Saturday, March 24, 2012

Aerial View of Stark Hollow Farm

Vanessa uses the Vermont GIS system to calculate pasture sizes each summer. These screen shots taken from a similar source, show the fields and the results of pasture rotation and management on the fields at HOWL. These shots are from August of 2011 and based on the shadow, were taken early in the day.

This shot shows the sheep's movement. The brown area is the most recently grazed. The white dots just above the brown area are the sheep on their second day in a new paddock. They are rotated every 72 hours. The large white dot above the trees is the hay stack we built after mowing and hand raking the top half of the Sundance Pasture. (see this posting for a information on building a haystack: Building a Hay Stack! To keep the grasses healthy and from going to seed (losing nutritional value), we do some limited and strategic mowing ahead of the sheep.

This shot shows the road coming in and the HOWL and farm structures. The line with the round structure further down the road is part of the ceremonial structures of Kunsi Keya Tamakoce, our neighbors. From this bird's eye view you can see the Labyrinth Pasture (lower right), the Pond Pasture, the Upper Meadow Pasture and the Sundance Pasture. These are the names that Stark Hollow Farm uses to identify the fields at HOWL.

This aerial view of the main pastures gives a better overall picture of the fields in their various states of grazing. Proper planning allows for intensive rotational grazing which provides better management of the fields and the animal's health. By understanding the size of the paddocks required for the number of sheep we are grazing, the number of days for each rotation and the rest period, we can really plan the exact movement of the animals through out the summer and into fall.

Stay tuned for dates of our Fencing Systems for Rotational Grazing workshop.


The Real You said...

I am in this program called Rangeland Days it is a place where we learn about plants and their charateristics... I am doing a display for this competition and I was wondering if it would be okay if I used these pictures... My topic is Management intensive grazing

Laura Smith-Riva said...

I only just saw your comment to this post and it is fine if you did use or would like to use the images...Laura, Stark Hollow Farm, Huntington, Vermont