Dispatches from the Hill — stewardship RSS

Stockpiling Grass for Early Spring Grazing

Last season, the sheep grazed our South Meadow in mid June, and instead of mowing and baling the second growth in August or September, we let that grass stand and go into winter.  About two weeks ago, we brought the sheep out of their winter paddocks and started them back on their grazing rotation in the South Meadow. There was no hint of green growth yet—the snow had just melted and the grasses were all brown and dormant looking. But the sheep were eager to leave their winter digs and start foraging, and they happily dove into their work. This before and after image shows the dense, stockpiled grass ahead of grazing, and the cleared grass afterward. The thick cover...

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Regenerative Agriculture and the Dawn of Planetary Engineering

Regenerative agriculture is the dawn of planetary engineering. And that's great news for the future of the planet. Here's how I know. We have five hay fields on our farm. They are the kind of rolling, green, and gorgeous fields that are typical across Vermont's pastoral green mountains. All five of the fields have been incredibly productive over the past forty years using our area's conventional methods for hay farming—frequent tilling, a corn rotation, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Our hay was regarded as some of the best in the area. And we produced a lot of it. Then, in 2012, we stopped tilling. We stopped spraying chemicals. We stopped rotating in corn. And, as a result, fields that once...

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