Staying inside the Lines
November 19, 2012, 7:55 pm
Filed under: November 2012

A young sow checks out the new fence

                                                November 19, 2012

     Why is it that when animals are turned into a new pasture, the first thing they do is walk the perimeter? I guess it’s just like teenagers who have to see if an eleven o’clock curfew really ends at eleven o’clock!

     I am thinking that pushing boundaries is in our nature. I think it’s how we discover new things. Some use this desire to push in wrong directions, like how to steal something, others use it to figure out how to make water pure. I guess the drive to explore the limits is as good or as bad as the person doing the exploring.

     I am a “think outside of the box” person. I do like the status quo, but am willing to try new things, or better still, figure out how to adapt some old thinking into a progressive new way to accomplish a common goal. Like using draft horses to pick corn with a pto corn picker 😮

     I am mostly a stay inside the lines guy, but I have ventured beyond the limits now and then. I surely tested the curfew rule, speed limits and swimming before an hour was up. I was not a bad boy, but I did test the fences 😮

     Our sows are in a pasture that contains 2.5 acres of land. They spent half of the first day walking the fenceline to see if there was an opening other than the usual gate. So far, they have not created an opening of their own. I think they are now very content in their little grassy hamlet.

     I think that may be the key…finding happiness with what we have. Staying inside the lines, yet reaching out to make things interesting and finding a way where none existed. There is much wisdom in the past, searching out what worked back then and adapting it to a modern problem is a wonderful thing to do.

     I am working on a way to graze my sheep year-round. I know it can be done even in our snowy winters. I will continue to push the limits, use old farming techniques and re-think what the experts tell us. I am way ahead of most of them, only because I am guided by the past and common sense . I can build on what works … result driven experience that can been seen in my farming methods and the health of my livestock.

     I will pretty much stay in the lines, but can be counted on to shout for small farming and methods tested decades ago when petro-chemicals and agribusiness were not the voice of farming. Our food was not connected to oil…but rather…. SOIL !

     Sustaining the land, building the soil and putting back more than we take…that is the way to succesful farming. Go ahead, push the limits, but then use a little more compost. I know these things…when I pushed the curfew limit …you should have heard all the compost that I used 😮


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