I'm trying to find anything I can about growing grass hay with organic
methods in the far north. If any of you stumble across something, please
holler. Our fertilizer prices went from $400/ton to $1060/ton in one
year. We don't have the dough. Our wages didn't go up any. We need 15
We can't use fishmeal on a perennial crop. We'd draw every grizzly bear
in the neighborhood. Our neighbor who composts dead fishes and peat
draws so many bears that he's become a roadside attraction. He's
chumimng the bears into our neighborhood, and we're not really happy
Is anyone in Canada doing organic grass hay???
Jan in Alaska
beef cattle rancher
My wife suggested contacting:
Laura Telford the director of Canadian Organic Growers firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rodale Institute
Mother Earth News.
COG will probably be your best bet to network into people who are
already doing it. With any luck, you'll find someone nearer your
If there's an equivalent organic growers association where you are (and
you may have already tried and found them lacking in useful info.)
that's the place to ask your question too.
...and I don't know about anyone else, but my wife and I will be very
interested in how you do with this. --It never occurred to me that
people put fertilizer on hay. (...second generation city kid, me. My
granparents were farm kids who moved to the city.)
This is exactly the info I was hoping for -- the Canadian Organic
Growers. I had no idea they existed.
The one problem with Canadian hay farmers is that in the west, we own
the coast. In the east, I don't know if anyone is growing hay. But it's
well worth talking to those folks anyway, as they are at the same
latitude as us, so they'll have information that we can use, as we both
have cold soils, hard winters, short growing seasons and stuff like that
Jan, in coastal Alaska
eight months of winter, four months of piss-poor sledding
Jan, in the blur of the posts that have gone by, someone (hopefully
someone will help me out, if I put my foot through it here)
mentioned harvesting after the first frost in order to reduce the
amount of weeds in the baled product. With that idea held firmly
in mind, is there any way you could sprinkle some nitrogen fixers
amoung your crop, so that they could be renewing the nitrogen in the
soil, while you grow your crop?
Just an idea.
Oh, and thanks for the heads up on the bumper sticker. I should have
mine in about five weeks.
Sorry to hear about your sledding. Global warming won't be a good
deal for that, there on the Homer Riviera;o)
We have a bunch of clover growing in our hay meadows. We aren't plagued
with noxious or invasive weeds on the meadows (touch wood), so we don't
spray any poisons. (We wouldn't spray anyway. We'd use other methods to
kill the weeds.) Most of our meadows are certified "weed free." We're
going to rebreak and replant some of the meadows after haying them this
year. (They're 60 year old meadows that have never been rebroke. We've
got soil compaction and poor production in a few spots. This will be a
prime opportunity to transition to organic, at least on a few meadows.)
Billy, we're darn lucky to get good quality, dry hay baled in July and
August here, although one desperate year, we finished baling-out the
night before the first snow hit in October. Some years, it rains all
summer and we have a hell of a time getting the hay to dry enough to
bale it. First frost comes sometime in very early September. Last frost
was about two weeks ago. (No one plants the garden until June 1,
But I can see snowcapped mountains and glaciers from my window here. The
scenery is lovely : )
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