Sunday, April 10, 2011

Of Scythes and Sheep

So a snath and blade arrived a little over a week ago - together a "scythe." In order to get the hang of it I've mown the back lawn and a swath in the orchard. I have used the fresh cut to feed my rams - they seem happy enough with it as they have now little to forage on in the current enclosure they are in.

Yet another quite cold Spring - very wet with over 7 inches of rain last month alone and we continue to struggle to get even a couple of days in the upper 50s. As a result the grass in the pastures has been slow to come on, alas. I worry that we'll jump from that to an excessively hot summer - putting the grass into heat dormancy before we can get a good 3 months grazing out of it. We'll see.

The scythe is a good tool for the 2 acres or so of productive grass growing land we have. It can reach corners where even my small tractor can't get into, and rather than mulching the mown grass it lays it over into windrows and thus we can make hay rather simply and easily when desired. It requires little strength, is quiet, and needs no gasoline. I suspect you could manage easily 5 or more acres of pastureland/hayland with two good hands experienced with a scythe. With a little better management I could probably put up a fair amount of loose hay for the Fall period and only have to buy winter feed farther into November for the breeding stock, to last until about March 1.

This year I need to manage slaughter and sales so that I can do breeding a little earlier and push lambing into late Feb. This will reduce Fall feed purchasing and impact to the land and get the timing right for the new lambs in Spring for our usual grass production.


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3:33 AM  
Blogger Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

The morning of the Saturday of Lazarus, one of my favorite services will begin soon, and I will be present, God willing. Greetings to you, brother, and God's blessing upon you and your family this great and holy week, and a blessed Pascha, and beautiful Resurrection.

Your post, though prose, and seemingly on things mundane, reads in my ears as a pure poem, charged with simplicity, humility, love, and daily life—what else were we made for? 'Blessed is the man…'

Yes, the rain, and the rain, and more rain. It seems like the sunrises I've seen from my upstairs hallway east window since the beginning of spring could be counted on the fingers of one hand, red-golden but rare.

I'm coming to love gray skies and sudden. torrential hail storms—but then, I am not a yeoman and husbandman, and no shepherd—but that is what God orders, and what do I have but what He gives. This is no question.

Again, glory to You, O God, glory to You. And to you, dear brother, again and again, may He be with you and yours, may He bless you, field and flock. Christ is in our midst.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Fresh Garden said...

He who loses money loses much;
he who loses friends loses much more;
he who loses faith loses all.

Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Every moment, thank God.

9:06 PM  

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