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A Day at Pasture

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I spent all of yesterday alone with the sheep at pasture. I rode a pregnant horse named Lady to some of the more distant fields where the sheep had plenty to eat. Mario and Carmella, the sheep’s owners and cheese-makers, do not own the fields where the sheep graze. Instead, they make special arrangements with other farmers and landowners to allow the sheep to graze on their land. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. First, as the sheep graze, they eat the tops off the grasses without killing the plants. As the grasses grow back they become stronger, and at harvest time the crop will be better. Second, the sheep supply plenty of natural fertilizer to the field through their droppings. Only when it is raining or when a field is in its productive cycle are the sheep not allowed.

While I was sitting in the field with my book, I realized that my digital camera can also record low-quality video. To pass the time I made the following four videos throughout the day, both on and off the horse. They provide a pretty good summation of what a day out at pasture with 260 sheep is like.

Shepherding, Part 1, where I introduce you to the sheep, the dogs, and the horse, Lady.

Shepherding, Part 2, where, while on horseback, I explain some more about the sheep and dogs.

Shepherding, Part 3, where I talk a little more about Jackie, the border collie, and the relationship between herding the sheep and cheese-making. “Sulla”, by the way, is French Honeysuckle.

Shepherding, Part 4, where I finish describing the relationship between herding and cheese-making.

2 Responses to “A Day at Pasture”

  1. on 03 Apr 2007 at 1:56 pmDan

    Are you still there? I worked for Mario in October of 2005, and strangely enough, I worked with Jackie the month before, when she was still tending to Gianni DiNiro’s sheep in Busso.

    Lemme know how it’s going…


  2. on 09 Apr 2007 at 6:35 pmDaniel

    Small world– glad you found my blog post about it. I never met Gianni though…

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