Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Smelling the Grass Grow

As the days have warmed up, the grass that we depend on for our livelihood has really started to take off! Pastures that were taking 60 or even 90 days to regrow after we grazed them are now ready to graze again in 20 or 25 days. Where our challenge in January was to find grass, our challenge now is to stay ahead of the grass growth. It's a great problem to have!

I used to say that the grass was so green this time of year that it hurt my eyes to look at it. This year, I've decided that rapidly growing grass has a distinctive scent. It is similar to the smell of a freshly mowed lawn, but fainter. It's clearly one of the many fragrances of spring!

Grazing animals and pasture plants have a symbiotic relationship. I've noticed in the fall that a grazed pasture seems to start growing more rapidly after the first rain than a mowed pasture. This time of year, a grazed pasture seems to regrow more quickly than a mowed pasture. Scientifically, I imagine it has something to do with how the tip of the grass is removed. However, I suspect that there is more going 0n - grasses were meant to be grazed (and have been for millions of years).

I hope we'll have time this spring to stop and watch (or smell) the grass grow! It's happening pretty fast!

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