“Trees feed Livestock feed Soil; Farmer Ecology & Skills for a Changing Planet,”
Tree Fodder Seminar 2018 based at 3 Streams Farm, Belfast, ME
Sat. July 8 – Sun. July 14 (with partial attendance options).
Some partial barter accepted. Call (207) 338-3301 to register.
Today I ended up meeting Faithful Venture Farm's Holsteins in their pasture instead of at milking time. This was SO fun: they stampeded up to me in this very green sunny place, and politely checked out but refused the white birch both on the branch, and fresh chipped (that's expectable; it's a sheep species).
Since I was way down the hill already, I decided to be even later for my own animals, and took a walk to fetch basswood, ash, and oak from the trees there. The cows had gone back to stand close along the wood line in shade, and upon my return only #162 was facing me on my end. She hogged everything, before the others caught on! I suspect Basswood (linden, lime, Tilia) and White Ash (Fraxinus) to continue to be on their menu of choices; the oak may only be tasty to them at this young understory stage.
In any case, now I have a friend. #162 followed me to sniff and refuse the white birch again, and then I crawled under another fence line to offer some elm, which was surprisingly only nibbled - very fuzzy stage, not fully leafed - or is that different than the elm at my place? (my leaves are pretty smooth now). There is supposedly Slippery Elm around here.
Penny the Dexter cow at Jackson Regenerational Farm, and the sheep at Y Knot Farm all settled happily for white birch, both intact and chipped.
My goaties got some nicer white birch later, from a lush pollard next to their grassy paddock : ) Yet they limit consumption, eating eagerly until their tannin limit is reached? We shall see if the ensiled chips are more digestible for them, next winter.
Tomorrow I will bring some white birch to the hogs. They appreciated it dried last winter.
Today I conversed with a likely internship candidate, though she hopes to start in July. Perhaps Josh Kauppila and myself will be spelled a bit by Susie Dexter with some Per Diem days, in the interim. I am sleeping strange hours in order to pull of what we are managing to keep up with, as the original plan was to have three interns. Not that I have ever minded a challenge : )
Dear Witnesses to my Leafy Obsession, and also our Milk Drinkers who have broken fast this week,
The weighing of goats coming in and out of our Demo Plot has become almost a Goat Treat. Some were getting back up onto the scale to see if I would rub any more black flies out of their fur and off their bellies.
The goats gratified me by showing interest in the moist young white birch leaves today, just about flatly refused yesterday. I must bring a sample to my hogs.
I succeeded yesterday morning in finding my way to a digital scale at the CoOp downtown (despite store rearrangement), bagged goat poops in hand (in paper And plastic). 8 defecation events in 2 hrs. only added up to just over a half lb.. I meant to point out to a cashier that I was bringing something in to weigh, but no one was at the front right then, causing some concern that I might get caught shop-lifting the poops...or even worse, weighing them for a drug deal. Yet despite store cameras, no cops trailed me home (my car inspection is over-due, but maybe they would have been too gaga over the poops to notice?).
Josh and I were up in beech trees, as the black flies stay near the ground. The Goaties were intent to thieve our paper records, and at one point Zephyr did sleight-of-mouth with a roll of electrical tape for rope ends. This is unusual feistiness for my calm loving goats; they get bored with the small (1 acre) fenced-in plot.
Dear Josh, Any May, and those Curious about our Funded Farmer Research in the Woods,
At two urinations sighted in a 2 hr. period, and none collected (over too fast), I suspect we lost more liquid to the black flies, who came out in full force just today. They are way too small for the platform scale, plus hard to catch without losing all that liquid AGAIN. So Farmer Research it is – inexact science.
But 13 out of 14 good goat weights on a first run-through is Not Bad, for only-1-person-today, out-numbered by 7 goats, outnumbered exponentially by very distracting BLACK FLIES… SARE Farmer Research : )