Grass In The Woods
Walpole Valley Farms isn't only made up of the grassy fields where our cows, pigs, and chickens are raised but we actually have more wooded land than we do pastures. We utilize this area to raise our pigs because they love the shade, the little streams, mushrooms, grubs, and of course all of the acorns and nuts from the trees. One day we would love to graze the cows in the woods too! This past fall, loggers were back in the woods slowly and carefully selecting trees to be cut down in order to let some light into the forest and to harvest some of the timber in the woodlot. It was important to select the right trees based on species and size. The largest tree in a particular area was left so it could thrive while the smaller trees in the same area were removed. Just like thinning seedlings in a garden, the trees remaining wouldn't have to compete for sunlight, water, or nutrients from the soil so they could grow and thrive. By clearing out the smaller trees, more sunlight can penetrate the canopy allowing more area for it to hit the ground where it wasn't able to before. Any grain that the pigs spilled on the ground has seeded itself and has already grown in pretty thick in those areas and is as high as my waist. I was amazed at how well the grass is growing in and it has only been one summer into the project. Hopefully within the next few years the grass will reseed and grow in thick and lush for our cows to enjoy!