to move a chicken tractor.

The back field will be pasture with maybe strawberries on this south facing slope slightly above the wider field. This year, we will experiment a bit with seeing how winter rye grows back here.  Also, we plan on putting a few trees or doing some planting of "alleys" between paddock areas. The middle of this field needs something to help the soil, and if we are certain (at least as certain as we can be) that we will not want this for anything but animals, there are distinct advantages to putting trees back here.

I'm getting very excited.  And adding to that excitement is the upcoming NOFA conference and this weekend's Grazing and Livestock Conference. I feel embarrassed somehow to go to these because I know so little, but that's also the best reason to go.  Maybe I'll learn some things to prevent a some phenomenal errors.

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