The side field off the main road was one of the last holdouts. The labyrinth of half-assed fence and head-high weeds made it hard to know even what was in there, and turning it into a useful part of the farm seemed infinitely far off. When I tried to mow a bit of it a couple of weeks ago and got hidden fencing wrapped around the flail mower, it only reinforced the sense of Here Be Dragons. So it felt like an enormous achievement when Jered, my occasional helper, and I pulled the last of the wire fence and fence posts, and I was able to mow enough of the field to see what it might become.
I was excited to see the green strip in the middle, where I had previously mowed, was already growing nice-looking grass. I guess it was hiding under the nettle and goldenrod, waiting for a little sunlight to come its way. I’m hoping the rest of the area will quickly return to grass as well.
After a bunch of mowing, I realized how close the field is to my house.
Between the fence, the weeds, and the wet area just beyond Luc, that part of the farm felt almost infinitely remote.
Since this is New England, inevitably there were rocks. The granite and the mower fought to a draw.
I also found the boundary between the usable pasture and the wet area beyond.
I’m picking up some North Country Cheviot ewes in New York next week, and I plan to give them a short quarantine stay in this new field before they join the rest of the flock. Since there won’t be much grass yet when they arrive, I’ll feed them one of the big round bales left over from last winter. Their manure will help nourish the recovering pasture, and when the whole flock is back in October, I hope to have a week or more of grazing there. Progress on the farm has felt slow, but these occasional punctuations of visible progress are very nourishing.