Brassicas Endure

Brassica Stub

The pigs tend to eat the leaves of kale, cabbage, broccoli and other brassicas during the warm months, leaving the roots to continue growing. A good sustainable practice. It’s mid-November and these are one of the things that keep growing late into the fall.

When the pastures wane is the time the animals start to eat the tubers. The radishes, turnips, beets, mangels and such get sweeter after the frosts and there is less of the more desirable forages to compete on the buffet.

If this root stock survives the fall munching then it will be protected under our deep snows so that next spring it will likely put forth another year’s leaves. Brassicas are considered annuals but the reality is that if the roots can survive the winter they are perennials. We have some that are five or six years old, reborn like the Phoenix each spring. They’re also very good at putting out seed so my original plantings have spread well.

Even this late in the season we still have green forages growing out on the pastures. It has snowed several times but nothing has stuck yet, the ground is still too warm. Here on the slopes of the mountain the cool air flows down hill into the valley which actually keeps us a little warmer despite our higher elevation.

We started putting out bales of hay in October. Not so much as to feed the livestock but rather by putting bales out in the near paddocks it encourages the animals to come in from the far mountain paddocks where they might be grazing during the day. This means that during the night, while our pack sings away the roving marauders, our livestock are safe in the inner circles of the farm. It makes a difference.

Putting the bales of hay between trees in the copses creates wind protected sleeping areas which they really like. With many bales spread out this way and a new one getting added every day or so the animals spread themselves out rather than clustering – that prevents crushing.

Outdoors: 56°F/35°F Partially Sunny, Snow, Light Rain
Tiny Cottage: 63°F/58°F

Daily Spark: Jane Doe married John Deere and they’re fawning over their kid Buck.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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