Newsletter – April 2017
It’s April and although it’s an early spring, it’s a soggy one. We’ve had plenty of rain the past few weeks and mud for the past two months. Fortunately, it’s now just now warm enough that the grass and clover are beginning to wake up and creep out of the ground. We wait to graze until they have really started to grow, like waiting for our grass to be a decent size before we mow it. This helps the roots of our pasture grasses get nice and strong and keeps us from clipping it too short.
We are in the middle of an early calf season. Ideally we’d like to calve a little later in the spring, but it worked out that the calves are a bit earlier this year due to an unintended early breeding with a very, um, robust and insistent (fence-jumping) bull. We still have many calves and lambs to go, so we are up and about all the time checking on the mamas and babies. We let our animals have their babies outside, so our job is making sure they have access to clean and dry areas to go, clean water and proper nutrition. They will continue to munch on hay for another month or so while we wait for the grass to get taller, so we make sure to give them good groceries.
We got out a little bit already to seed some prairie seeds into our field where there are still some bare spots. We’ve also been focusing on logging and milling from our pine plantation in preparation for our building project this summer. It’s been a challenge with all the mud! As the ground greens up the animals get a little more restless, so we are often working on fencing for those guys keeping them in just a little longer until we really have enough forage for them to chow down. We also will be building some extra tall fences to make sure we can keep our bull contained this summer.
Peter has been busy getting everything ready to build a house this summer. He’s been logging our white pines, milling timbers, and making wood chips with the branches. It’s quite a job!
We’ve got some delicious beef roasts to hand out this month. There are a couple different types of roast: marbled pot roasts like chuck and arm, and lean muscle rump roasts. A couple of cooking suggestions for each: