Not in your wildest dreams…

by David

….20150521_19we 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.  Also lectures.  Also writes books.  That’s what she was doing here:  gathering material20150521_33 for her next book.  Her working title is something like “Be Your Own Consultant”.

Sarah couldn’t get over the plant diversity in our pastures and had a hard time believing it had all been achieved without over-seeding of any kind.  Three years ago we did over-seed one pasture with Italian rye for our steers, but it wasn’t worth the expense.

What we’ve achieved has been the result of managed grazing and spraying microbes.  Oh, and rain….probably the most important ingredient of all.  Our fescue has now been “invaded” by red clover and orchard grass.  It’s supposed to be the other way around.  We’ve delayed mowing weeds for the past two years, hoping to encourage the orchard grass.  The red clover is just a pleasant surprise.