It's Full on Grass Farming
May 9, 2023
With the last cold spell behind us, our animals turned their heads and walked away from the last bales of Winter hay. Springs are recharged, streams are overflowing their banks, and life is bursting out all over.
Alvin’s dairy cows are out on Spring greens. Verna and Sadie’s garden’s are planted. And, John has completed the important fence repairs (good fences make happy neighbors), to receive the new arrivals of young lambs, calves and piglets.
The grass in the Virginia Highlands is growing in lush with blue-grass, orchard grass, clovers and healthy herbs like comfrey, dandelion, and plantain that draw up minerals from the earth to nourish the livestock and add microbial activity to the soil.
They call this “Fat Cattle Kingdom” for a reason.
Other tasks that have keep us busy as bees have included sowing alfalfa, oats and red clover into the fields for next Winter’s feed, inventorying the herds, sorting, weighing and moving livestock into their next rotation of lush Spring pastures.
It’s easy to idealize a farmer’s lifestyle.
Waking to the sound of birds at dawn, pulling farm implements with a team of 6 horses, and watching the sunset in this magical place. And, the reality is that along with these simple pleasures, it’s hard work. Farm chores begin at 5:30 in the morning, milking, preparing food for the family, feeding the animals, a short break for breakfast and then back out to rotate livestock into fresh pastures, collect eggs, deal with predators, break-out bulls, busted water pipes, and dead batteries on the solar power system.
Let’s not forget about the mountains of laundry, hills of manure, shoe-trees of muddy boots, and the important job of guiding and mentoring the children so they can blossom while growing and harvesting enough food to share.
Watching the sunset is a momentary delight as we reflect on the day, feed animals, wrap up last minute chores, and get cleaned up so we can be ready to tuck everyone into bed.
And, everything happens rain or shine.
Oh, and then do everything that involves running and marketing a business and raising a family.
Sleep or no sleep, we love what we do and wouldn’t have it any other way.
We are committed to growing the healthiest food on the planet, building soil, improving the health of our communities, and passing on a sustainable food and farming system to our children.
With all this, we wish to thank you for supporting us to engage in the work we so dearly love. We couldn’t ask for more than to be of service to you in this way. We are truly blessed.
As the days grow longer and warmer and the next growing season is upon us, please take a moment to share your feedback about how we can contribute even more to your well-being.
The Simply Grassfed Families
photos courtesy © 2023 Avyanna Grace