We bought this land 25 years ago. It was burned out, had huge patches where nothing would grow, due to cotton rot. The PH of the land was 3.5 and when it rained the land stunk. In summer the ground Read more...
We bought this land 25 years ago. It was burned out, had huge patches where nothing would grow, due to cotton rot. The PH of the land was 3.5 and when it rained the land stunk. In summer the ground was hard enough to bend a nail if you tried to hammer on in. Not a single earth worm to be found.
An old black man, Jack Taylor had picked cotton on this land when he was a boy, so he told me about it. The land had grown cotton until the harvest wouldn't pay for the seed. So they switched to growing corn for a few years, further depleting the land. When the corn didn't grow, they ran cattle, but the land was so depleted that eventually even the cattle started to starve on the land. So it was left fallow and sold off to become a housing development. The land out front, on the main road is mostly 20 acre plots, in behind are three acre plots.
We had the pastures really beautiful and super healthy before the drought of 2011, and we kept our grass for about 5 months after all our neighbors had gone brown. But, then the land died. In 16 months, the land received 4 inches of rain. New types of weeds have moved in, new types of grasses, the land has changed. We are working to design a better way of holding water on the land. While that was the worst drought Texas has ever seen, we do tend to cycle from drought to mudpit season and back again. So being able to handle the drought is very important.
For now, we have sheep, dairy cattle, rabbits and chickens on the land. We are working to plant hedgerows to replace the fences. Gradually, we will bring the land back, again.