Saturday, May 28, 2016

Farm Plan - Future Pasture Plan

I ask myself, what is the goal for the upcoming year? What is it for the short term? The long term? I've never been into the type of thinking where one has a five year, ten year, twenty five year goal. I'm just not that kind of person. But for the sake of discussing a master farm plan, I've been musing over a long term plan. Oh, this is going to take discipline on my part. I definitely lean towards being spontaneous rather than organized. 

For this year I will be targeting primarily the cross fenced pastures. I expect to remove more of the trashy trees, thus opening up more ground surface to the sun. That's going to mean about 20% to 40% of the current trees will get removed. I'm giving a really rough estimate because each cross pasture is different. What gets removed will be used here on the farm for other projects, such as fencing, furniture, trellises, etc. No waste. Nothing taken to the dump. 

I'm currently working on pasture #2. #1 is the dry pasture, nothing but trees. Thus I'm focusing on the first of the grassy pastures, aiming to increase the grazing. I'm about 1/3 the way through removing trash trees. Plus I've removed the brush and ferns from roughly 25% so far. In that cleared section I just recently seeded oats and assorted forbs, plus planted about 300 of my excess sweet potato cuttings. At the rate in going, I guess I'll have this pasture completed later this year.  That's a wild guess, so we'll see what really happens. 

I'm being wildly optimistic, but I think I'll get all the trashy trees and brush removed from the other cross fenced pastures this year too. But I don't foresee me getting the other pastures established in new grazing before the end of the year. That would be a lot of work to accomplish, since I have other projects that I'm also working on. 

What's my short term goal that's beyond just this year? Get all the cross fenced pastures up to speed in producing plenty of grazing. Then as the amount of grazing increases, expand the size of the sheep flock. I would love to see more lambs being born here on the farm. 

Long term goal? I'd like to thin out the trashy trees from the back wooded area, then get some pasture grasses going. But I plan to leave plenty of trees back there. I might add more food production trees.... avocados, citrus, bananas. The back woodsy area would be the buffer against drought years, hopefully giving me enough grazing so that I won't need to buy much in the way of hay cubes.

Next discussion : Fodder

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