grass finished beef, Colorado, sustainable farming, sustainable ranching, pasture pork, pasture lamb

Sea of Green

August 17, 2017

I can't believe it is already August! I am sure that most of you can relate. Summer has flown by as usual!

In recent days, I've gotten to spend some time out in the pasture with John.  Which is to me, one of the most therapeutic things I get to do.


The smell of fresh air, the openness, and the lush sea of green grass is so calming. As I was walking the pasture and identifying the different types of grasses (I'm a grass NERD), I realized that we often take advantage of that "sea of green" and forget that 

Not all grass is created equal.

There are so many different types and species of grasses, legumes, and forbs that all have different jobs and purposes-deep roots for pulling up nutrients, fixing nitrogen into the soil, large root systems to stabilize the soil, etc. There are also warm season and cool season grasses that arrive at different times throughout the year. 

Different grasses, legumes, and forbs also provide different nutrients, protein, and energy for the cows.

I hope you think that is as incredible as I do. Nature is so neat!

Here are a few examples of grasses and legumes that I found in our pastures:

                                                

Alfalfa, nicknamed “Queen of Forages”              Black Grama, one of my personal favs!

             Commonly made into hay                                      Warm season, perennial grass 

A legume, it fixes Nitrogen for other plants                Good source of Phosphorous for cattle

Contains a high amount of protein (15-22%)

                                                        

                      Smooth Brome                                                           Yellow Sweetclover       

            Cool season, perennial grass                        A legume, it fixes Nitrogen for other plants

                Can be made into hay                                  Also helps build soil and prevent erosion

      It's regrowth is valuable for fall grazing                                         Very drought-tolerant

Cattle utilize these forages to make a full diet. Interestingly, the more diverse the plant diet of a cow, the more flavorful the meat!

I hope this was of interest to you as it is to me and I hope you all have an incredibly enjoyable August and get to take some time soaking in fresh air, open spaces, and green grass!

Take care,

Caleigh Payne

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