Category: Animal Forage

If You Plant It, They Will Come – Friendly Pollination Practices

Blazing Star and Little Sulphur (source) Encouraging pollinators into our gardens is one of the biggest contributions we can make to ensure a healthy polyculture of plants and insects on our land. About ninety percent of all plant species need pollinating insects. Planting natives is an essential step in increasing habitat for our little friends. You should avoid hybrids — they generally have less pollen and are more subtly scented, […]

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Carbon-Sequestering Perennial Industrial Crops

This article is an excerpt from my forthcoming book Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices, and is part of a series promoting my kickstarter campaign to raise funds with which to complete the book. Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) is a common perennial industrial crop, though typically grown in problematic monocultures. Photo Wikimedia Commons. Industrial crops produce materials, chemicals, and energy. Some, […]

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Integrating Livestock in the Food Forest

Cattle grazing under alder in silvopasture system at Las Canadas, Huatusco, Mexico Integrating livestock seems to be the best way to have a larger-scale food forest (anything over one hectare or a couple of acres). If done properly, livestock integration can greatly reduce labor and fossil fuel needs. It can create the conditions for happy and healthy livestock. Done poorly, it can ruin soils and destroy crops. Here are a […]

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Success in Tough Times (France)

by Steve Hanson 2012 is our eighth year of small scale farming in France and has seen us move from income dependence to financial security and independence. Looking back over the last eight years at our mistakes and our successes in getting to this point demonstrates the value of an integrated approach. When we arrived in France we had a single idea to provide us with income; that of breeding […]

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Practical Plants Database

Fresh onto the interweb is a project that I had on my own things-to-do list for some time now, but this new site may well have saved me the pain. It’s a great new plant database, with over 7400 plant profiles and the very cool ability to drill-down to suitable plants by ticking off what you’re looking for based on the micro-situation of the spot you want to plant in […]

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Food from Perennial(ising) Plants in Temperate Climate Australia for September 2012

This is the first monthly post for the research project about perennial plants and perennialising annual plants providing food in temperate climate Australia. The original article introducing this project, stating its aims, and providing participant instructions, can be found here. Growers are sending me information on a month by month basis, then this information is collated and published early the following month.

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Fernglade Farm – Early Spring (September) 2012 Update (Australia)

Writing the series about Food Forests has made me aware of how much interest there is in them and how they can vary from region to region, but it also highlighted to me just how difficult it may be for people to actually visit a food forest. However, thanks to the wonders of the internet and YouTube, people have the opportunity to take a virtual tour of a food forest […]

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Food Forests, Part 4: Humanure (black water)

Poo. We all do it. Even the smallest microbes do it. However, when you are connected to a centralised sewerage system, unless it stops working – which is not much fun – you don’t have to think about it much at all. A quick flush and off it goes, somewhere else, to be processed at some distant location, somehow or another. It’s all very mysterious really and for most of […]

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Australian Researchers Look into Alternative Forages for Horses

Browsing (feeding on vegetation other than grasses) may be an important aspect of the equine diet that is often overlooked, yet it may play an important role in the digestive health and the natural behaviour of horses. Scientists at the University of New England (NSW, Australia) are embarking on a research project to improve our understanding of an area of equine nutrition that is largely unknown.

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Pasture Cropping: an Integrated Approach to Grain and Pasture Production

Harvesting oats as green native perennial pasture grows up between the cereal rows (Seis, 2006) Pasture cropping is a farmer-initiated land management system that seamlessly integrates cropping with pasture production, and allows grain growing to function as part of a truly perennial agriculture. Annual winter growing (C3) cereal crops are direct drilled into living summer growing (C4) perennial pasture grasses as the pasture sward enters the dormant phase of its […]

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Food Forests, Part 3: Closing the Loop

Local legend around here has it that at some point in the past a guy by the colourful name of the “bush bandit” removed most of the topsoil from the land hereabouts and sold it off to householders in Melbourne for their gardens and lawns. Whether this story is true or not, I can only state for the record that when I purchased the block it had virtually no topsoil. […]

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Tree Cotton – Gossypium Arboreum

You might have seen the cotton growing out west — around St George, Gundiwindi and Dirranbandi in Queensland, Australia, and Moree and Narrabri in NSW. It’s an annual crop — sown in the spring and harvested in the autumn — grown in flat plains country. The blocks are levelled by laser-guided machinery. However, they’re not quite level: there’s a slight slope from one end of the block to another, which […]

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