Home, Home on the Range
Among farmers, we often joke that August is 'Grumpy Farmer Month'. Not because there are more farm disasters than usual, or because anything in particular is going wrong, but maybe just because it is HOT, and it feels like everything is happening ALL AT ONCE. This year, August includes our annual organic audit and inspection, a visit from the Egg Marketing Board, three trips to Kamloops to deliver cows and pigs to the abattoir, moving our turkeys from the brooder out to pasture, soil/water/fecal testing for our Certified Organic and Animal Welfare Approved requirements, the usual chores and daily livestock moves, and preparing to move the cattle to the range.
Moving our cattle to the range represents both a lot of hard work and a welcome relief from the heat and bustle of life on the farm. We'll be bringing the cows up into the mountains at the end of the month, but we have already made four trips up to repair fencing, clear trails, assess the forage, practice our horsemanship, and make a grazing plan that will benefit both the health of the range and of our cattle. The herd will graze and enjoy the fresh mountain air for 6 weeks before the snow starts and they decide to meander their way back home. In the meantime, we visit them weekly to check on herd and forage health, move them from valley to valley and enjoy the beautiful views and cooler air.