Grass Envy

Every day I drive to work I pass a lush green paddock on the left. At the moment the cows are belly deep, munching away with the look that cows get when they know they will probably only have to move four meters in one day. (in fact I can't drive anywhere anymore without looking at ground in terms of grazing. We were at a beautiful windswept grassy hill in northern NSW for a wedding, when The Wife, seeing a faraway look in my eyes, enquired about my thoughts. "be a great bit of grazing for the cows this").

There is a bit of anger as I drive past, because it used to be two paddocks and the other one is now a gated legoland community, complete with matching gardens and roofs. But mostly It is envy, because I have probably ten square meters of top grazing in my two paddocks.

Now that's mostly because until recently the top paddocks had been covered in lantana, the place isn't called Lantanaland just because I have a bit on the driveway and I'd always thought the mix of grass and weed down closer to the dam was even more biased towards the lantana. I was basing that assumption on old data, because I hadn't been down to the dam in two years. When we got the place, QLD was still dry, but by the end of year one the cattle agisting had been removed and the lantana had closed down the paths.

On Australia day, I had to do a bit of fence repair, as the cows had been escaping a bit too much even for my entropic ways so I wandered the fence line to see what was the problem. The fence was easily fixed, a bit of the electric line had escaped it's holder, but the state of the grass was another matter. There was a little there but it would be hard work for the cows. The envy came on tenfold. How many years, I thought, until I have a nice lush paddock.

I have been investigating native grass regeneration so I am doing some good as well as getting the best fit for my climate and soil, but I looked at the rocky soil and despaired. Oh well, time to cut out another paddock.

The trusty brushcutter had been playing up a little, no doubt in rebellion against the 100% humidity we had for a few months. Some new fuel and a bit of coaxing and I was geared up to slash away. I worked myself down the old cow path before turning down the slope towards the dam.

Well, if you'd seen me then, you'd thought I was a teenage girl presented with Justin Bieber clones for her birthday. Grass! Tall lush grass, thick luxuriant grass. There was thick lantana, sure, but the cows could graze here for quite a while without even making a dent.

I slashed away with renewed enthusiasm, until I ran out of petrol. The bull calf, who'd escaped when I'd been fixing the fence, wandered along the conveniently cut path to say hello.

I came back in the afternoon and pushed on, through some truly thick lantana. I tell you, if we have a zombie invasion, give me my brushcutter, a tank of fuel and my harness and let me loose. I'll be death in workboots.

Of course, as can only happen when you are at the bottom of a huge hill, the blade came loose as I was about five meters from the dam. No matter. Saturday I'll return and join that path up with the fence line and run some electric fence and the cows will be in heaven.

Soon I'll be a able to drive to work and look out the window without even a hint of green.

- Lantanaland from my iPad


Maximum amount of milk for the minimum of moo.

'Ave a go, at making cheese.