Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cell grazing

Our next-door-neighbor's dad came over for a drink the other night. He told me all about cell grazing. And we are going to try and adapt it to our property. Although we only have 1.5 acres, we also have the use of Gilbert's land next door, which is probably another acre. And we could also probably use some of Harry's 100 acre block across the road.

From what I can gather the key principle is constant rotation of stock through small paddocks.
It's based on the idea that livestock will eat the best pasture first. And they will eat it right back- this destroys hummus in the soil.

By keeping the livestock on the move, their impact on the environment is reduced because they graze more evenly across all paddocks.

It also reduces parasites because the host is removed before parasites have a chance to hatch- oh, and the other thing is you don't just go from one paddock to the next. You must move several paddocks away- to reduce the possibility of parasites finding the host.

In big properties the cells are set out like a wagon wheel, with the water supply in the middle.

The livestock are moved ever day.

Here we will only have three paddocks and I will move them weekly.

And now to the vegetable patch, we have around 60 pumpkins. The children have made a little stall in the cream shed selling our 'sun-cured chemical free' pumpkins for $2 each! So far we have made six dollars.

1 comment:

Apprentice Domestic Goddess said...

Michael Pollan's book, _The Omnivore's Dilemma_, has a great example of farm rotation which includes gems such as leaving the cow manure a few days then letting the chooks in to pick out the maggots that grow in the manure (ugh). It's well worth a read!