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Archive for August, 2010

Organic Matter

The soil on the farm is very sandy as can be seen in this photo (looks like the sand found at the beach). The soil drains very quickly and does not retain moisture like heavier clay soils. The only way to improve the water retention in this type of soil is to increase the organic matter in the soil by adding dead vegetation. This is one of the benefits of mob grazing and why we encourage our cattle to trample as much vegetation as possible.  Once the vegetation is trampled into the soil, it supplies food for all the soil organisms who in there turn compost it, to make new top soil.

By doing this we will be able to build a strong sod which will then prevent erosion by wind, and leaching of the minerals in the soil in the annual flooding in the spring. It’s a process that takes many years. In the meantime, life’s a beach.

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Steve’s a Poster Boy!

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Neighbourhood Watch!

These Helmeted Guinea Fowl are the latest addition to our diverse species farming operation. They are very hardy and are known for their “sounding the alarm” ability when something unusual occurs, or they detect the presence of a predator. We started off with 15 one day old chicks from a hatchery and a week later we were given a breeding pair with 12 older chicks. Once they have acclimatized and figured out where home is, they will be encouraged to roam the property, to feast on ticks and other insects and weed seeds. They are very sociable birds and will happily adopt the cattle as part of their flock.

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Wildlife

I arrived at the farm this morning to see something bigger than any cow I owned, standing near the corral. To my utter delight, it was this bull moose. He seemed a little bewildered by the pigs snorting and squealing, but did not seem to be bothered by anything else until the cows approached him. He finally made his way down to the river and hopped the fence.

It is a good sign to have an abundance and diversity of wildlife on the farm. This shows that the environment is a healthy one. All the species play a vital role in maintaining a balance and every creature seems to have a role to play, from the foxes who catch and eat rodents to the ground hog who digs tunnels and aerates the soil in the process.

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Nice Article

We are featured in Sunday’s Nashua Telegraph in an article about the shortage of meat processing facilities. They got it wrong about me sending cattle to Massachusetts for slaughter. I use LeMay and Sons in Goffstown, New Hampshire. But, there are several nice pictures of the farm (you have to scroll through the slideshow at the top of the column on the right). It’s nice to get our fifteen minutes of fame!

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