Thirteen years ago we were blessed to move into our dream house sitting on ten acres of property. It is what is called a hobby farm. We have a big old red barn that collects my junk and dust. We have chickens, horses and cows. With a great deal of effort we were able to find the only ten acres in eastern Bradley County without running water or top soil.
We added the cows three years ago and I have been working ever sense to get a decent pasture growing. The first summer of my effort I planted a couple of hundred dollars worth of pasture grass and distributed several hundred dollars worth of fertilizer. We had a drought. It all died. Droughts happen. Things will be better next year, …not. Who ever heard of a drought in eastern Tennessee two years in a row?
Last year I planted some expensive Bermuda grass seed. Two days later Noah was canoeing across my pasture. Most of it washed away. The remainder was infested with weeds, but not just any weeds. They were the kind that you have probably seen all across the country, fields full of cute little yellow flowers. The fields are full of them because nothing will eat them or the plants they grow on.
Last fall (OK, early winter) I planted some cold weather foliage and reseeded for this summer. It is a mixture of legumes (clover and alfalfa) which add nitrogen to the soil and grasses which need the nitrogen. I kept the grazers off of it and added $300 worth of 20-10-10 a few weeks ago. God has supplied sufficient rain and my pasture looks great, except for a few of those pesky yellow flowers. I sprayed some of them with weed killer this evening. Otherwise, it is thick and lush. I have divided it into five sections so that I can rotate the cows and better control the weeds.
There are few things more relaxing than looking out your bay window and watching horses and cows grazing, especially after working so hard to produce the pasture. I am thankful I got to work with God to paint that picture.
April 28, 2010