There’s plenty going on at Home Farm this month. With the warmer and (at times) drier weather, the last few weeks have been the ideal time to make silage.
But what exactly is it? Well silage is quite simply fresh pastures that are pickled and conserved.
Firstly, whilst the sun is shining, we’re able to get out to cut the grass and this time of year is perfect because it contains its highest nutrient level. This is important because all forms of preserved grass, such as silage and hay, have fewer amounts of nutrients compared to fresh pasture, so the whole process must be done to make the end product as nutritious as possible.
After the grass is cut, we spread it out to let it dry ever so slightly and then its lined up in rows so that our tractor can roll it up in to big round bales. The bales are then tightly wrapped, so that the grass can respire until all of the oxygen is exhausted allowing for bacteria to then control the fermentation that the silage has to go through so that it can reach a preserved state. By preserving the grass like this under what is naturally produced acidic conditions, the crop effectively pickles, and thus remains succulent and appetizing.
So why do we make it? It’s to ensure that when we bring our cattle in during the cold months later in the year, they’ve got plenty of 100% natural food to get them through the winter, and that’s why it’s so important for us to make it as delicious and nutritious as possible.