What to do when things do not go as planned?
The old Yiddish proverb of “We plan, God laughs” certainly seems to be a theme in my life. Which is interesting because I really LOVE having a plan. Just ask Cameron, I drive him crazy with the need for a daily plan. Good thing that he loves me and puts up with me!
Our winter grazing plan has not gone as we had hoped, and that we have had to change and adapt our plan. Our original plan was to bale graze the cows most of the winter. We did our research and experimented a little last winter with it by setting bales out in different spots instead of rolling them out. What we observed in the spring was greener, grassier grass coming up in those spots. Also, the cows grazed those grasses first and as low as they possible could. This observation was in line with what we were learning. The organic matter left behind by the hay bale feeds the microorganisms in the ground and helps break down any rocks that might be in soil giving minerals back to the grasses.
All of this sounded like just what we needed! Especially on this little patch of ground we had cleared 2 year ago that is extremely rocky with not particularly good soil. The problem was this patch of land is 1100 feet from the nearest water. So, we wanted to bale graze the path the cows would have to take to get water so they would continue to drive that organic matter into the soil. That all worked great! Except the cows were going through the hay wayyyy to fast for the amount of hay we have. They were not “wasting” it either, they were actually cleaning it up better than we had hoped.
So while we know that bale grazing will improve our soil for years to come, it isn’t all that helpful if we have to spend twice as much on hay. We decided to compromise, we managed to get water out to the land, and we are now rolling hay out on it. Would it have been better to get water out there in the first place and bale graze it from the start? Probably, but we did not know that until trying and where we did bale graze needed it as well. It is all working out and having water out to that pasture is only going to help us better utilize the grass in that area when we graze that field again in the future.
Even though our plans did not go exactly as we had hoped, we are still making plans and God is probably still laughing. I believe the change in plans is simply God’s way of guiding us and we may not ever fully understand the reasons for it. There is a reason though, of that I am sure. I will end this with one of my favorite Bible verses, I am sure many of you know it well.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and hope. In those when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you.” Says the Lord. Jeremiah 29 11-14