Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Pasture

The joy of farming….

Grandson Church is taking a post graduate course in biology this winter…and a course on everything else here at the farm. It’s easy enough rolling out the hay and makes for a nice picture but…but… The trick is to get the tractor started in zero temps and the bale positioned with the plastic wrapping off […]

Let’s call this before….

Christmas weekend opened splendidly with sunrise reflected off the Blue Ridge..captured by our designated early riser, daughter Carolyn. But if there’s a before there must be an after.  At the moment Carolyn took the before picture a passing motorist was also admiring the sunrise over Thistle Hill.  At least that’s what he told the investigating […]

It’s fescue weather….

We had a good solid freeze last night…the time of year that fescue pastures come into their own! The main herd has just moved into the next to last paddock. The green line is obvious but you can click on the picture to enlarge. Scientists say that the freezing temperature increases the sugar content considerably.  […]

Remember, the answer lies in the soil….

When we first moved to Dallas, we had an English gardener, Patrick Butterworth, who ended every letter, birthday card, and bill with the above phrase. Over time I have come to appreciate how incredibly apt this phrase describes so many systems, from the human body and how well it heals, to the garden, to the […]

We knew her “when”….

….Thistle Hill is fortunate in the company it gets.  I guess it’s because we try so many things and have become a real world laboratory.  We’ve hosted visitors from around the world and learned from them all. One who stopped by last year was Sarah Flack, a young forage expert.  She was writing a book […]

Needed: short term pasture….

….in the Petersburg-Richmond area of central Virginia.  A young farm couple we work with needs a pasture for about 15 cows…some with calves….for 90 days.  If you can help out, please contact us here at Thistle Hill.  We’ll all appreciate it. 540-364-2090  

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 […]

By way of explanation….

….we haven’t been able to enjoy our fall pastures much….or update this blog….for quite a while.  So below is a recent picture by our manager, Duane Ard, and now the explanation. A month ago, Wooz fell on our gravel road and broke her hip.  A routine x-ray then revealed a small mass in her lung.  So […]

Thistle Hill as laboratory….

….we’re fortunate to be considered something of a “place to see” if you’re studying this business (profession? trade? art?) of raising grass fed cattle.  Not long ago, we were visited by Sarah Flack who is in the very early stages of her career in forages,though she got quite a head start as a member of […]

Not in your wildest dreams…

….we don’t know for sure, but we think that this may be what a forage experts dream about at night.  At least, Sarah Flack, a forage guru from Vermont who visited Thistle Hill the other day, seemed to be in her own personal vision of heaven. Sarah consults on forages for a number of farms.  […]