Monday, June 20, 2011

Let them eat grass!

I am often advised to let the sheep graze the lawn so I don't have to mow.

Everyone seems to have seen the bucolic pictures of sheep grazing on a manicured pasture surrounding a fine, old stately home. What they don't see is the deep ditch that landscapers hide in a dip which keeps the sheep in the pasture and not nibbling in the flower beds. There is a fancy name for the ditch that escapes me but it is found in Great Britain and surrounds the castle grounds. ;^)

When the boss ewe heads off to the pasture she follows a path that every sheep following her will step in. This is only about six inches wide. I have to pay attention to stay in it. It'll be hard as a rock. If she thinks there is something to hop over, every sheep following will make the same hop, even if the frog or whatever is long gone. When they get out to the pasture they fan out but they are grazers and eat on the move. They nibble and shuffle ahead, nibble and shuffle ahead. When the old ewe decides it is time to head back they begin to follow her back to the home pen where they will have water and then lay down to chew their cud. It takes many trips over the pasture to to reduce it to anything that looks low and uniform. They do prefer new growth and when someone finds something, makes a sigh or smacking sound and all the rest hear the rumour; they run right over to discover the newest delicacy. If they were on my lawn all the new buds would be slurped up, nibbled at and gossiped about. But I would be left with clumps of their least favorite veggies and all the dessert would be nowhere to be seen. BTW, they don't like dandelions. The kicker is that they would leave behind little pellets of concentrated fertilizer that would make the grass grow even more. :( That is why they are called sheep of the golden hoofs!

But we have eliminated a lot of grass cutting by fencing more of the land around the farm yard. We are waiting to put the wire on the fence posts just behind the backyard and past the chicken coop. The area where the granaries, sheep sorting pens, and general work area is located can be grazed by the sheep. You can see that they will be coming pretty soon. If they were left there for a very long time they would eventually get it all down pretty close to the ground but hopefully the new wire will be up and they can mosey over to give the chickens something to look at!

I am making progress on the triangle quilt and my little helper and I will be off to buy the backing. Oh, I do hope she likes fabric stores better than being a little shepherdess!

1 comment:

Hazel said...

So glad I happened on your blog. Being Welsh I can say you are dead right about those picky sheep. - oh, and the funny ditch used by landscape artists here in the called a "ha ha"
Peeping at your other pages your home looks so lovely and welcoming. A real reflection of you I'm sure.
Love and prayers.