Thursday, June 5, 2008

Acres of unmowen grass

Last month's issue of ACRES USA featured an article by Joel Salatin on Mob Stocking. In it he described how he has changed this rotational grazing practice to allow the grass to get considerably older than is normal, well past the peak of the vegetative stage. The article goes on to detail all the benefits of this kind of grazing. As a long time MIG person I was somewhat skeptical. Timing grazing for the peak growth stage is vital to getting the most nutrition out of the grass and getting it to regrow repeatedly. I thought "Joel is just trying to differentiate himself again. That's what he does best." But, the past few weeks the grass has really gotten ahead of me, so much so that I was really thinking about making hay or at least mowing. So I decided to give long grass grazing a try. I'd done it before and hadn't liked the results. This time I cut the paddock size way down to really pack the animals together (I'm still a bit under stocked). I've been changing paddocks every day, and the animals are really doing well. Jury is still out as to what this is doing to my grass for fall, but I think we'll be fine.

Grazing long grass and thistle

I'll keep at it for a while while I watch how the grass responds. If I had made it into hay it should come back just fine, so I can't see how this would be any different.


John (with an h) said...

Very interesting reading. Are there any online communities where this is being discussed?

Alan said...

John, Haven't found any specifically grazing or sustainable farming communities yet. There is a loose network of micro-eco farm people, but we are scattered all over and mostly comment on each others blogs. A good place to start would be Tiny Farm Blog which you can get to from my list of favorite sites. I also like the Bioneer Community for more general eco discussions. Otherwise, check back here from time to time. We usually have something interesting going on that we would be willing to discuss.

Esther Montgomery said...


I've been really busy lately and lost track of your blog and have been cross with myself for doing so.

I've now put it on my reader.



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