Are wetlands bad to have in your pastures?
As Winter Fades
I just came inside from a quick post lunch break, where all I did was take 5 minutes to just sit in the sunshine. No phone. No planner. Just me and the sun.
It was incredible. That 5 minutes had me feeling illuminated, refueled, and ready to get back to work. If you haven't implemented something like this into your daily routine, I would highly recommend it.
As I sat out there, I heard the drip drip of the snow melting and thought of the pastures.
All of this snow melting sure could make a large mess if we were farming differently than we do!
How would it do that?
Well, the melting snow has to go somewhere. If it has nowhere to go, flooding happens which can cause erosion.
I'm sure you've seen this in cities as storm drains rush with snow melt from paved roads.
But this can happen in the country, too, on fields that are compacted and left barren after harvest in the fall. As the water runs off, it takes soil and nutrients with it.
Thankfully, the way we farm results in a different outcome.
Our pastures are diverse and perennial, which not only helps our animals and the wildlife stay healthy during the grazing season, but it helps the soil in spring, too.
You see, the plant roots add structure to the soil that make it like a giant sponge. When the snow melts in spring, they help draw the water down into the soil, replenishing the groundwater and filtering it on the way.
This reservoir of water underground can be especially important later in the year if we experience a drought.
As I mentioned above, also, the plants in the pasture keep the soil and nutrients where they are, so they don't wash away and leave our farm.
When nutrients wash away from other farmland, they travel down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico, which can cause huge algae blooms and problems for the environment down there.
But by keeping those nutrients here, they climb the food chain through the plants and the animals, back to you in the form of nutrient dense (and might I say delicious) meats that are good for you and the environment!
Thinking about it all makes me eager for grazing season to start, but we're not quite there yet. It'll take some time for all of the snow to melt and for the plants to green up.
Until then, we'll continue feeding the animals hay and enjoy the lighter load of chores before spring is in full swing.
Take a look as we walk through our pastures in the Spring. No, you won't see any cattle or sheep in this video, but you will see some other critters, that we are pretty proud to have in our fields. They're the reason we choose to farm regeneratively. Regenerative agriculture shares the land with critters like these.
This video was inspired by the calling frogs and birds that I heard as I walked through the pastures.
**Pardon the wind!**
Take a look and I hope you enjoy this Tuesday Tidbit from our farm! I also included a short, second video of lambs running around just for fun.