You will remember that the Title Rule is that I must write the first thing that comes into my head and no changes. Well, Monday is the first thing that has come into my head. As in, it is Monday today and I leave for California before dawn on Friday. Lots to do.

This warm weather is playing havoc with my fields. The animals pathways and frequently travelled areas are getting very torn up- the big pigs especially have eradicated all signs of pasture just with their high heels and massive weight.

I was thinking how destructive that was but then I thought about the migrations through these plains of literally millions of buffalo – and they can’t have always had sunny days!

This must have trampled thousands of acres into muck and manure. ( No one shows that in an artistic rendition). And the herds were so huge they took days ( weeks) to pass one point. In the rain. So if the migration of the bison were a natural part of the growing of the plains then surely the mud is part of that cycle?

Ruminants on open ground is part of a healthy ecosystem and all these ruminants traveled in herds so … I am trying to work out how ground trampled by a thousand hooves – or a thousand times could be good for the soil.

Or did they migrate? Maybe they merely roamed. We need a guest speaker.

And no I don’t believe in mob stocking the pasture as you know. In the summer my animals have gates opened or closed daily so they don’t eat the pasture right down. It is my graze and roam theory to develop strong pasture. I am a grass grower!

The buffalo – whose million years of fertilizing regime the modern corn and air growers are sucking dry out here – were definitely a mob.

I need to think further.

I hope you have a good day.


34 Comments on “MONDAY

  1. Good morning Cecilia. I’m so intrigued by this line of thought. A thread connecting you to the animals that roamed before you. I’m quite sure that mob rule was better than the one we have now! So grateful for your peaceful and meditative presence in the midst of the modern world.

  2. Very similar to the plains of Africa with the migration of the wildebeest. They did trample the ground to nothingness but it had time to regenerate before their migration back. Not good fertile soil though.

  3. I suppose that was nature’s way of turning the soil over and fertilising it. The buffalo might not have passed over the same plain for several years at a time.

  4. My husband has been reading a lot of articles about climate change and how the herds of long ago managed things . I should have listened more. 🙂 Sounds like something you would enjoy reading more of. He really was getting into telling me about it all but I had baking on my mind at the time and must admit it went in one ear and out the other. I suspect he sent me a link (he usually does) so maybe I need to take time to read that. 🙂 Happy Monday!

  5. Hmm, it does pose a bit of a conundrum. Matron of husbandry writes a blog on similar lines of how she grazes her beef cattle and would probably be better able to assist. Enjoy locking down the farmy and finally your preparations for your well earned break with your family. Laura

    • I am quite happy with my grazing regime in fact I think it is very similar to hers though she has hundreds of acres and I have 12. However it works the same just on a smaller scale.

  6. I love your sunrise photo! Thank you. And your thoughts on mud and hooves gives me something to think about. I’ll ask the young man who farms my land what he thinks.

      • He raises corn and soybeans on my land but he and his family raise cattle on some pasture. He graduated from the University of Illinois in Agriculture and has been exposed to other thoughts and ideas. He is concerned about preserving the land for future generations – as was my husband. Partially because of that, I won’t be having wind generators “planted” on land I own.

  7. My only addition to those above me would be that it is likely that the grasses on your place were different from 200 years ago. Their ability to rebound from thousands of eating bison with 4 sets of hooves each, may have been different.

  8. I know that in the UK on small multi-purpose farms in years gone by, rotation was the key. But for that you need the acreage: some in grazing, some in legume crops, some in cabbage or beets for winter feeding, some in grain, some fallow and some in hay. You run the poultry and cattle on the same pasture to fertilise it, and turn them out on land you’ve just harvested from, to pick over and fertilise again. After them come the pigs to plough for you. You know all this; your pressure point is that you have land for your stock but not fields you can spare for fallow or crops other than hay. I don’t know the answer. Boots for all those cloven hooves, perhaps?

  9. Hooves turn and aerate the soil. They keep it from getting too packed down, and they allow air and water to all the microfauna living in the soil.

  10. Turning the soil by hooves is much like kneading bread – too much, it’s tough; too little, it is not well blended for suitable use. Hitting the happy medium…….just right! Have an exciting week!

  11. Rotational grazing as part of good farming practices adds nutrients to the soil via manure, and also makes the pasture more resilient. So long as it doesn’t get totally compacted and bereft of plant life, it should be fine. We have day visitors then are off on Friday too, just several hours drive for an overnight family visit, welcome but blessedly brief out admidst the busy festive season & traffic, then back at home for a quiet Christmas. Happy and safe travels to you, wishing you and yours the best of the festive season.

  12. Fire had always been part of the ecosystem here. Not many seem to understand that. It can not burn now because so many of us live here. The lack of fire has made everything so dangerously combustible, and has seriously damaged the ecosystem. There is no way to correct the damage here.

  13. I did a study course on this and how this was done at least in the range/roam lands of western Canada, I am going to assume as the herds and some of the tribes passed back and forth that it should be similar.. yes they passed over in massive herds but they did not bunch unless driven, they were very spread out in graze pattern, second the natives use fire for control of the bio build up, and to rotate fresh grazing land, fire meant new growth, new growth meant herds, herds meant hunting, and poo left behind once sun dried dried meant burning fuel.. I have made an burned many a died cow patty fire to get the idea. big difference between praire vs wood. The herds moved on in winter where the tribes for gens gathered in certain places to overwinter then split up smaller and outward for the season again

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