Awhile back one of my readers made a comment about our farm growing and at that time it occurred to me that we are growing a farm and our farm is like a seed we have planted and it is slowly emerging from bare land. When we were on or vacation in October working on our farm, we saw it grow a little more. I have all ready posted about having our farm pond dug out, but we got a lot of other work done In spite of being bitten up by chiggers and having the flu while we were there. We were able to use our new mower and mow a lot of our pasture ground to keep all the willow trees from taking over the pasture.
When we were there last year in October we noticed there was thousands of grass hoppers in the tall grass, but this year we only saw a few. I was wondering what happened to them but when we started mowing the pasture we spotted the predator that was keeping the grass hoppers in check. In our tall grass were hundreds of praying mantis that kept flying up as we were mowing. They were huge and we felt bad about cutting down all the grass and taking away their habitat were they had layed their eggs for next years crop. We were also surprised by all the birds who were also living in the 4 foot tall grass. We are trying to make our farm a permaculture and in our farm design we want to include the birds and the helpful insects that help control the harmful ones. We have decided from now on we will not mow the whole thing at once but rotate the mowing so parts are only mowed once every two years. This way there will always be some tall grass for the insects and other animals can over winter in. We did leave about five acres in the back forty that did not get mowed this year.
We also planted some more trees while we were there. We added two Honey Crisp apple trees. This gives us 5 apple trees altogether now. I hope by the time we move there in 2 years some of the trees will be bearing fruit.
Remember the 2 cherry trees I said were dead from the drought in my last farm report. They are not dead, I noticed new growth on the bottom of the trunk of the trees. I don’t know if they will make it but I am hoping they do. I don’t know what caused them to die back and will do a better inspection the next time we are there.
We also planted a bunch of baby trees that I had planted in our garden a year ago last fall. I went around in our current neighborhood and found the most beautiful trees with the most brilliant fall color and gathered lots of their seeds. I gathered some brilliant red and yellow maples and some thornless honey locust seeds.
We planted several of the maples up by our building site and the rest along with the Honey Locust down on the bottom ground. We like the honey locust because our cattle will eat the sweet seed pods when they drop in the fall along with the wild life that make our farm their home. We protected these baby trees with a wire cage around them.
This concludes this farm report.