Breakneck Hill Cow Fund Farm Day Sunday, November 9th

Written by rdevlin on October 23rd, 2014

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11:30am-Cow Pie Contest
Our most exciting and competitive fund raiser of the year!
Help us purchase winter hay to feed Southborough’s Belted Galloways by buying a square for $20. Enjoy apple cider, treats and cute farm animals as you cheer the cow to drop its brown gold on your winning square

12pm-Family Hike
Enjoy the wildlife and beautiful summit views!
Approximately 1 mile of rolling trails. Learn about the history of
the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land, it’s restoration and management. (walking shoes encouraged)

Event to be held at the Community Gardens at the Breakneck Hill
Conservation Land, Breakneck Hill Road

Questions or for more information on the BHCF please visit our
website www.southborobelties.org
or contact Laurie lpbourdon@aol.com

 

Not Even the Waste Goes to Waste

Written by Kendall Sweeney on October 21st, 2014

 

The pigs are fed a balanced grain ration but also derive much of their food from foraging for acorns and bugs. However, the pigs complete the nutrient cycle by eating garden waste. When vegetables from the garden have insect damage or are over ripe they are given to the pigs. They get a healthy dose of kale, chard, squash, lettuce and especially tomatoes. We arranged their paddock this year so it shares a fence with the garden making it easy to throw the food into where they can get it.

 

Rotational Grazing: Helping the Environment One Paddock at a Time

Written by Kendall Sweeney on October 6th, 2014

Rotational Grazing is a process where livestock are strategically moved to fresh paddocks, or partitioned pasture areas. This process allows resting periods in between rotations that help maintain the health of forage and allows vegetation in previously grazed pastures to regenerate. Rotational grazing discourages competition from weeds and undesirable plant species that often invade when forage is overgrazed and weakened. Rotational grazing allows for a longer grazing season, as well as providing improved nutrient distribution.

The Breakneck Hill Cow Fund is managing the conservation land pasture in just this way. We currently have 9 paddocks the cows are rotated through. The cows are moved to a new paddock only when that paddock is ready. Because of extended dry periods we have resorted to feeding hay during the summer when the pasture forage has been too slow to regrow and while the soil on the pasture is thin and rocky, very rocky, we believe that we will eventually build soil with high carbon content that will be resilient to the long periods of dry weather we have been experiencing. One byproduct of this system is the sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere stably in the soil. This system on a large scale could be a major solution to our climate crisis.
 

Middlesex County 4H Fair

Written by Paul on August 25th, 2014

Southborough Science and Agriculture 4H Club was represented by Ian Bourdon, here driving our oxen Henry and Peter. IanOxen2014

 

Rainbow over the Pasture

Written by Paul on July 29th, 2014

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Clovelly our Milking Devon Cow has a New Calf

Written by Paul on May 21st, 2014

More than a week late Clovelly finally has her calf and its a girl. This is important as the future of the breed is dependent on how many girls there are. Clovelly was bred last August by artificial insemination with semen from a NewDevonMay2014bull collected and sold by the American Milking Devon Association.

 

Trip to Red Hill in PA

Written by Paul on May 8th, 2014

Another trip to Red Hill in Hyner, Pennsylvania produced more outstanding 361 million year old fossils. This trip we thought we were collecting more head plates and it ended up we extracted a foot long cleithrum of the lobe finned Hyneria lindae that must have been about 10 feet long. Hyneria was the top predator in this river ecosystem. Here is Ian is extracting the cleithrum from a ledge we cut into the rock. In addition to the cleithrum we also collected many scales and uncovered a massive jaw which will be be retained by the museum. The site is overseen by the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science.IanRedHillHeadPlateInteriorHeadPlateExterior

 

Garden Progress

Written by Paul on April 29th, 2014

The garden beds are being laid out on the contours this year to try and capture the rain runoff. We also trench each bed so we can bury logs and sticks at the bottom. As the wood decomposes, it releases nutrients but it also absorbs water which is then available for the plant roots. Well that is the theory. Of course we use lots of compost in there too.DSCN4042

 

Pasture is green but still has a way to go before its ready for the cows

Written by Paul on April 29th, 2014

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Piglets are pretty cute. Good thing they don’t stay that way

Written by Paul on April 29th, 2014

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