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Alfalfa on small plot (or other grain suggestion)

Posted by bethardern z5OH (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 10, 09 at 11:32

I would greatly appreciate any advice given! I have a sunny section towards the back of my property about 30 x 60. I just read Eliot Colemans suggestion about growing Alfalfa for the compost pile. The first part of my question is this: I would like to improve the soil with a crop that would provide some food for my chickens and straw for my garden paths/coops/compost pile. What crop would you recommend? Is this enough space to provide decent yeild? Lastly, how would I go about harvesting this size plot? I'm assuming the grains are the tops and the stems would require a second cutting and drying for straw. Please advise. I was hoping to plant a fall crop sometime in Aug.

Thank you and sorry for the lengthy post.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Alfalfa on small plot (or other grain suggestion)

We grow proso millet for our chickens. They love it. Cut it, let it dry and store it in feed sacks. Or you can just let them into the patch. The stuff is easy to grow. Tom

RE: Alfalfa on small plot (or other grain suggestion)

We grow alfalfa in a small plot and cut it with either gas-powered hedge trimmers (me) or old-fashioned hedge clippers (my wife). Both work fine. We usually dry it under cover and feed it to our goats as a treat. We get 2 or 3 cuttings a year even up here in our short growing season. It has frozen out during the winter before, but we now have a very hardy strain of perennial alfalfa that has survived 3 winters of temps nearing -50 F.

Grain is just too much work for us on a small acreage. I have Siberian Pea trees growing that provide some high-protein feed supplement, but not enough to feed all year.

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