As usual for spring, it's been a busy few weeks. With Memorial Day bearing down on us, we are prepping the fields (and ourselves) for the big summer planting push. Peppers, eggplants, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes are all almost ready to go in the fields. Irrigation systems are up, and the warmer nights mean crops are starting to grow faster! The big news, though, is that we *finally* seeded the 30 acres of future pasture. We were a little overwhelmed by it after we realized how EXPENSIVE field seed is (like about the cost of a tractor!), and we went back and forth trying to figure out how best to do it.
In the end we hired a neighbor who has a no till drill to plant over the corn stubble. For this first year, that means we will just have to mow it (or graze it if we get a good stand and some animals), but after it establishes, we can mow, graze, or hay it. We've both help graze and maintain other farms' pastures and fields, but to be honest, neither of us realized how costly establishing a hay or grazing field is.
We are relieved now that the field is in, and anxiously watching for germination (which should happen any day now). But what we really took away from the experience is that it is INCREDIBLY important to maintain your fields by grazing or mowing, because re-seeding them is an expensive proposition (and one that we hope to not have to do again for a long, long time!)...
Check out the gallery of pictures below from seeding day of Kevin's awesome (15' wide) seed drill. It's a really amazing machine... if you click on the pictures, it will show you a close up of the different parts of the drill.