5/9/2019 Line 'em up.
At the Farm:
The whole herd participated in a diligent mowing activity this week. Our 20 bulls had been through this pasture one time - choosing the tastiest grasses and plants. On their second pass they got organized, lined up, and created their own “Pasture Vacuum” of sorts to ensure that no edible grass was left uneaten. I admire their OCD diligence.
The chickens were nearby - both the free range laying hens and the meat birds in their chicken tractors. After the rain last weekend the grasses in this pasture exploded into luscious green salad. We are seeing some buttercup this time of year, however the animals all avoid it because it doesn’t taste good and it is toxic to them. From the NC Extension website:
Buttercup is toxic to all species of livestock. The toxin protanemonin is released when the plant is chewed or otherwise wounded and is present in all parts of the plant. Animals that eat buttercup may suffer from blistering of the mouth and internal parts of the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea, colic, and, in severe cases, death. Fortunately, most animals will not eat buttercup because it is unpalatable. The toxin become inactivated when dried so buttercup is not a concern in hay.
Now that the cattle have eaten the good grasses and left the buttercup behind, we will mow and decapitate the buttercup to deter it from proliferating. It’s a constant battle to grow the good plants and discourage the bad plants. Once the soil warms up even more than it is now, the Pig Weed (Spiny Amaranth) will start. Not noxious, the cattle will eat the tops off of the young plants, however once it matures it grows thorns and is just downright annoying. Again we will strategically mow before it goes to seed.
Market this week:
Rain or shine we hope to see you at the markets this weekend. Pick up some delicious food for Mom - roast a chicken, grill a steak, maybe a quiche… Honor the woman in your life who raised you, loved you, or was the one who was there when you needed her.
If you have any clean egg cartons stacking up in your pantry please bring them - we are running low.
Gil and Amy Foster