Carson Albright

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since Feb 26, 2018
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Recent posts by Carson Albright

Starting my garden this year and the soil is horrible.  Thought I would grow some buckwheat and cowpeas to help amend the soil, but my first planting had 0 success.  Ended up ordering a ton of wood chips and thought I would attempt to grow the leftover seeds directly on the wood chips as an experiment, I had read a lot of comments online that it would not work.  
This is week one of growing directly on soil.  Have a drip hose buried under wood chips that drips for one hour twice a day and am hoping by the end of this summer the wood chips will break down more with the heat and water and the buckwheat/cowpeas will make good compost over the winter so I'll have at least an inch or two of solid soil to grow on come spring.
4 months ago
Thought I would post a follow up.  I've been mowing a few times since I this post and the pastures I've mowed repeatedly are noticeably better.  The first picture will be a week after it's first mow, and the second will be a week after it's 3rd mow.  
I've had a couple issues with the Dr, the belt broke on me after a few mowings.  DR customer service is great they sent me a replacement and walked me through putting a new belt on.  Would prefer it to have not broken in the first place but they have been helpful.  So far this has been a cheaper alternative to a tractor, it is a bit more work.
5 months ago
https://onpasture.com/2017/11/06/is-mob-grazing-as-effective-as-we-thought/

Read this article the other day and thought I'd put it up for discussion.  I've never grazed any animals, so I am certainly not an expert or knowledge source.  It has been my experience in other things that people do tend to exaggerate or over emphasize the benefits of things online, and was wondering if Mob grazing is one of those cases.  What really striked me in this article is that mob grazing was found to have less consumed forage and less soil creation, which I would have thought otherwise.  

Thoughts?
6 months ago
Thanks Eric!  It's been a long process, I was just looking at some pictures of the pasture a year ago and can't believe how much it's changed.  Here's the same area at roughly the same time last year
7 months ago
Wanted to post an update for future people who have my issue. I did go with the root rake option on my land, and could not be happier with my choice.  It's amazing looking at the difference in the pasture from pictures of last year to roughly the same time now.  I did also fertilize and reseed the pasture after the rake.  When you have such an infestation of cacti, I found it unreasonable to spend years digging by hand or hoping goats would eat the stuff and attempt to avoid cacti while working on the land at the same time. It did take a solid year for the land to recover but I now have a decent pasture with minimal cacti that I could reasonably remove by hand.

I just started mowing to help eliminate some of the twiggy and weedy growth but will be stocking with goats and alpaca for land maintenance, and eventually add guinea hogs to help clear some woody areas and help root my garden.
7 months ago
Wanted to post an update.  I did go with a walk behind Dr brushmower to keep initial expenses down, and I was unsure how much I truly would be using it once animals were on the land so I didn't want to buy the heavy duty one.  
I mowed roughly 2 acres over the weekend, focusing on the woody weeds that were really tall.  All in all it took me roughly 4 hours, but my pasture is a lot thicker and more overgrown than I had thought.  The Dr did the job and I don't regret buying it, it did get interrupted when mowing thick grassy growth like a lawn mower, something more horsepower may have helped and been nice to have.  Once the land is being grazed I suspect this will no longer be an issue.
It is doable to use this to mow an acre on the weekend, and if grazed should be useful keeping undesirable vegetation in check.
7 months ago
I was intending on using this for years, why do you say I won't need it after the first few years?
8 months ago
Anyone use a brush beast before?  
https://www.gxioutdoorpower.com/brush-beast-36-in-22-hp-subaru-commercial-duty-dual-hydro-brush-power-type-in-gas-electric-start-gas-commercial-walk-behind-mower-not-sold-in-california/

Claims to do 1 acre in half an hour, which would be totally do-able, I'll be doing an acre a week on clean up crew after the animals.  Pretty pricey, but I'd rather buy great equipment upfront than buy 2 brush cutters later.  
8 months ago
Horseweed and sunflowers are the prevalent weeds, I'm hoping the goats will help with both, but I've not had experience with goats so I"m not sure if they are truly the weed eating machines people make them out to be.  Hoping if we add Guinea hogs they would also help with this.  I don't need a perfect pasture, or a manicured lawn, but I would like to maximize the food output for the animals to add other livestock if successful.  From my understanding horseweed and sunflowers are not ideal for livestock, so while I"m fine if there are a few in my pasture, I have areas that have totally choked out the grass and clover because they both grow much taller faster.  
I have never heard of a two wheel tractor, I may look into that.  Riding would be preferable, but I have actually mowed the whole 5 acres with a push mower at one point(it sucked) so splitting it up into 1 acre mows weekly with something designed to handle the height might actually be feasible.  
8 months ago
I've already purchased 4 Alpaca's, we will also be getting 3 goats, and we may get 2 guinea hogs in 2020.  I wanted to start stocking light to make sure the pasture can handle the load.  We will also be running a chicken tractor with them, roughly 6 chickens.  If they cannot handle the load with the growth, I may add sheep as well, but would prefer to wait for the pigs to see if it's needed.  I'm thinking I may want to mow for a few reasons 1. Stocking is light and I'm not sure if that many animals will be able to eat all the pasture in 1 week. 2.  My pasture is heavily invested with sunflowers and weeds.  
8 months ago