Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Environment

Second pass…

…after a 45-day rest period, we’re bringing the main herd to where we started six weeks ago. The clover stand predominates…probably 60-70%. Church took the phrase “overseeding” too literally last winter. We may adjust paddock size this time around. We could use more trampling effect. Again trampled grass is particularly beneficial in the hot weather […]

Watching grass grow….

The definition of “boring” may be watching grass grow but whoever said that was certainly never a cattleman. We’ve finally started strip grazing and here’s an after-action picture of the first paddock. The untouched grass is behind the electric wire in the background. This was the result on a half acre with 30 cow/calf pairs […]

Here they come…

The main Devon herd stretched out across Thistle Hill at sunset. No fuss or bother as they follow grandson Church for close to a half a mile. Do they understand that luscious green grass awaits? They do certainly trust Church’s leadership and sense of purpose. Outriders, sticks and herding dogs not necessary. Once they’ve regrouped […]

That didn’t take long…

What a difference five days makes. Grass is now 8 to 10 inches. We’ll have to move fast or risk falling impossibly behind. Grandson Church is erecting the stakes for one-acre paddocks and the main herd of 30 cows and their new calves will have an acre a day. Look carefully and you’ll see a […]

Did someone mention Valentines Day….

Our young bull Cutcombe must have gotten the idea somewhere because he took off overnight looking for love. Fortunately a neighbor spotted him early in his search and helped Church herd the young lothario back into the bull pasture. Fortunate too that his eight mates didn’t follow him on his quest. So no harm done…oh […]

A hymn to farming….

….sort of. We’ve played music from the Peterson Brothers before.  They’re young men of a Minnesota farm family telling their story via rap, funk, etc.  Unintentionally, they often (as in this video) catalog pretty much all the sins of modern commercial farming. The argument is always that this rape of the land is necessary to […]

And that’s the way it is…..

….although no one is the Ag community talks about it.  Health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola blows the whistle in the practice of dumping sewage sludge on pastures and crop lands. Several farms have down this in our area despite the serious concerns that have been raised about the practice.  In our experience, the pastures look […]

Look up chutzpah….

….and you’ll find the Monsanto logo. The evil genius of this gigantic corporation is demonstrated anew with its campaign to co-opt the National Honeybee Day.  Bees, like butterflies, have rapidly been disappearing from the planet…a critical threat to growers around the world. As reported by Dr. Joseph Mercola, Monsanto moved in (as it has into the […]

Is the USDA sustainable….

….one of my favorite websites is the work of Paul and Gabe Brown…..holistic ranchers just outside Bismarck, North Dakota.  Recently they linked to an article in a Yale publication that does the best job I’ve seen so far of explaining the way Big Ag and Big Government are chasing their tails….trying to get ahead of […]

ADHD….an epidemic or a fiction?

The popular wisdom is that we’re facing an ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) epidemic.  Some experts trace it to diet…others to genetically modified foods…or to herbicides.  And then there are those who say it’s not a disease at all….unless you count bureaucrats grabbing onto federal dollars if they can find ADHD in the classroom. How […]