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rotational high density grazing – small scale

2016/11/21 deej 0

I’ve ruminated at length about the pros and cons of goats (adorable miniature milk goats, and there are even Nigerian Dwarf goats in Australia now!) and sheep (ah the possibilities of non-tree-eating ruminants). I’ve talked about getting a house cow (still in the long term plan) and considered the cost versus difficulty versus milk quality and quantity of various breeds of all these animals. I’ve considered alpacas (beautiful silky suri fleece to spin) but decided that in the short term they’re too expensive for the returns they offer, and not friendly enough to get one just as a pet.   […]

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the great livestock debate

2016/05/23 deej 0

As may have become clear by now, I adore animals. Fur, feathers, scales – they are all awesome in their own special ways. Even guinea fowl (noisy, dumb as bricks, but pretty and useful and lovely) and rabbits (destructive, tree-ringbarking wild versions are annoyingly hardy, while the tame meat-breed ones die far too easily) are pretty cool. My problem is deciding which animals to keep.   I mean, I obviously can’t have them all. That would take more space than we have, and feeding them and taking care of them would take more time and $$$ than we have available. […]

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The local farm shop

2016/03/30 deej 0

Local may be overstating it slightly, but still. We recently visited our closest and most convenient farm shop. Like real grown-up farmers.   For those who may not know, a farm shop is a retailer which specialises in equipment and supplies for farms and farmers. It’s a little like the love-child of a Bunnings style hardware store and the rural bakery/deli that inevitably exists in every small town. They carry everything from reticulation pipes & connectors to worming medications for animals to pasture seed. Which is what we were there for.   This winter is not the time for goats, […]

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plant profile: honey locust

2016/03/23 deej 0

I’ve just ordered another selection of wattle seeds, to germinate and plant out. These are all varieties with edible seeds, so they’re a pretty good multi-purpose plant. The idea is to plant about half of them in our Zone 5, along with holm oaks, cork oaks, stone pines, and a variety of other semi-wild¬†food plants and bee forage¬†plant species – the other half will go in the pasture/woodland area as shade trees. This pasture area is going to include a series of paddocks through which our poultry and the hypothetical future goats (and maybe cow!) will be rotated. There will […]

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Pasture

2015/12/03 deej 1

I’m sure anyone who reads these posts regularly knows that we’re pretty keen to increase our menagerie, but I don’t think I’ve explained clearly why that is. It isn’t just for the milk and meat that we want to get goats and a cow, although they are part of the reason. It’s for the soil. Soil is the heart and the root of any ecosystem, including farm ecosystems. Healthy soil is absolutely essential if you want to grow healthy plants, and produce any sort of yield from the ground. The modern methods of land management call for huge inputs of […]