Once this brutal winter broke we needed to focus on the pasture. We needed ample grass for the horses to graze on. We had enough hay to last us a bit into the summer but we needed to be sure we were going to have good pasture grass to take them into next season. The acreage that we bought had not been burned for a couple of years so there was lots of dead, matted grass where we were going to put the pasture for the horses. Fire can cause such devastation but in the right application can be a catalyst for renewal. In the spring in our area we always burn the ditches and in this case the pasture hoping for fresh grass to emerge from underneath. I was driving around the countryside today seeing lots of freshly burned ditches, it’s a promise of the renewal of summer and greenery to replace the dormant brown that dominates winter.
Not only does burning have a real purpose to rejuvenate the foliage it’s pretty darn fun to play in too! Since this pasture hadn’t burn burned in so long the grass was weaved together pretty tightly so we had to “fluff” it as we called it with rakes to help get the air in there to help it burn. I’m pretty sure I am not alone in my fascination with playing with fire, who else out there is a bit of a pyro?!
As always try and plan ahead when dealing with fire, we had my Dad and his girlfriend come over to help us contain the fire, and Scarlett! Dad made us do it first thing in the morning before the wind came up. I thought it was going to burn fast and hot but it was not bad at all, in fact we were having a harder time trying to keep it going. The back pasture did spread into the neighboring bean field slightly and was easy to get stopped once we realized it had gone over there! It was so low of a flame we were able to step on it with our boots and put it out. We always ensure that we have a bucket of water and old towels nearby soaking in water in case we need to use them to stop a ‘run-away’ flame!
It is always amazing to me how fast the grass pops after is is burnt, those beautiful little blades of green popping through. The grass came up and the boys, our horses are thoroughly enjoying themselves. In fact the grass was so tall that it was hard to see them out grazing once we got them out there. We now have a refreshed pasture and happy horses!