Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Month: March, 2012

Mob grazing…the soil report

It was a year ago that we began our experiment with mob grazing at Thistle Hill.  And here, agricultural land consultants Charlie Thornton (foreground) and Tim Woodward of Tellus Consulting help us consider the results. Tellus did a complete mineral analysis of seven of our pastures using Brookfield Labs in Ohio.  We tested three of our […]

Giving docility a good name….

As we’ve noted before, visitors to Thistle Hill almost always comment on two things about our cows:  first, how healthy they look (and are), and then how well-behaved. Devon are naturally docile but our care does seem to make Thistle Hill cows and bulls especially easy to handle.  It’s an advantage in many ways, including the […]

Morning chores…

It’s the twice-a-day routine.  Pokey sets out with Wooz to feed the pigs and check on the heifers.  (They share a pasture)  (I mean the pigs and heifers; not Wooz and Pokey.) We’ve not had a dog, certainly not a puppy, who is content simply trotting alongside, watching what needs to be done.  She won’t […]

Cashtiller does it again….

…was the heading on the email we received recently from an English friend, Gavin Hunter.  Once again his magnificent cow Cashtiller has sired a bull that won top price at the national Devon show.  That’s three straight bull calves and Gavin, throwing caution to the wind, had actually named this bull Hat Trick.  Sports fans know […]

So now you have a choice….

You can look at pictures of our great-grandson, our 14 grandchildren or our new hired hand.  She flew in from Oklahoma the other night, arriving in excellent condition and more than matching our expectations. Her name is Pocahontas, and that recommended her still further.  Pocahontas of course was the legendary Virginia Indian maiden.  However, before she even […]

What can you say?

A bald eagle perched on a tombstone at the national cemetery outside Minneapolis.  (Our thanks to Bill Roberts of 12 Stones Grassland Beef)

All dirt is not the same…..

Water (not oil) may be our most precious resource but dirt isn’t far behind.  And with all the changes we’ve made to our pastures at Thistle Hill (and the addition of more acreage) we thought it was time for a complete analysis of our soil. So last week we brought in Tellus Consulting again for […]

As I was saying….

…before our modem quit.  Well, more precisely, before three modems and three techs finally solved the problem. It is not with complete confidence that I try this post….I’ve gotten this far many times only to see the internet suddenly fade away. The headlines while you (we) were gone: Pork is sold out.  More beef and […]

Another helping of slime, kids?

We thought it kinda funny-sad-outrageous recently when the Fed Food Police confiscated some school lunch boxes and substituted cafeteria meals instead.  The contents of the lunch boxes were deemed “unhealthy” but when we read what the Feds proscribed—starting with chicken nuggets—we concluded Mom’s cooking may not have been perfect but it was a whole lot […]

It was bound to happen….

Someone would eventually realize how glamorous cows really are.  And it’s finally happened….in a Dallas boutique, of course.  These cow mannequins are sporting not only the latest designer gowns, but thousands of dollars in jewelry. We think our cows are gorgeous just the way they are…but maybe a little sparkle on their ear tags would […]