Thursday, March 10, 2011

El Dorado in March

We took a trip out to El Dorado yesterday to see how things are looking after a few months of cold and rest from the goat mob. We visited the areas where the goats worked first last year in July. The Dock is coming out better than we've seen it, along with an assortment of other seedlings.

The gophers have not abandoned El Dorado.

Here is a depression left by a horse hoof which fell a little into a gopher hole. Grass is growing in the divet looking quite happy, there is little grass anywhere else around yet except in cozy and moist protected spots like this. 

 Most of the liken is too cold and dry I imagine- but here in the shade of a bush is a happy looking specimen. Note: time-release goat berry 

Here is a bit of what is coming up in the bare areas. With a little dry stalks pressed into the ground along with manure the beginning components of tilth are combined. 

Most of the plants in this photo are ragweed seedlings. When the goats come through in a few weeks they will munch and press down the remaining stalks as they inhale the green sprouts along with remaining fall feed. With a few passes through this same area giving rest periods between, the tilth is built up and dominant vegetation will transition to more perennials like grasses, and biennials such as mullein. 

Here are a few non ragweed seedlings coming up in a ragweed-dominant area. Water penetration is being aided by the goat-hoof broken-up top-soil and at the same time made fertile with high-nitrogen, easily integrated goat berries. 

This photo shows a typical approach to yard care. The trees are raised to prevent rodent infestations, brush is left, and ragweed standing is mowed and removed. The mowers however don't differentiate between plants- and cannot trim too closely under the trees or brush.

This is a goatscaped lot. The trees are raised here by professional trimmers which also remove mistletoe (up to 6 feet), and clear ragweed all the way up to the tree trunk. There is no brush in this view, but if there were they would be pruned to invigorate the plant encouraging new growth, and weeded of tasty kochia. In the distance is the leachfield which the goats are working on. They remove the ragweed, but process the vegetation on site leaving the mulched and fertilized land to take the next step in succession. 

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