This season has been filled with mud. Anyone with animals, children, or simply a desire to be outside knows well how wet this Summer has been. It certainly does not make it easy on livestock.
Our pasture areas in general already err on the side of damp, given that we live on a swamp, in the woods. Not ideal for grazing. However, the paddock and cow pasture usually still dry out enough where there isn't a heavy amount of mud, unless of course the Homestead Husband leaves the hose on in the water trough and it over flows.... frequently...
^^what he said.....
This season proved to us that we had a significant number of trees to continue clearing to let more sunlight get at our ground to dry things out. It is definitely is hard to grow the herd when the area they are supposed to thrive in, is not serving them. Insert a lot of frustration here...
What I have found though, is that when you genuinely put something out to the universe, it has a way of returning it to you. You can't catch any fish if you don't have your net in the water! So, when an opportunity presented itself to us during a conversation with a local land owner, we opted to give it a go!
An incredibly generous local landowner, who so happens to also appreciate cattle, has offered to let us utilize some of their cleared, dry grassland to graze our cattle on. The lot is (very) close to our property, and offers a peaceful surrounding, and fresh natural drinking water for the cattle - it is quite literally perfect for us. We were so taken aback by the offer we didn't even accept right away - but, the landowner's enthusiasm was equal to our own, and we all felt it would be the right fit.
In our spare time (HA, HA, HA.... what is spare time? In our borrowed time? I don't even know what the right way to refer to it is) we've been working on fencing in numerous acres to protect our cattle and allow them freedom to eat and roam on clean dry land. It's been a really pleasing project to work on, as it truly showcases our dream and is looking like everything we could have hoped for. We are so grateful for this opportunity and want to do everything in our power to ensure it goes smoothly.
While the cattle are in their new pasture, our goal for home is to work on our paddock and pasture at the ranch. We'll remove all of the excess trees, seed the land, and let grass grow in to allow for a greater amount of grazing here at the homestead. Improvements all around.
Of course, none of it is ever possible without family!
We had the most special experience with some of our extended family recently. During their family vacation, they inquired about coming to learn about ranch life for a day! We were happy to oblige, and very appreciative of the extra hands getting the fencing accomplished!
During their visit, we taught them how to do fencing, visited with all of our animal friends here at the ranch, worked horses in the round pen, and discussed graining and feeding regiments! We also got to indulge in some DR smoked burgers.
We loved sharing new perspectives with them and sharing what we know about raising livestock with love and compassion. Everyone had some laughs and definitely put some hard work in!!
We have so much to be thankful for. We cannot wait to see this next chapter for our herd. We know they are going to love their new space.