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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In Preparation of my dream cattle

I have been taking my wild flower book outside along with my garden notebook and identifying the wild flowers in my "pit" which is where we will eventually set up to have the cows graze.

This exhaustive process will probably take years to come to pass. remember what I said about homesteading and being on the PATH to self sufficentcy well getting there is half of the fun of living.

Plant identification is right up my alley. I remember many walks with my mom while we were on vacation or well just anywhere really. She seemed to know EVERYTHING about plants which ones could be eaten what family the plants were from what they were and she could talk on and on about plants.

Now I walk my own small property with my sons and find myself doing the same thing as she did reminded them to walk lightly not to trample showing them how to look them up based on thier leaf shape ow the flower looks and showing them that there are some plants that look a like where one would be posionous the other may not be so don't eat anything till I check it out and say it OK

Aside from finding tons of common yarrow and lots of chamomile we also found a plant called Heal All a member of the mint family This is a pretty little plant and I found out it is neither poisonous to cattle or people ..and it also does not live up to it's hype of being able to "heal all" ..such a bummer too but it sure it better than having things that can kill animals around.

We have many more weeds that need to be identified so I keep searching and looking for things that I want to keep and stuff that can be fed to animals and stuff that needs to be erradicated

We have white sweet clover growing in a small patch it is very pretty and I found out is used for honey bees to make honey (one of the many flowers)

of course we have tons of Milkweed which I know cannot be fed to critters except Zach's beloved Monarch caterpillars

Common Tansy ..the bane of my exsistance it is useless stinky and prolific it causes rashes on those who are sensitive to it (Alex and Zach have both developed nasty rashes from this stuff) and without a working riding lawn mower we are going to have a very hard time getting rid of this pest.

Burdock which makes those lovely nasty sticky burrs that cannot be fed to animals because it causes trouble in thier stomachs (why anyone would feed burrs to animals I dont get but OK)

Beautiful Ox Eye Daisies I just love those

Black eyed Susan's again another favorite of mine

Low growing white clover and the lovely red clover as well

So as you can see the first step for us to getting cows has more to do with providing them a safe nice place to pasture where they will have quality feed along with a safe clean home inside the barn.

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