Monday, 16 July 2007

Austrian grass

No, no, you can't smoke it!

But if you are surreptitiously keeping a dairy cow in your backyard, you might consider this Austrian small-holders technique - from way back - for storing the lush Spring grass for later use as fodder.

Normally, Spring fields in Europe are reaped with a tractor-drawn mower, then rolled into bales for storage or silage (where you wrap the grass roll in plastic and allow it to ferment in-situ; the bacteria make it all very digestible, if you are a cow)

If you don't have a big field to reap, then you can cut the hay with a scythe, then get your friends to help you make all these little hay stacks hanging on posts;I'm told there's some sort of cross-arm buried under there. You'd think that a guy with a house this big would be able to afford a dinky little tractor of his own, but apparently he spent all his money on an electric fence to keep today's cows out of tomorrow's lunch (look closely).

Even higher up the mountain is the Alm, or spring fields for grazing cows on sweet nutritious grass. I took a close-up photo of that too, for all you Australian peasants who thinks that Grass=Kikuyu!

This chap also had a small veggie plot, growing pretty typical things for an Austrian garden up near the snow line.

And the grass? Well, I caught sight of this delightful young German girl (married to me, fortunately) heading off on a hike through a likely patch. Hence this photo.


Anonymous said...

Are these small hay stacks there to dry & when dried taken inside or do they stay there till needed?

Maggie said...

Are you sure these are hay posts and not an art exhibition?
Looks like a great walk.

Kate said...

I notice in your photos they don't seem to use mulch in the vegie gardens. I guess they need all the warmth of the sun to penetrate the soil ?

ps Can I carry your bags when you go to Europe next time ??