No overgrazing: sustainable production of meat, milk and compost

Photo credit: Permaculture News

Some New Angles on Grazing Cells

by Sean Dixon-Sullivan

The Big Scrub is gone; destroyed by loggers and cattle farmers a century ago. What was once Australia’s largest subtropical rainforest—900km2 of biodiversity—is now largely home to cows and grass. Even between these two components many landowners still struggle to enforce balance. Thistle-covered paddies, eroded hillsides, compacted soils with sparse vegetation—scars from this struggle cover the region’s rolling lowlands..

Yet the struggle is an unnecessary one, as one farm in the region is demonstrating. Observe nature; learn to work with it rather than against it. These are principles of permaculture and the basis of the Grazing Method at Zaytuna farm (ZGM). We know that the most sustainable—the most balanced—designs are those that most closely mimic natural ecosystems. As Joel Salatin observes:

“Herbivores in nature exhibit three characteristics: mobbing for predator protection, movement daily onto fresh forage and away from yesterday’s droppings, and a diet consisting of forage only.”1Hence the ZGM practices short-term cell rotations.

Read the full article: Permaculture News

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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