Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fire Safe

Big Ag borrowed the neighbors' tractor this morning and not only cut the grass in the pasture, but also cut a huge firebreak around the rest of the property.  It's not a guarantee this place won't burn in a wildfire, but it definitely improves the odds.

This will be a long, dry summer by all accounts, so it's best to get started and be prepared early. This year was actually wetter than the last two have been, and so we saw a lot more growth of native grasses -- four foot tall native grasses -- than we have in the past.  And so we have finally realized we have two choices:  Buy a tractor or put up some fence and get some sheep.  Or maybe both. Because while I love sheep, Big Ag looks awfully happy on that borrowed tractor!


  1. I hadn't thought about the fact that a little bit of rain and growth actually adds more fuel to the fire (literally). But that makes perfect sense. I'd be so excited to see you include sheep! Have there been many fires around your area in the past?

    1. The area has not burned in 30 years, Stephen, which is why we are so nervous...there are a lot of dry, dead trees and grasses that would make great fuel. The last two years it was so dry that a lot of stuff just didn't come up. And it only took a couple inches more to reactivate a LOT of the grasses! So everyone is a bit nervous and mowing like crazy in approach of the summer heat.

  2. I was wondering about the sheep - how would that work water-wise? Would there be enough water for them?

    I guess they could live on dry grass. After all, isn't that what hay is?

  3. Molly, we would probably have to supplement feed for several months a year; fall and winter definitely and I would also guess the last half of summer. That's one of our dilemmas -- whether or not that is living sustainably. With the tractor, we borrow it and mow once a year and are done. With sheep, it's feeding at least half the year by buying hay and yes, also providing water. Just not sure if this is a good time to be doing that. And so our discussions about it continue lol!