Cutting Wood – Clearing Pasture

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The back side of my little homestead is still wooded. Most of the areas of buck brush and briars have been cleared out now except down by the dry creek bed at the back of the farm. This area is being left in a natural state for the wildlife. It is also a travel path for the deer making it a nice hunting spot in the fall.
Some of the warmer days we’ve had the time was used to cut down more trees and clear more brush from an area that is destined for use as a new pasture. If everything goes right and the weather permits, I’ll be able to put down seed this spring and by mid-summer be using it for light grazing for the Nigerian Dwarf goats I have. They will also be able to clean up anything I haven’t been able to clear out. It will take longer to get it fully established but the livestock can be rotated into the new pasture for short periods of time without harming it. I already have most of the supplies for the fence but still need another roll of fencing material.
The trees being cut down are separated into categories. The standing dead is being used now for firewood in the woodstove. Although the woodstove doesn’t keep the house totally heated, it does cut down on the amount of time the furnace has to run saving me on propane. The green wood is being cut and stacked for future use to heat the house while the brush is being piled to be burned. As an area is cleared, the leaf litter is added to the burn pile while the smaller limbs are run through a small chipper I have to make mulch for the flower beds and around some of the trees. This opens up the top of the soil so seed can be spread. If the seed can’t get to the soil, it won’t root so it would be a waste of time to spread it.
Once all the clearing is finally completed, there will be at least 4 if not 5 smaller sections of pasture instead of one large one. It is part of an intensive grazing system for the farm. My backyard and one sideyard is fenced separately from the other side yard. The sheep keep these areas mowed for me saving me time and the money I would have spent on gas/oil/and the mower. They are excellent weedeaters trimming up around the house and fencelines as well. This allows the maximum use of every bit of land on a small farm to produce the maximum output. Eventually I will have at least 8 sections (or maybe 9) to rotate the small livestock which will reduce the need for supplemental hay during most of the year.

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