April showers bring May Flower(child)s!
It's been a lovely spring for Flower Child and her farmers at Molly Brook Farm. Here's her latest interview with Rhonda and Myles Goodrich! Learn some ways that an organic farm is special.
Moo? (What do you spend the most time doing in the spring?)
Spring is the time to get fences up and water lines running for summer grazing, spread manure on the cropland, get the equipment ready for cropping, and clean up around the barns. We try to get as much done as we can before black flies come out.
Moo. Moo? (What’s your favorite spring flower/plant?)
The tulips and daffodils bring so much delight after a long cold winter. The dandelions are also a welcome sign as that means we will soon be getting in feed for our Jerseys for the next winter.
Moo! (Do you grow any crops on the farm?)
Our pastures and cropland are perennial grassland. We reseeded 53 acres of contour corn fields using a no-till seed drill on April 29, 2016, when we decided to transition our dairy to organic. Pasture land was seeded with orchard grass, meadow fescue, ryegrass, red and white clover, and chicory. Cropland was seeded down with orchard grass, timothy, red clover and tall fescue. We have a hillside farm. We have minimal if any soil erosion now that we no longer grow corn, which keeps our organic matter on the fields to help retain moisture in the soil and improve water quality.
Moo! Moo! (How much did the cows love their first day on the fresh pastures?)
Our cows were so excited to be out on grass. They jumped and kicked up their heels. They ran back and forth across the pasture. We were happy to see them out on green grass knowing how much they love it. Surprisingly I think the old girls are most excited to be let out. I know that Sophie was particularly rambunctious.
Moooo. Moo? (What are the temps like on your farms in spring?)
Temps on our dairy in Vermont are a roller coaster. This year we had 80-degree spring days that would plummet to 30 degrees the next day. We had some surprise snow following the warm days. You just never know and have to be able to go with what Mother Nature gives you as best you can.
Moo? (What time does the sun come up and go down in the spring on your farm?)
It is so uplifting in the spring to go to the barn around 4:30 in the morning as the sun is just starting to peek over the horizon. Myles and I comment every morning how thankful we are to have survived another winter. Vermont winters can be brutally cold and blustery. Having to leave our warm home and make our way to the barn in the dark at both ends of the day makes it even harder. Having a great herd of Jerseys that we have known since they were babies keeps us going. Just when you don’t think you can’t take another cold winter day, the days start to become longer. The end of January we find ourselves thankful for even 5 minutes of extra daylight.
Moo. (Anything else you’d like to share about spring on your farm?)
We received technical assistance funds from Stonyfield to purchase honey bees for four hives to improve pollination on our 565 acres of pasture, cropland, sugarbush, and forest. Bees play an important role in our ecosystem. We have enjoyed watching them in action.