News from the Farm, plus Order Now for RPFM! - Southern Ridge Farm

News from the Farm, plus Order Now for RPFM!

If you intend to pick up a Meat Share from Richland Park Farmers Market on Saturday, July 11, we need your order before Noon Friday! Depending on how many orders we receive from our members, we may be able to open up ordering to those on our wait list. Thanks in advance!

News from the Farm

Things are beginning to settle down enough this month to where I can take a minute to catch you up on what’s going on in the life cycle of the farm. Our livestock know nothing of the happenings of 2020, so here’s our “normal” news.

With a full time farm hand (more on that later) working with us, we’ve been able to get a lot of projects done that we’ve been putting off for years. We have most all of our pastures cross-fenced into 7-10 acre paddocks. This makes our rotational, or mob grazing, progression work so much better—we just open a gate and they move over to the next pasture to start munching on fresh new grass. Depending on the size of the paddock, we can keep them in each one for two to three days.

The object is to use the 80 cow/calves to mow, weed, and feed the pasture. With a good mix of cool and warm season grasses, along with edible weeds and flowers, they graze the sward down halfway, to about 5-6 inches. The high stocking rate forces them to eat their broccoli as well as their dessert as they feast on their salad bar.  The clover goes first, then the native grasses, followed by the less palatable broadleaf “weeds” and wild flowers, and lastly the burmuda grass. At the same time, they are carrying out weed control by trampling underfoot most of the noxiousweeds so that they don’t get a chance to flower and spread through the pasture. And, contrary to popular belief, regeneratively managed cows sequester carbon. The dung, urine, and trampled weeds are broken down by dung beetles, taken deep into the soil, and broken down further by microbes. They are not only building and enriching the soil, studies show that grass-fed beef actually put up to 100% of their carbon output into the soil—a carbon sink.



Know your Farmers

Help on the farm.  Cole and Sheena have been working with us for some time on the farm now. Some of you may have met them at the Columbia Farmers Market or met Cole helping our sons at the Richland Park Farmers Market. We’ve been friends with Cole and his family for almost 12 years, so he fits right in as another one of the boys. Cole brings with him the untiring and unrelenting work ethic needed for farm work. In addition, he will be focusing on our fledgling butcher shop getting our cured and cooked meat offerings launched, as well as helping with our prey-based pet foods and treats. Sheena brings beauty to our market presentation. With a degree in design, she’s revamped and staged our farmers market booth to give it a magazine quality look and we love it. We’ve always said that our booth looks like we sell used Colman coolers—not any more! We appreciate these guys so much and if you see them at the Columbia Farmers Market, stop and say hello.

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