Hello from Graze-N-Grow. The lawn mowing vacation is over for a while. We just got over two inches of rain on Sunday morning with more to come and it was enough to cheer the heart of this old farmer. Whether it be row crops or pasture, we’re back in the game. Our cover crops are now able to take off, which helps immensely for fall and winter grazing.
We baled some pasture hay last week into small squares and had them sold almost as soon as they came out of the baler at a price that my ewes cannot afford. I figured we would cull severely this summer before carrying them through the winter on such valuable hay. Now that fall forage growth looking more promising we may not have to go so deeply with our culling.
Our last week has been busy preparing for the ethnic holiday lamb slaughter. With Ruth and Nicole’s help we sorted and weighed lambs and did a thorough barn and slaughter room cleaning for last Sunday’s event. Ruth and I got drenched as we rounded the lambs up from the pasture but that felt great since we have gone a month with less than an inch of rain. What a busy time!
With families coming from Chicago and Moline, my back still aches from grabbing lambs and taking out the inedible for composting. With about 40 or so lambs to catch and close to a hundred people milling about it was hectic. We have gotten to know many of our customers and their families, some of whom have been coming here for over 10 years.
Ruth went through about 60 water bottles and 100 popsicles that day and we got to enjoy many of the culinary treats of the different cultures represented since they come to celebrate the holiday while the men do their work. We hauled 37 lambs to another farm for a customer the night before so we’re relieved of that congestion in our barn.
I expect this annual event may change for us since the date moves 10 to 11 days earlier each year and the lambs need to be at least six months old to be acceptable. I don’t intend to lamb in December so yearlings will have to do then and over wintering them needs to be profitable to make that work. Winter grazing cover crops and stockpiled grass will be necessary for that. The rams will go in today. (Monday) and next year we will see.
I hope all of you were blessed with a good rain, too. Happy Trails.