The latter half of July and the month of August were pretty busy at the farm. As I mentioned before, the pasture had not been orchard since before 2010 and the resident grass and alfalfa that had blown in over the years had been cut and left to decompose.
Originally I planned to broadcast the organic seed into the existing surface without tilling. Given the thickness of the layer and the cost of organic seed, tilling was the best option for a good start. Tilling also added quite of bit of organic material to the soil. Soil tests had revealed a shortage of organic material and the soil tends to be quite sandy.
It takes a village I have found in this journey and the wealth of knowledge folks have on board amazes me. A few shout outs in this posting:
Cameron and his sons, who spent two weeks digging up and repairing irrigation lines (fun to see Laura out as well!). The guys shortened the risers from 14 ft orchard height to 6 ft to make it easier to repair (The tractor and I have had a few mishaps with sprinklers, I am getting very good at repairs!).
Dustin at Welter Seed in Iowa who helped finalize the seed blend needed for the 100% grass-fed rations.
Jim at Central Washington Equipment for his knowledge and equipment availability.
Both these gentleman helped me through the process of determining I really needed to till for best results. Jim has been patient with answering ALL my questions on equipment.
Robert for loaning us tractor implements, the rake and tiller, both critical but expensive to buy.
This series of photos chronicles the process of getting seed in. I tilled the entire acreage (actually my dad helped, but he will get his own post for his contributions), the rented seeder dropped the seed in rows then covered them. Finally after two weeks, we have grass!
The weather has been perfect, Greg, the irrigation watermaster, has been diligent in making sure plenty of water has been available while seed germinated.
The next photo indicates visitors to the pasture, since all the 8 ft. fences are in disrepair…….I wonder if a “No Trespassing” sign will deter these these en”deer”ing guests……
Next post – tractors and mice!