Cutting pasture weeds

Ragweed in the pasture

‘Tis the season to cut

In a perfect world, our
pastures would be so well-mown that big weeds couldn’t pop up, and
they’d never get so over-grazed that bare patches give ragweed seeds a
spot to sprout.

Chicken dust bath

But here in the real
world, chickens scratch the ground bare so they can
even if I’m
rotating them through the pastures perfectly (which I never am). 
And fences create locations where the mower can’t reach, so those weeds
just keep growing until we root them out.

Pulling out ragweed

Back in that perfect
world, we’d dig up tall weeds in the spring and cover the bare earth
with mulch to keep new seedlings from coming up.  But I figure I’m
doing a good job as long as I don’t let tall weeds go to seed.

So we’re out in the
pastures just as the ragweed starts to bloom, digging them up or
cutting them off at ground level, then applying that biomass as mulch
around our raspberries.

Pasture renovation

Even though weeding-type
tasks seem a bit Sisyphusian, when I take a step back, I can tell that
we’re making solid progress.  The photo above is from last year’s
renovation day
which took ten times as much effort as this year’s.  I suspect
that in a few more years, these pastures will be spic and span and full
of life.

Our chicken waterer never spills in coops or

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