Monday, July 11, 2011



Some dread it. Some detest it for cancelling events and some lose faith when flooding takes place. While I can sympathize, rain has always been a nurturing part of the equation that makes us do what we do.

The rain feeds the soil with the necessary moisture to break down the animal pods and urine to feed the microbes in the soil. Earthworms are better able to navigate through the soils creating new castings and routes which along with the pods create the necessary compost to build soil diversity. This in turn helps the grass regrow and completes the growth cycle.

The rain also provides a natural "shower" for our cattle which minimizes fly populations.

The rain today and every day is welcome and appreciated here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Crop Rotation

It won't be long and the winter wheat will be coming out. The plan after the wheat has been harvested is to no-till sorghum sudangrass. This is an inexpensive alternative to silage corn and when successfully harvested, is a tremendous source of caloric intake for the cattle. I've learned that what makes tremendous grass-fed beef are the calories, not protein. While protein is desirable, its comparable to eating dessert every day. While its good, the nutritional value is just not there. Sorghum sudangrass is my feed of choice, although I continue to explore my options.

What I've been kicking around is what to plant in that particular field for the next year? My thought is to go with winter rye and then rotate back to sorghum sudangrass. While this may be July, a farmer's thoughts have already committed to September, March and beyond.

Not much time to think about it today. I need to finish 2nd crop, prepare for a longer day at the Farmer's market tomorrow and then prepare for a week of fencing amidst meetings, work, family and life.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


There's something about the siblings you grew up with. You spent nearly every waking moment with them for 18 years and then you part your separate ways.

In the case of my family, we really went in different directions. Except for yours truly, my siblings went to Europe and each American coast before settling down for the time being.

I was reminded of what made us so close by watching our kids grasp each other when they saw each other for the first time and then cry and hug when they parted ways.

It was so good to hear the laughter, the smores made around the campfire, the stories exchanged and the memories made.

It concluded a great 4th of July holiday and while normalcy is okay, I certainly do miss my family.