We have had a relatively dry and warm fall so far here in Oregon, although the forecasts suggest this is going to change. The cooperative weather has let us get some last minute field work accomplished and has allowed already established pasture build up biomass for the winter.
I thought I’d just post a few nice scenes from the past few weeks, and add commentary to them.
This year Farmland LP received a grant through a partnership with the Marys River Watershed Council from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. Funds are going towards restoration of riparian zone habitat along the Marys River at our Fern Rd Farm. In the image above you can see an excavator removing blackberries along the river bank. We are also planting native trees and broadcasting native grasses to hold on to the soil and re-establish a riparian forest.
This was a large area of blackberries. We had goats run through it during 2010 and the excavator finished the job this year. Sheep are shown there now. They are hoofing in grass seed we spread and browsing on the shrubbery, which is mostly willow. We will use sheep for managing the regrowth of blackberry while the trees become established. Blackberries don’t grown under the shade of a forest.
Mac Stewart looks over a group of Dorset ewes feeding on forage brassica. These plants taste great and are actually a variety of kale and turnip. Markings on the back of the animals are paint brands. The electromesh fencing seen behind the sheep allows us to precisely manage where they graze and for how long.
A common fall-winter weather pattern around here is for fast-moving low clouds to dump rain for several minutes, followed by sunny breaks. Catch one of these breaks in the evening and the light is fantastic. This image shows both the health of the established pasture, which we won’t graze again for another 2-3 months or perhaps until April. In the background is Chris Hansen’s laying operation. The hens have lots of room to roam and are taking advantage of it.
Well that’s just a sample of what is going on, and I have a backlog of more detailed posts, but those will need to wait until winter truly sets in.