Since we moved to our new farm, we've had a lot to learn about hay production and fertility. We are fortunate we raise many chickens and cows to help fertilize fields. But, our fields need a lot more fertility than we can mechanically deal with spreading. Not a lot had been put on our fields in the last fifteen or twenty years, so they were yielding pretty small amounts of hay. Grass has to be fed to grow, too. Being such a low equipment farm (we own a minivan, a skid steer and a small tractor), spreading manure and haying have all been things we have to hire out, which has come with many challenges. We are making a big change this year. Jasper Hill Farm will be partnering with us to spread our manure and also extra cow manure from their farm to boost our fertility and get our fields bursting again. In turn we will share our hay with them. It's exciting because this is an example of farms working together in ways to make the entire Vermont Farmscape and Food movement more successful. We have no interest in owning or managing the huge equipment it takes to make hay and spread manure. It's the perfect partnership. All the equipment it takes to manage fields well is something that not every farm should have to handle on their own. Also, equipment that we would own would not be as efficient. This is better for the environment, too. The Jasper Hill Team has been stockpiling manure on our fields to get ready to spread this spring. Each time a new load arrives, Dave and I smile a little more. Sustainable farming is all about fertility, and it feels great to be moving in this direction. Below is a photo of some of the piles that will be spread this spring.