Monday, June 20, 2011

One of "Those"

Ever have one of those days (weeks, months) when it seems like no matter what you do, it isn’t enough?
This weekend, for example.  Paul and I were busy the entire weekend (well, maybe a hot-afternoon-nap somewhere in there) and I really don’t know what we accomplished.  I mean it was all like piddly stuff.  Stuff that needed to be done, but gave no outward appearance that anything had actually been done. 
Garden watered.  Weeds pulled (some of them).  Goats / Chickens / Mule / Horse / Dogs / Cats / Humans watered, fed, milked & eggs collected (where appropriate).  Laundry washed & hung to dry. Rugs hosed off and dried.  Front deck washed.  Bread made.  Floors swept.  Dishes washed (about a million times).  And more than a dozen man-like-chores (that I don’t comprehend nor want to) that Paul did in the garage, on the car, on the dozer & tractor. 
And I still need to cut the lawn.  And do another load of laundry, and sweep the floors again…
Then to make things worse, I still can’t shake the crummy mood I got after talking to the Extension Agent this morning.  I had taken in a soil sample last week and the guy called me this morning asking what we wanted to accomplish with the area so he could give us some ideas.  I told him that we’d like to have pasture to support (at least during the spring & summer) our small herd of dairy goats, the mule and a mini-horse.  His answer to just about everything was “Roundup the entire area & plant your Bermuda or MaxQ Fescue.”  I mentioned that we didn’t want to use mass amounts of Roundup (or other herbicides) in the pasture where our milk and meat grazed and he reassured me that he was 100% positive that Roundup was safe.  I made mention that there were actually other studies (not funded my Monsanto) that suggested otherwise.  I think it’s at that point where I lost him. 
I couldn’t get another word in that I think he absorbed.  I understand that he is used to having people come to him wanting to get the most out of their pasture with the least amount of effort and money, but it seems that he didn’t even want to think about other non-chemical options.  And I know that this is cattle country and not goat country, but you’d think that someone with an Agricultural background (or is it just book-educated?) would be able to give additional options that didn’t require the frequent addition of harmful chemicals to the land.
I guess we’re just weird that we don’t want to contaminate our land with poisons.  That we don’t want our family ingesting milk, meat and eggs that come from animals grazing on that poisoned land.  Sigh....
But right now, I just feel like sitting indoors all day, popping Sponge Bob in the DVD player, making a bowl of popcorn and zoning out with Rhiannon on the couch.
Hopefully I’ll be back in the Farm-Zone tomorrow. 


  1. What a frightening conversation! This is the person you are supposed to go to for advice???? Almost every non-Monsanto study shows that there are dire and long-term consequences from Roundup use. Geezloueeze. There has to be some source for non-lethal treatment of pasture lands. Don't give up!

  2. Wow! I'd be curled up in fetal position too after that. It amazes me that folks still don't understand how bad Roundup is. I cringe every time I hear someone talking about using it. I just found your blog and am happy I did!

  3. Spongebob! Back in my "mommy" days all we had was Barney. Hang in there-right now my goats (all 2 of them) are in my backyard and I gotta watch where I step to hang out the clothes lol!

  4. You're NOT weird. He's taking the "easy" way, that's what he's been educated and trained to do.

    Easy is "I don't have to think, I can just recite." Easy is "I do what I'm told to do". Easy is "Don't question, don't try a different path."

    Guess what? You're not easy. Aren't you glad?

  5. The goats will enjoy eating the brush down and the only thing that will grow after that will be your various pasture grasses and plants if you seed them in. No need for the Roundup.

  6. Ok, when I say "Old School" I don't mean what our fore-fathers would have done. This is the latest version of "Old School". When farming went commercial Old School. That's the person you were talking too, not the one ya need! But you already knew that.

    What we need is some fore-father old school advice here! Ma and Pa Ingalls, where are you when we need you? I think Chai Chai is on to the right path!

    Sorry you had such a bad day, DID get alot done! Don't give up!

  7. When we first moved to this farm, we were told to kill out the thistles and weeds by spraying...did so and have been fighting the results for years.
    What happens is where there is a spot where the grass seed doesn't grow, weeds will. They love a bare spot.

    If you could separate the pasture with hot wire, and try some rotational grazing it would be very helpful for new grass seed to get started.

    Sometimes you don't even need the seeds, there are thousands of dormant native seeds just laying in the soil. I had an extension specialist tell me once that just because it wasn't a named seed variety that I had planted didn't mean it was a good forage. Great advice that I have tried to remember.

    If you can manage to give the pasture a rest between grazing and clip the pasture of tall weeds so they don't reseed, you will be surprised by what will grow. Broadcasting some clovers in winter so that the ground will heave and cover is always a good idea. I don't know what kind of forage is good for goats, but for cattle broadcasting clover is a great thing.

    Sorry to be long-winded here, but I vote to never spray a field with herbicide again!
    There has been evidence of difficulty breeding and rebreeding livestock that have grazed glyphosphate treated land.

  8. Well, thankfully DH agrees that we should just keep dozing, let what comes up grow and just tackle the undesireables by hand (or tractor) and let the goats eat all those "bad" weeds.

    I was half tempted to print out some of the non-monsanto studies on the all the harmful results of using Roundup and sending it to the extension agent but I'm afraid it would just end up right in the trash.

  9. Don't be discouraged. :(
    Did they send you back an analysis? Maybe you can post it on HT or another gardening forum and get some advice that way?