The long summer days are hot and dry in Maryland. And we have had some big excitement on the farm. Our farmer neighbor harvested his wheat! It was so much fun to watch the big combine working its way across our hills! So, the plan! We want to plant pasture and hay grasses on most of our land. Pretty much anything that isn’t trees is getting replanted. The best way to do that is to plant a crop like wheat that comes off early enough that the grass can get established before fall without allowing time for weeds to take over. The land had been fallow for a year before this and while most of my pictures of the land look lush and green, those are almost entirely weeds.
The wheat serves two purposes for us. One is to choke out weeds, and the other is to serve as a cover crop to protect the newly growing grasses. And our farmer that has agreed to help us gets something out of it as well, the wheat! Now even though he was more than happy to help us when we asked, it’s important to note here that we did pay him for his time and wear on his equipment, but for most farmers, it’s more about the time commitment than the money. Farmers are very busy people, even if you don’t see them out in their fields, there is always a job to be done, and we appreciated his willingness to help us get started. We have encountered such support and love from our local farming community. Often older farmers are quite willing to lend a helping hand if you reach out to them with humble kindness. As many books as you’ve read and farm tours you’ve been on, these guys have been through it all. They are an invaluable resource and if you want access to their knowledge, I have found it very fruitful to ingratiate yourself a little bit.
So after his wheat was off he no-tilled our pasture and hay seed for us. Our seed: we spent A LOT of money on our seed. It has been one of our most major investments to date. The way we see it, these fields are our animal’s food, home, and the base source of our farm’s income. Buying cheep seed to save a little now, will only put us way behind later. We bought through a seed dealer. They are all over out in farm country. Just ask around where your farmer neighbors buy their seed. We went with a company called King’s Agriseed. After speaking to a few different people that intensively graze we decided on Kings Grazing Mix for our pasture and GrassPro for our hay fields.
We had nearly perfect weather for establishing our seed. I cannot express how thankful I am for that. Someone up there is definitely rooting for us! Thanks for that!
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