My pigs never managed to clear the small trees out of our field, partly because they hadn't read the books I did about how they were supposed to be managed, and partly because I'd become pregnant with Organique within a month of their acquisition, and oh, that changes plans. They became very expensive pork chops.
My flock of 30 or so hens began laying in spring, and in summer, when I was 7 months pregnant, a pair of dogs killed all but 2 of them.
We managed to get our first broilers in the freezer that year, but barely, after about half of them died along the way.
My plans obviously shrunk - from feeding the neighborhood down to supplementing our table and managing the household.
Since then we've had a tenant in our 'pasture,' who doesn't have the time to manage really well, but at least doesn't use chemicals. She has her sheep in there this fall, eating down waist-high grass and weeds after a summer of growth and partial irrigation.
It's been on my heart for some time to try to do more with the land. The sheep are great to eat things down for now, but I know about rotational grazing, and how it can help remedy the weed problem we have, without chemicals. I know about the nutritional profile of grass-fed beef, and I know there is potential here that could feed us [and maybe even part of the neighborhood].
Don't get me wrong; we're not out buying cows, by any means, but we're taking baby steps in that direction. The first order of business is to get the fences in far better shape. I took a chunk of my carefully-hoarded laundry-room-remodel savings and bought a couple rolls of fence, and some expensive wooden posts, for corners and support every 100 feet or so. We started working on the south end of the property, along the road, where Hubby has put in H-frames at the corners and across the ditch (more to go at the other end) and I unwired the rotten fence posts from the metal t-posts that were shoring them up, and laid down the 3 strands of barbed wire, excavating where necessary, digging through brush and dead, overturned trees (small by tree standards, big and poky to my standards).
|It looks so simple in a drawing...|
So - it's not much, but it's a baby step in the right direction. And I'm praying we can get more done before the ground freezes, because once it thaws in the spring, Hubby is working too long and too often to get much done around this here homestead. :)