Monday, 28 April 2014

Happy Cow Happy Pond Project : Prologue

I love spring on the farm. It is not just the long-forgotten sunshine that has reappeared, although that is nice. It isn't even the beauty of nature exploding from the ground, though it is magnificient. It is the end of the long slog of blueberry prep and the beginning of work projects that have been hibernating all winter, waiting for the chance to be realized.

Now that two of the items relating to our recommendations for reducing the environmental impact of our cows are being potentially realized, I think it is time to start looking at the big picture of what I am getting myself into...

First things first, I will need approval from the team. I am looking to get my rain-water project approved, as well as the re-design of the cow area. After that, we will determine when each happens. The fencing should be relatively low cost, possibly $400-500 for the actual fencing. The tanks and pumps for the rain-water portion are significantly more expensive so we might need to wait until after the season when cash flow is better.
Happy cow.

Here is my plan for the spring months:

  • Gutters and downspouts will be installed based on the specifications of the tanks.
  • Footprints will be dug in for the tanks to accommodate their height versus the downspouts.
  • Several vestigial fences will be pulled up to supply posts for the cow fence.
  • The buffer zone/pasture fence will be built in the cow area to allow regrowth along the pond to begin.
Once the season ends, then we wrap it up:

  • Tanks and solar pumps will be ordered and installed. Hoses will be added to feed the appropriate locations.
  • More fencing will hopefully supply me with the remaining posts (should not need much at this point) for the other cow fence.
  • The inner pen/pasture fence will be built, along with an access gate for the cows.
If all goes as planned, our cows will have a steady source of water starting next fall and our cow pasture and buffer zone will have all winter to recuperate and regrow, stopping the leeching of cow waste into the pond.

The new design for the pen/pasture/buffer breakdown.

I'm excited. Now I just need to get the rest of the team on board...

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