Advanced Cell Grazing with Geoff Lawton
Last year on Permaculture News there was an excellent article on Advanced Cell Grazing by Nick Burtner who documents the circular cattle lane-way on Geoff Lawton’s 66 acre Zaytuna Farm.
Geoff devised a system of easy to install temporary electric-fenced cattle lane-ways that lead to over 38 grazing cells on his farm — small plots of grazing land where cattle could be kept well fed for a day or two before being moved on to the next cell on a rotational basis. It was important to keep the cattle moving regularly and leave 6 to 8 inches of grass behind so that this land had a constant opportunity to renew itself and improve its fertility.
Cattle moved in this way allow the cells to be rested and only visited by the cattle on a rotational basis once every 30-50 days. Grass grown and rested in this system is able to reach its full height with the side benefit of increasing plant diversity that enables the system to flourish and multiply with increased biodiversity.
This then leads to a richer and more stable ecosystem. To have a broad range of grasses and a rich mix of herbs is the Eldorado of all natural farmers. Very few however reach that potential.
In the full video, Geoff outlines the steps he took to achieve this goal.
There is a down side to this system however, if you bring in new cattle not used to eating a rich variety of plant material, as Geoff discovered to his horror.