It’s December and we still have grass! This simple fact may seem like an odd one to celebrate but we delight in the chance to keep our ladies out on grass a bit longer. Keeping our girls on grass for as long as possible during the winter months ensures that they get the best nutrition, and right now they are plump, woolly, and munching on brome, orchard grass, timothy, fescue, and a smattering of other grasses that fill our fields.
Why do we practice grass-based dairying? The nutrition present in grass keeps our ladies in peak condition year-round, particularly for our older girls who find it difficult to chew and digest hay. The milk from animals fed a grass-based diet has flavors and nutrition that directly affects our cheeses. We love that our cheeses change with the seasons and much of that is due to the grasses our sheep are eating.
In addition to the comfort and health of our animals and the flavors in their milk, grass-based dairying is more environmentally sustainable. Our grazing practices protect our soil ecosystem preventing soil erosion, protecting our water shed and trapping carbon in the soil. (For more about how carefully managed grazing can help with climate change go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxqBzrx9yIE). Our pastures nourish our sheep, add flavor to our milk and cheese and help sustain our community in many ways. And this is why we call our farm Green Dirt!