Exciting For Us Anyway

We've had quite a bit of exciting things going on around here lately.  But then our idea of exciting may be skewed...given that we are a weird, unsocialized, homeschooling/homesteading family!

Back on April 12th we tilled up and then planted grass seed in our pasture.  (This blog is my other  better memory...without it we would not even know exactly which date we'd done that.)

And then it rained 12 inches over the next week and a half.

And two and a half weeks after we planted the grass seed, I took this picture....

...that shows precisely *nothing* growing in the pasture.  We thought either the seed had washed away or rotted in the ground.  And we were sure we'd need to buy another (expensive!) bag of seed and re-do the whole thing.

But my dad suggested we wait and give it a little more time.  We did....and now we have this:  

Woohoo!  We are officially excited that the pasture is looking this good…and it only helps our excitement that we did not have to buy and spread more seed to accomplish it!

We had our County Extension Agent come out last week to give our pasture the once-over.  And this is why:

That would be a plant of the genus Amaranthus.

a.k.a.  Pigweed

(yes, I would be excited to have amaranth growing on our homestead if it wasn't growing in the pasture...and if we weren't grain-free right now)

Amongst our grass in the pasture, we also have a very good crop of pigweed. Mr. J was impressed.  Or not.  Surprised is actually more like it.  He mentioned several times, "Wow, you have a LOT of pigweed out here!"

But he went on to say that while pigweed is not harmful for animals to eat, it would be best for the pigweed to not be out there in our pasture.  His suggestion was for us to mow the pasture, wait a couple of weeks, mow it again…and then we’d be ready to put grazing animals out there. 

He said this fenced-in section of pasture could sustain 2-3 cows, and that when the grass fills in even better, it may could support even more. 

Wanting to have the best (a.k.a. healthiest for animals) pasture possible, we have been out there spending hours (and hours) pulling that pigweed.  One by one…by one. 

OK, G didn't actually do much pulling.  He sure did look cute, though.

(Don't feel too bad for our kiddos having to weed for endless hours during their summer break...it's not unusual for us to end a weeding session by jumping in the pool)

But after talking to my friend Janisse at co-op today (she and her hubby raise and sell grass-fed beef), I believe we are going to follow Mr. J’s suggestion.  Janisse said that with pigweed being an annual, and grass a perennial, that once the grass fills in good, it should help choke out the pigweed.  

I’m dubious, but these two certainly know much more about this than we do (or ever will!)….and we like the idea of mowing the pasture instead of continuing to pull that pigweed one by one!

Some farmers have been doing controlled burning of their fields lately, so when Noah came to me during rest-time one afternoon and asked about some fire and smoke he spotted I wasn’t immediately alarmed.  But when he pointed out that it was in the pecan orchard right across the road from our house – and that there were no workers or vehicles over there with it – I became much more alarmed!

I took this picture through my bedroom window...that oak tree is in OUR yard.

It turned out that a power line snapped and part of it fell to the ground and caught the grass on fire.  Thankfully everything is really green and the fire wasn’t too big.

It drew lots of attention though…police and lots of volunteer fire fighters turned out.  Our front yard was quite the spectacle for a while.  The children thought this was SO cool!  Thankfully not much damage was done at all…Jas thinks he can see that two of the pecan trees were damaged. 

That is LK camped out in our front yard, with a front-row seat of all the action

It almost got our mailbox, though!  That would have been a sure enough tragedy.

We have been expecting rain and thunderstorms for days now…with nada to show for it. But last night made up for it, fast and furiously.

Jas and the four oldest were at a “for fun” soccer practice (yes, they love it that much!), so it was just G and I here at the house.  All of a sudden it got much darker outside and the wind whipped up.  I have never seen winds like we had.  The pecan trees that surround our house on three sides were whipping all around, our basketball goal was thisclose to toppling over (almost onto the Silver Bullet)…and yet there was still no rain.  It was the eeriest thing.   It really seemed more like a hurricane or tornado.  And the electricity went out several times (but thankfully ours came back on quickly…we had friends who lost power until this morning).

And then just as our other peeps got home, the bottom fell out. 

And then the whole thing was over pretty quick. 

But all that crazy, scary wind left quite a bit of debris about our place.

It’s a good thing that we’re done pulling pigweed….because we now have lots of sticks and branches to pick up!

1 comment:

  1. Love hearing all the news!! Miss you guys much!! Must call and set a get together!!



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