"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mud Patrol (I Heart Hog Fuel)

We have a serious mud problem here. We always have. We live on the broad, flat crest of a high hill, and apparently the earth beneath us is totally impervious. The incessant rain we experience every year from - oh, I'm going to say October 15th to May 1st, on average - puddles up and creates a knee-deep mud situation for some six months of the year.

I am not the only person with a mud problem - mud is a fact of life here in the Pacific Northwest, and everybody has got to deal with it. People with enough money can hire geological engineers to create a slope-map then hire men with large machinery to carry out the blueprint, putting into place a plan whereby all the rain that falls on their property will run off of it and create mud on someone else's adjacent property.

Or, if you don't have any need for pasture, you can hire a different kind of expert (a biologist) to create a different kind of plan for you. You can, if you wish to spend the money and time, create a native wetland or native woodland capable of absorbing a lot of the water that falls. And as useful as that is for protecting native species and for filtering waste water and aesthetically and all of that, it isn't much much good for raising any kind of animal except frogs.

For the rest of us, there's hogfuel. Hogfuel is the by-product of land clearing - the ground up residue of trees and shrubs and stumps. It's wood. And it's absorbent. Yesterday, I had twenty-some yards of mostly cedar hogfuel delivered. It made a pretty large pile. The horses went nuts. They love it - they try to climb the pile like a mountain, they roll in it, they paw at it with their front feet. I don't know what exactly is so attractive about hogfuel, but I'm here to tell you that it is like catnip for equines. I tried to take some good pictures, but I was so absorbed in watching them that by the time I thought to run for my camera, they were about done playing. Here's a couple of pictures I did manage to snap.


The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Fascinating that it affects horses like that! I've learned a lot today. Thank you!

Dr24Hours said...

Clearly, your horses are porcine.

Aimee said...

you mean, fat? Yeah, I know

Dr24Hours said...

I meant part pig, if they like hogfuel.