Spring as Arrived at CrossWind Farm!
Spring! We are glad you have arrived. On the Farm, spring brings an increase in work to be done. The Arabians' manes and tails are whipped by the wind all day long and need brushing and de-tangling. Have you ever seen a beautiful Arabian mane full of "dreads"? It is not pretty.
The garden must be weeded from everything that blew in during the winter. We added tractor bucketloads of composted manure and tilled that in. The ducks have spent time in the garden eating grubworms and keeping weeds from taking root. Today! we have finally finished the new chicken shelter and moved it into the garden. The layer chicks are out of the brooder and into the sunshine and fresh air of the shelter. The chicks will clean up what the ducks haven't finished. While they are working, they are adding natural fertilization to the garden making the soil richer. They will then move to pasture. The drip irrigation lines will go in and we will transplant the seedlings into the garden. No more danger of frost. We just need rain to soften the earth.
Softer earth will aid in setting posts to enlarge the horse paddocks and moving the cattle through the pasture. We place what are called step in posts that hold the electric wire to make smaller enclosure for "mob grazing". The cattle eat there 3-5 days depending upon the size of the paddock leaving about 6 inches of grass. They then move to the next enclosure. This always insures fresh grass for them.
The chickens will follow the cattle in their predator-proof shelters. They pick out all the parasites and scratch the manure into the ground for more natural fertilization. We never need commercial fertilizers or weed killers. The pasture improves year after year under this system of farming. The meat produced from our pastures is natural - no chemicals, no steroids, no hormones. Just as God planned.
The horses move to different paddocks as well. They are our natural lawnmowers. They love the tall grass. Eventually, the horses will move through the paddocks first, then the cattle, then the chickens as the clean up crew. This also makes better hay for our winter feeding. The horses are in larger paddocks since that gives them plenty of room to run. Nothing is prettier than watching these beautiful creatures run pell mell from one end to the other. Their heads are up with nostrils flared, manes flying, tails flagging and they float through the air. Absolutely gorgeous!!!
There are more chores to be done at the beginning and end of the day but it is so rewarding, so relaxing (most of the time!) and so fulfilling. Many people have gotten too far away from the farm. That is why we love to share CrossWind Farm with others. We know it is good for the soul to spend time here. Most folks don't have the opportunity to visit or work at a Farm; that is why our motto is "no arm so weak but may do service here".