Soil and Grass Investigations!

On Monday afternoon we used the time that is usually devoted to “cheese school” or other farm visits for doing some investigations of our soil and grass.  There are some basic tests that one can do in order to get to know their land better, and we have never done them here.  We decided it was time!  We first did a simple test of soil stability and aggregation by taking a clump of soil and putting it in water to see how well it stayed together.  Our stayed together quite well!

We also did a worm count by digging a hole that is one cubic foot and counting earthworms in the soil extracted from that hole.  We repeated this 3 times: the first hole had 2 worms, the second had 16, the third had 7.  We have heard that 25 worms is excellent, so that’s what we would shoot for.  Worms are great for pasture because they keep the soil aerated, can help reduce compaction, and extract worm castings which is highly nutritious for the soil!

Finally, we tested the brix, which I have written about before, and then tested the plant sap pH.  We found the pH to be in the low 6’s – which is good, but ideally we would like it to be in the mis 6’s.

Everyone enjoyed spending time in the pasture – both with our investigations, and getting to enjoy being around the cows!

We used a garlic press the extract the sap from the pasture plants for testing the pH.  This is how we extract it for testing brix as well.