Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: David

At the heart of our herd…

TDA7, daughter of the great Tilbrook Cashtiller who is still the finest cow of any breed we’ve ever seen!  We flushed Cashtiller twice in England and nine years ago TDA7 was born here along with five sisters and two brothers. TDA7, like her mama, has aged gracefully…udders still as correct as a three-year-old. Our friend […]

The cost of doing business…

..Bayer, seeing the handwriting on the wall, has agreed to a ten-billion dollar out of court settlement to get rid of the lawsuits against its Roundup weed killer.  Juries haven’t accepted the various company-friendly investigations that cleared Roundup (aka: glysophate) of any connection with the cancer deaths of its users. Ten-billion sounds like a lot […]

The Thistle Hill Alumni Club…

…and a recent graduate…Equinox.  He’s a combination of our top English lines. Equinox is not quite two years old and at 900 pounds has a lot of growth yet to come.  But he went right to work covering the herd at Spring Pastures farm in Maryland. The Equinox pedigree includes such top names as Falcon, […]

What could possibly go wrong…

…China will protect us! The United States and China are wrapping up the agriculture portion of their trade talks and the two countries have agreed to open their markets to chickens. China has a history of dumping its contaminated food products here…well other things too, including toys.  Our only protection is going to be an […]

Our namesake…

…and a stubborn little plant!  The Canadian Thistle dominated our pastures 20 years ago…along with Rosa multiflora.  It’s taken a long time (and many grandchildren serving hard labor) to get both weeds to manageable proportions. We simply keep cutting them to ground level and eventually the plant gets the message and quits trying. The multiflora […]

King David reigns…

…over the American part of our herd anyway.  He is now in his third year and making stunning growth…300 pounds and 2.5 more inches scrotal growth…in recent months. King David is the result of crossing one of our pure English bulls with an American cow.  The idea was to mate the best to the best…hoping […]

The danger of Super-Sizing…

It’s been some years now since Michael Pollin set the beef industry on its ear with his article in the New York Times expanded into the book The Omnivores Dilemna. Speaking  in England…Pollin pulls back the curtain on the real story behind McDonalds French fries…or as they’re called over there…chips! David

Caution…grass at work…

…it may look like resting and that’s what graziers call it…but this grass is hard at work! The trick in grazing isn’t how much grass the cows eat…but how much they leave. Ideally we like them to bite off about a third…and trample a third…and leave the rest for regrowth. That’s what’s happening here. The […]

An excellent explanation…

…of just what holistic grazing is all about. About seven years ago we were introduced to the concepts of Alan Savory and even hosted a session here with Michael Mitchell-Innes.  It was a milestone in the history of the farm, particularly for Wooz, who had grown up here. In sum, holistic grazing puts the land […]

Strip grazing…

…and the main herd has settled in…changing paddocks with no more than a whistle.  I’m sure you could set up an automatic gate opener and they’d move themselves. There are 33 pregnant cows in this group.  The section already grazed is in the foreground.  By enlarging the picture you may be able to see the […]