Planting Vegetables and Pasturing Animals in 2017

Beef cows on pasture
As spring shows up in New Hampshire the focus at our farm shifts to the growing season. The fields change to a bright green and the trees in the forest unfurl their various buds, blossoms, and leaves. Animals head out of the barn onto pasture and field work begins getting the soil ready for vegetables, corn, and all the other things we hope to harvest over the summer and autumn.
Below is a quick roundup of what's happened on the farm in April & May this year:
  • A windy winter tore apart the plastic shell on our greenhouse so several days were spent this spring rebuilding one end wall and re-stringing the plastic that will create prime growing climate for our tomato plants. The soil inside was fertilized (thanks cows!) and black plastic laid down to prohibit weed growth. Sixty tomato plants were planted this past weekend and we’re already dreaming of juicy tomatoes on top of summer hamburgers.

  • To sustain consistent sweet corn supply at our farm stand in July through October we have to plant every 10-14 days in the spring. To get ready for the first planting, our sheep helped by grazing off the cover crop that prevented winter wind erosion on one of our fields. Once that initial grass growth was gone we spread additional fertilizer and tilled up the soil. The first planting went in at the start of May and we will continue regular corn plantings for the next couple of months.

  • As soon as there is a lot grass growth in the fields our beef cows head out to pasture where they’ll stay until the feed runs out in December. We practice rotational grazing at Windswept Maples which minimizes soil compaction and maximizes grass growth in our pastures. For an explanation of what this type of grazing entails take a peak at the video below.

Pasturing Cows at Windswept Maples

Almost everything in agriculture is tied closely to weather patterns and here in the Northeast we have pretty distinct weather within the four seasons. For small farms like ours, that means each season brings a different set of responsibilities and different rewards - which we enjoy. Stay tuned to this blog for seasonal updates of the work happening at the farm or follow us on Facebook and Instagram for shorter updates and photos. 

If you haven’t already stocked up on maple syrup we have plenty available at the farm or right here on the website. We also will have a good supply of fresh eggs and naturally raised beef over the next several months so give us a call if you’re interested.