Two herds have been concentrated into one.
One hundred fifty beeves are now in one herd, representing 3 generations: mature cows, their current calves, and last year's calves, who are now long-yearlings. We have not had this much concentration of beef in one group before, amounting to about 100,000 lbs. of weight. The above lot is nearly 5 acres in size, and they were only in it for one day, but when we start strip-grazing taller grass, impact upon the soil will be about 100,000 lbs. of weight per acre. One has to be careful with that much impact, but it becomes a powerful tool for building organic matter in soil, when managed properly.
Our tractor "went down", so we had to start full-time grazing a few days earlier than planned. Pasture growth had started to accelerate before this cold snap, so timing is about right. The hay we had been giving cows proved to be of less and less interest, as grass began growing. Clark has a grazing plan in place, which we look forward to executing after a long winter of feeding hay.
Though the beeves above are practicing physical distancing quite well, as you can see, when they pass through the gate, they become a shoulder-to-shoulder stream mayhem. But I understand the Governor has created an exemption for Red Devon cows anyway, so we feel good about their role in the great realignment that is currently underway in our society.
Last night we had an early Easter dinner, in order to share with you possibilities for a leg of lamb. Susan cooked this one via the sous-vide method; 124 degrees for three hours, followed by 500 degrees in the oven for 15 minutes. This is a boneless leg, which is what we currently have in inventory.The key thing is not to over-cook the leg. It is best rare, which is 120 to 125 degrees. Don't go beyond 130 degrees, or it becomes tough. Boneless legs are also great for grilling. One unfolds the leg, and the uneven thickness creates varied degrees of doneness for varied inclinations. It is also great smoked.
We have a number on hand. If you would like to order one for Sunday's pick-up, there is still time until midnight tonight. Order here.
The meal was complemented by potato pancakes, laced with goat's cheese, and local spinach. We couldn't help marveling at the integrity and beauty of the food.
You might also check out the table below, which I made about 15 years ago from ancient poplar boards that had served time in an original granary built on the farm. The result is they are mouse-eaten and time-worn. The table has been waiting for us to renovate this house, as it is ten feet long and wouldn't fit in our previous abodes. It had been residing in the hayloft of the barn and is now grateful to give voice in our dining room. Like all elders, it has rich tales to tell, which we reverently receive when sitting before it.
I look forward to seeing those who have placed orders for this Sunday at the USBank parking lot on Edwards Rd, from 9:30 to 11:30. Remember, the protocols are quite strict but accordingly effective at enabling the transfer of essential food from farmers' lands to your table: remain in the car, with trunk open, as you slowly pass by, and vendors will place your orders within; no exchange of cash or credit.
Drausin & Susan