Friday, May 6, 2016

Splendor in the grass

It's been raining a lot. The grass is vividly green, soft and cool to the touch, growing fast. Our freely roaming hens are laying lots of eggs with the deep yellow-orange yolks that come when they eat spring grass and weeds. The milk we buy from a local farmer is sweeter when the cows are on spring grass, and the rich cream on top is a delicate yellow. The first fresh greens we eat in the spring are mediated to us by animals eating the grass.

My littles are enjoying our new batch of Buff Orpington chickens, "kid chickens," they call them, because they are older than chicks but they are half the size of a full grown chicken. Buff Orpingtons are an old-fashioned dual-purpose breed. That is, they can be kept for both eggs and meat. They are lighter than modern meat chickens and lay less than modern egg-laying breeds, but they are hardier, calmer, and more self-sufficient. And they're pretty. I love their soft golden color.

Me with my snuggly littles. 

And finally, a fascinating, even amazing, video by Zimbabwean ecologist Allan Savory about how animals and grass together in the right combination can restore regions that are turning into desert. His discoveries have far reaching implications and this twenty-minute video is worth the watch.