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Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
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Hi everyone! Thanks for letting me join this group!

I moved last July to a 43 acre farm. My dream home. It's got about 15 acres of fenced in pasture and the rest is wooded. There is a garden with good rich soil and a grove of fruit trees that are dying from a fungal infection. It's very hilly here, I guess you could say we're on top of a mountain but not a big mountain like some people live on. Already we have 2 goats, 2 mini donkeys, a mule, 8 cattle, a couple flocks of chickens, a guard dog, and a small herd of potbelly pigs.

The pasture is fescue mixed with clover and other grasses. It has been overgrazed in the past and I'm planning on dividing it into paddocks so most of it can rest. It has problems with invasive bush honeysuckle taking over (which has spilled into the forest so that it is the ONLY understory plant in much of the woods now), and ironweed as well as some mineral problems, I think, because some areas of the pasture get grazed down to the ground while other areas the cattle just WON'T graze, and I think it's a nutrient difference they can detect. I want to use the pigs to restore patches of pasture with rotational grazing, planting native species like gamagrass in the bare patches they create. Already from several months in the pasture last fall, they've made part of the pasture the cow's most favorite part to graze.

We had a pond dug and two barns built, with rain gutters so we can capture the rainwater to use for watering the livestock. I found out the state will give us free fish fry for our pond in the spring but right now it's a dead pond - just a hole filled with water and none of the pond life that the fish will need to survive.

I put in an order for too many trees - 10 mulberries, 10 persimmons, and 20 chestnuts. We want to line the driveway with them to make some shade on the top of the hill (there are pastures on both sides of the driveway, which is 1/8 mile long). I'm hoping the mulberries will pop up around the farm since the leaves are good fodder in drought times and the pigs and chickens will enjoy the berries.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5911
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
366
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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Hi, Renate, welcome to Permies.com. It's wonderful to hear what you're doing and planning!
 
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