Pigs in South Field Copse
The pigs in the south field herd have a large nesting area on the sunny side of a copse of trees in the upper paddock which they’re using as a winter paddock this year. Behind them you can see the greenhouse skeleton rising on the southern south field plateau.
It is well protected from the north wind and has excellent southern exposure, especially in the morning. That combined with the composting bedding provides them with a warm sleeping spot through the colder winter months.
They walk about 700′ north through the copse and then up over the rise to their water and the south whey trough. This walk means they’re getting good exercise as well as spreading manure and urine that then will fertilize all the south field paddocks next year. The nutrients slowly filter down hill to the lower paddocks, breaking at each line of trees.
We fence mostly along the contours of the land because back in the 1980’s, I noticed that when a tree fell in the forest, and nobody was there, and if it fell across the slope, with the contour, then soil would build up behind the log creating small terraces of rich deep soil in the 1,000 acre woods. Similarly this effect happens behind the stone walls that cross our mountain such that on the up hill sides of the walls the soil is often even or near even with the tops of the walls but drops down on the low side of the wall. Another place I noticed this effect was uphill of large boulders, something of which we have many.
Seeing the stepping effect produced by this terracing action I realized that, if I were patient, I could make terraces of deep soil to catch the water and nutrients that normally flow down the mountain and away to the valley below. Thus I fence as much as possible with the contours of the land so that the soil is moved down to the fence lines where it builds up. Along those fence lines we plant trees and the grasses grow longer capturing dirt and nutrients.
Natural terracing through the action of wind, frost, rain and hooves.
Outdoors: 30°F/14°F Overcast, 3″ Snow
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/60°F
Daily Spark: I often see people jump in to things too quickly. Rember: Dive slowly.