This is another field we've been working on this summer. As I mentioned in a previous post about the other field we cleared, this was also part of the same, once-productive farm. This used to be exceptional hayground about 40 years ago. We know that because the fellow who picks up our trash said his grandfather once owned this land, and he worked with his grandfather to hay it when he was a teenager. He said they would get 10,000 bales from these various fields we've been restoring.
That hay production included a 10-acre pasture adjacent to this cleared one; we grazed it this year and hope to try haying it next year, though at the moment it's pretty weedy. We're counting on grazing pressure to help bring down the weed burden.
This next shot is looking inside another 4-acre "field" next to the cleared land; we took this photo at the tree line at the top of the photo above. This is what the cleared field looked like a couple of months ago:
That was once high-quality, highly productive hay ground. <Sigh.> We might tackle that next year, or just turn the goats out into it. It may not be hay land, but it sure is perfect goat habitat!
This is what happens in this climate when people let cultivated land go ... it naturally reverts to forest. The only way to prevent it is to mow it or graze it. It's really a shame to see this happen, because it took such back-breaking effort and labor to create those wonderful hayfields originally, back in colonial days, and after two hundred plus years of farming, people just abandoned them in the last half of the 1900s. Now we're expending a lot of effort and labor to restore them to their original purpose, though thanks to machinery it's not the back-breaking burden it was back then.
Here's another view of the same cleared field, looking up towards where we took the first photo:
The only benefit to this project was getting a year or two's worth of firewood from it. If you click on the photo for a larger image, you should be able to see two large piles of logs up next to the treeline at the top of the photo.
I seeded this field with grass seed a week ago. Two days later, a torrential downpour washed most of the seeds away. I seeded it again on Saturday, and yesterday "rolled" the seeds into the ground with our land roller. We have several dry days ahead. Now what we need is a nice, soft, gentle rain.
Please Vote for the Farm!
The latest Shelter Challenge started Monday, July 9 and ends at midnight on September 16. Grand prize in this round is $5,000, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** We are now LISTED UNDER OUR NEW NAME, ROLLING DOG FARM. State is still NH for New Hampshire. ***
Please remember, you can vote every day ... consider bookmarking the voting page to make it easy.
We just won $1,000 as a weekly winner in the last contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
You can vote in the Shelter Challenge here.
Thank you for your votes!