Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Environment

Off to summer camp…

…go eight Thistle Hill yearling heifers.  Once again Mary Perrine and Don Ferro have volunteered their adjoining pastures. It’s a lovely setting at the base of Cobbler mountain and the girls and we appreciate the hospitality. The two farms get lawnmowers and entertainment for the grandchildren and the heifers get loving care and civilizing and […]

The spring green-up…

…is well underway at Thistle Hill!  And Nala seems appreciative of the work we’ve done to improve the pastures. The over-seeding we did a year ago has really taken hold.  Perennial rye and and cereal rye and several clovers have all thickened our sward significantly.  Not apparent but a big contributing factor we feel certain […]

Solving the problem…Pt 2…

…well it’s a band-aid anyway. The numbers are in on using our own trees to make-up for the shortage of board fencing at the local coop. Thanx to a neighbor with a portable sawmill we were able to turn six trees…oak, walnut and cherry into high grade lumber.  Garrett Heydt was the man with the […]

Solving the problem…

…of the fence board shortage. With fence boards almost impossible to find, Curt has solved the problem by cutting down a dead oak tree.  We estimate it’s about 80 years old and the main trunk measures 19 feet by almost 3 feet around. A neighbor has recently put out a sign advertising he now has […]

After the storm…

…a mother and son relax on the comparative warmth of an unrolled bale of hay. It provides some insulation against the frozen ground below. David

Winter feeding…

…takes several forms at Thistle Hill.  This is my personal favorite because we’re feeding the soil as well. The cows follow behind the tractor as it unrolls the bale of hay.  They’ll eat up to 60%..the rest becomes organic matter enriching the soil…feeding the microbes and, in turn, the plants. Oh and tonight the new […]

The grass is always greener…

…when you add cover crops!  And for the first time that’s what we’ve done. Son-in-law Curt Humphreys and Coop manager Glenn Covington reviewed the results of the project this weekend…and pronounced themselves satisfied.  Grandson Church had started the plan with Glen but he’s now off at Cornell Veterinary School. If you enlarge the picture you […]

A partial victory…

…with Bayer pulling it’s Round-up herbicide from the home market. The major ingredient in Round-up is glyphosate…linked to cancers including non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Round-up will still be available for agricultural use despite continuing court cases against the product. The story in full David

Updating upgrading…

…our pastures.  Four days after seeding with a mix of cover crops we see the first sign of success!!  Young cow peas are the first to germinate…can the turnips and radishes be far behind? David

Upgrading some pastures…

…and using a no-till drill. In addition to clover, which we often spread, this year we’re mixing in perennial rye, cereal rye, turnips, radishes and cow peas. We’re doing several pastures hoping to extend the natural grazing season.  Not only should it mean extra nourishment for mama and calf in the winter slump but some […]