So, what is silage anyway? We wish we could graze our cows all year round but in Northern California we don't have enough rainfall to keep our grass green and nutritious through the Summer and Fall. To ensure our animals get the flavor of our land (that's Terroir to you wine geeks) we make silage every Spring, which becomes the primary component of our cows' diet during the dry months. We get lots of questions about our silage program - so here goes:
• Every May/June we harvest 2-3 cuttings of our October-planted rye grass
• The rye grass is dried in the field and then silage wagons take the grass from the fields to the feed pit
• As the silage mound is built up in the pit it is compressed and compacted with a tractor
• The finished silage pile is covered tightly with a plastic tarp and weighted with tires to eliminate oxygen
• Anaerobic fermentation occurs under the tarp from the heat of the Sun, preserving the silage as nutritious feed for up to two years!