As a kid I used to LOVE alfalfa sprouts. Sometimes on sandwiches, but mostly I’d eat them straight out of the little plastic box they came in. Here we are, just twenty-nine years later and we’re growing alfalfa sprouts by the hectare. This effort will not end up a green-note in sandwiches. If all works well, those little seeds will end up grilled with frites as we work hard to get great grass turned into great beef.
Brent has been working steadily getting the fields prepared before the rain. Then he went to get the seed in before the rain. Then it rained. Let’s skip to the end after the rain hit, but before he gets the seeder going where we share that moment of joy when all his debugging came clear and the broadcast seeder went ‘round. It goes now, the seeder. Thankfully there’s more rain coming.
Seeding is actually quick to do compared to the discing and rolling he’s been doing. Seed preparation takes a bit more time. As I’m new to this, I can see where seed prep could go a bit faster. Preparing alfalfa goes a little something like this:
Mix up Activator B, that’s ‘B’ for “Brown” (I’m not sure what it is, but it’s unidentifiable brown matter that is organic)
Add Activator B to big bag of alfalfa and mix … with your hands or a cement mixer so I’ve heard
Let it set for a minute to work magic
Take picture of cute cat
Add any other seed you intend to broadcast into the grass party, then let ‘er go.
Brent had me add a splash of cola to help it all bind. The kids have been staring at that bottle of cola for weeks. Each day I’m asked if “Daddy has used his Coke yet?” or “Can I have some of Daddy’s Coke?” (they kids don’t get Coke at home. yeah, I’m one of those). At last Daddy’s cola product has been opened and the kids haven’t noticed yet. It’s so intermingled with Activator B, I’m not interested in sharing with the kids. I think a celebratory cola product is in order as Brent completed his first paddock of alfalfa.
Mixing Activator B into 25 kilos of alfalfa with your hands takes you back to playing in pebbly sand. As the brown goop gets mixed in, you feel like you’re about to create France’s largest chia pet. Alfalfa seeds are very small. I have visions of alfalfa sprouting under my nails or in the crevices of my camera.
I mixed a couple batches of seed today. There is still much more to do. We will always be seeding each year, but not this much. The old vineyards, the old corn fields and the old sorghum fields need an introduction to their new life as grass.