Today we worked on something that is a different part of our life as homesteaders.
Today we worked on our feed plot.
What is a feed plot?
Well a feed plot is a supplemental food source for wild life. More often than not it has some type of legume but they are certainly not limited to them.
Now we’ve discussed the encroachment of development in this area in the past and the affect that it has had on many people including my own father with homesteading. In fact our community even went as far recently to say that residents are not protected by right to farm unless they have over 5 acres of land. But the development of land into more housing developments also takes away valuable natural occurring food sources and homes for the wild life.
So what differences do food plots make?
Well for starters food plots will help out the entire animal system, not only deer. Pheasant, Turkey, Rabbit, even mice will come to check out what has been planted. The plot helping to feed all of those animals ensures that other animals, who may eat those feeding at the plot, aren’t being poisoned, or going without food.
As homesteaders who do tap into natural resources, such as wild life, for a source of food, we see an overwhelming difference in the animals. It allows us to see the difference in body mass on animals that we do harvest. But, it also allows us to see the difference in breeding stock and in the spring see they’re not emaciated.
It’s isn’t only about being able to harvest, it is also about ensuring that those who do survive both the hunting season and winter will be the best of the herd, and will enter breeding season in the spring healthy. And watching the breeding stock, and the young they produce is also something we use our feed plot for.
So what should we plant?
Well today we are planting a mixture of legumes and root vegetables. Now I buy seed packs by the bunch usually in stacks of 4-5 at a time, if seeds are stored properly in a cool dry place it shouldn’t overly affect their germination rate but at some point it will begin to decrease. The majority of the seeds we will be planting for root vegetables are well over 5 years old, some even older. This gives us the opportunity to use them, decrease the waste, but also no disappointment in the green house if they don’t grow.
So what do we actually have. We have rye, red clover, beets, carrots, lettuce, we also have a few boxes of wildflower mix that we are going to a sprinkle throughout as well.
Now prior to this we came in and we turned the soil upside that we have a good base to start with. We’ve taken all of our seeds and we’ve mixed them all together in a bag to make sprinkling easier, no mixing on location, and we are just going to take a rotary spreader and go out and sprinkle them with that. A rotary spreader does allow for better more equal distribution.
We will follow up on this later in the season!