Misty, love your blog - the panorama of the future pig pasture is picture perfect.
And yes, that is just what grows naturally. Earlier in the spring there are pink oxalis and some sort of white flowering thing so I let the lawn get a little taller to enjoy the flowers.
This time of year though, I need the grass clippings for my garden beds. I do not bring in any outside sources of mulch so I need everything. Our sandy soil just sucks up the green grass clippings -- but very slowly it is becoming good black earth.
That is very interesting that you don't bring in any outside mulch. Do you only have grass clippings to use? How much area are you able to harvest in clippings? I was planning on mulching primarily with (bought) straw since it's cheap and abundant near our homestead, but maybe I should consider tackling our grownup pasture area as a source instead.
I am scared to death to buy anything from the 'outside' anymore. I broke this rule once recently and have regretted it. The wheat straw I bought from a localfeed store obviously has been sprayed with a broad leaf herbicide. Wheat is growing great where I put it down but not ONE SINGLE WEED and the potatoes that I planted in it were sprouting nicely before planting. Now the sprouts are stunted, the tubers are still putting out roots but it is as if the plant is on 'hold'. Common story now days from hay, straw and even the manure from animals that have eaten it.
I haven't measured how much mulch we get from our grass clippings but it doesn't ever seem to be enough. Plus now that I let my grass grow higher I get even less to use for mulch. Doing a lot of chop and drop these days just using the weeds as mulch. I do also get cypress shavings from the man next door who is a wood worker. He buys the wood rough and makes it into bird houses, chairs, cabinets etc. I use the shavings for my birds and after that it goes to my plants so it has a little bird poo in it.
My turkeys have taken to roosting in a particular spot so that is very handy for scooping up fairly large amounts of fertilizer (for a bird).