Watching the Grass Grow
If you know of anyone who can help us manage our five acres of pasture now, please let me know. Here’s the story–you’ve heard some of it before…
The second summer after we began work on this place back in 1999, our neighbor stopped by to introduce himself. He was pleased to discover the pine tangle in our pasture was beginning to disappear, one burned pile at a time as we saved up money for this huge incremental field restoration project.
He and his father had been caring for this pasture since the 70s, mowing hay twice a year for their small cattle farm about two miles up the road. They were horrified to come in the spring of 1985 with the fertilizer spreader and discover the absentee owners in the prior fall had paid (seemingly by the tree) to have the five acres planted far too densely in white pine–ostensibly to sell for a profit as Christmas trees.
That business early on proved too labor intensive and the trees were neglected, left to grow tall and spindly, three feet apart, 20 feet tall and dead save for the top three feet that could reach the light. Worthless for any purpose and a fire hazard, we paid to take them out (by dozing and burning) over the first two years, and since then, our level floodplain between Goose Creek and Nameless Creek has gradually returned (with no small investment on our neighbor’s part in seed, lime and labor) to a beautiful, lush pasture.
Now, after the first summer cutting, he’s told us he will not be able to make hay in our pasture any longer for a variety of reasons, and we’re left not knowing quite where to go from here.
We are in an out-of-the-way place, to be sure, but you CAN get here from there, granted not easily hauling extra-wide farming equipment. We can pay somebody a reasonable free to come bush-hog and leave it lay twice a year and waste 17 to 23 (depending on the season) large round bales of very nice hay if nobody will take it for free.
What we can’t bear to do is let it come back in brambles, thistles and ragtag volunteer forest.
We’ll contact some local folks first, but if you know of anybody in northeastern Floyd County who might be interested, sing out, won’t you?
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