Grass Farming, What it is and Why it's Important
We consider ourselves grass farmers. What is grass farming you may ask? Just as it sounds, we grow grass. Growing grass doesn't sound overly intersting or involved but it is the foundation of our pasture-based farm. Since our cows and our lambs eat nothing but grass, we focus on producing the best grass available to feed them the diet that they are designed for. By properly managing our livestock to graze (and eat down) and fertilize the grasses, we promote regrowth, increase soil organic matter and sequester a whole lot of carbon!
The cattle are only a piece of the puzzle. We rotationally graze our cattle in our pastures here in Walpole, NH. Along with our pasture-raised chickens, pigs, turkeys and lambs, the animal movements about the farm add manure to our fields. This manure feeds the soil and the animals are nourished by the perennial grasses that grow here in this fertile river valley.
Did you know that pigs, chickens and turkeys eat grass? The grass isn't only for the ruminants on the farm, it's enjoyed by everyone. The turkeys, chickens and hogs eat their fair share of the green stuff lending a delicate and delicious flavor to the chickens' eggs and meat.
One of our farmer idols Joel Salatin says that "herbivores do not require tillage or annuals, and that is why all historically deep soils have been created by them, not by omnivores." What we are trying to do here at Walpole Valley Farms is to create soils that will last for generations to come, soils that our grandchildren's grandchildren will be able to live off of. Our legacy will be the soil, a worthwhile legacy.
Over the past eight years since implementing a rigourous rotational grazing program for our cattle and rotating our laying hens, turkeys, pigs, lambs and broiler chickens, we have seen an amazing increase in the fertility and swath thickness of the grasses and deeper soils overall. We are proud of our rotational grazing program and we are reaping the benefits with more grass.
See us in action on the farm. Schedule a farm tour or stop on by during our farm store hours. We'd love to show you what we do and how we do it!