Category: Animal Forage

Pig Tractors

Pigs in Vietnam Photos © Craig Mackintosh unless otherwise indicated I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. — Sir Winston Churchill, British politician (1874 – 1965) Like Winston Churchill, I also like pigs. They are intelligent, highly social, are fun to watch, and make awesome tractors! The use of animals to clear and manure land in preparation for planting […]

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Why Pasture Cropping is Such a Big Deal

Pasture cropped oats growing in symbiosis with native perennial pastures at Col Seis’s farm Grain cropping is something that, for the vast majority of us, is someone else’s problem. We just eat the results; certainly every day, and nearly with every meal. Bread, rice, corn, soy, beans and so on. Produced somewhere out there, by someone else. So a portion of our every single meal is coming from a grain […]

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An Agriculture that Stands a Chance: Perennial Polyculture & the Hard Limits of Post-Carbon Farming

More and more articles are being written that continue to hit the proverbial "nail on the head". This one was posted to the Energy Bulletin website a couple of days ago. It does a great job of summarizing the problems with annual monoculture-based food systems and the advantages of those which are perennial polyculture-based. The evidence is undeniable and overwhelming. It has been for a very long time. Now it’s […]

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Managing Gorse (Ulex europeaus) – a Permaculture Approach

by Samantha Downing If you’re a first generation farmer and you manage to find a dirt cheap property to begin your farming endeavours, there’s a good chance there’ll be some kind of weed that you’ll have to deal with. In our case, it was Gorse, Ulex europeaus, a weed of national significance. In permaculture terms, gorse is a pioneer plant. It colonises disturbed ground, and is often seen in erosion […]

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Holistic Management

Allan Savory has an interesting background. Amongst his experiences, he is also a biologist. I think this will have served him well as he sought to address desertification in his native Zimbabwe. While many call for less livestock, and for good reason, Allan blames their detrimental impact on management (or lack of, as the case may be), rather than absolute numbers. Allan’s Holistic Management techniques instead use dense livestock herds […]

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The Wonderful Multi-Purpose Comfrey Plant

Comfrey (Symphytum spp.) has been cultivated and valued by many cultures for almost 2500 years. A native to Europe and Asia, the comfrey plant with which most are familiar, Symphytum officinale, has been used as a blood coagulant, a treatment for maladies of the lung, and as a poultice to aid in the healing of wounds and broken bones. Consumed as a tea, comfrey is said to treat a variety […]

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The Power of Enterprise Budgets: Permaculture, Holistic Management, and Financial Planning

Resource alert: At bottom of this blog post is a download option for more than a thousand enterprise budgets. Permaculture designers: It’s time to get serious about profitability. Farmers & Greenhorns: You already know what I’m talking about. I’ve been working on an integrated ecological farm design for the Ashokan Center in the Hudson River Valley bioregion. The design calls for a mega-diversity of organic enterprises: Multi-species rotational grazing, hardy […]

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The Farmers Are At It Again

There they go again, making liars out of us, undermining our critique that their industry is contributing to the wholesale destruction of water, soil, air and biodiversity. You know what the farmers have done, don’t you? They’ve only gone and realised that a diverse range of endemic, perennial, drought-proof fodder crops are better for their farm animals, their soil, the atmosphere and their bank balance than introduced, annual, copyrighted fodder […]

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Green Manure Resources

Editor’s note: Red clover is a useful leguminous green manure. Growing taller than other clovers, it can be easily cut down with a scythe or other when it starts to flower, so that it doesn’t scatter seed where you don’t want it. You can never have enough information about Earth Repair/Ecosystem Restoration tools, techniques, and strategies. As most of you know, a couple among the many in use are green […]

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Permacooking – Milk, Tongue, Eel and Pizza Night

More Meat I promised last week that I would tell you about the cows here at Zaytuna and I’m going to do just that. I’d like for the vegetarians out there (who will find most of this menu unpalatable) to still be interested in reading about these cows because it’s not just about the beef that ended up on our plates…. Zaytuna cow Photo © Craig Mackintosh

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Grazing and Browsing? Forage Trees and Shrubs for Horses

By Mariette van den Berg B.(Hons), MSc. (Equine Nutrition) This photograph © copyright Craig Mackintosh Introduction Within the Equine industry there is next to no research based on alternate feeding sources such as forage trees and shrubs for horses. Adding trees in and around pastures can be beneficial for a number of reasons; it not only plays a major role in the hydration of the land and the control of […]

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Vetiver – One Grass Revolution

During my relatively short time in the Permaculture movement I have only heard Vetiver mentioned a few times. Could it be that this profoundly important pioneer is not getting the attention it deserves? Although commonly and extensively used in permaculture sites in some parts of the world, its uptake in Australia in particular seems to be slow. Why would this be happening? How could a plant with such beneficial qualities […]

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