Sustainable farming utilizes natural principles to help all aspects of your homestead work together in harmony. Here’s how it works…
One major problem with modern agriculture is that it separates elements which would naturally coexist in a symbiotic way, which then in turn creates problems that would not exist in nature. Or, as Michael Pollan puts it, “It turns a naturally elegant system of solutions into a number of separate unnatural problems.”
One challenge (and delight) of the modern homesteader is learning just how easy it is to follow the laws of nature, and let your animals and plants naturally benefit each other they way they are meant to – thereby reducing work for you!
As this interesting article from Weed Em And Reap states,
“Sustainable farming is sustainable simply because you’re caring for your animals the way nature intended. In a way, you’re creating a mini-ecosystem right in your backyard.”
For example, here are 4 different farm animals, and how they can work together to help you practice sustainable farming – if you let them:
- Goose – Her job is to eat the grass…as well as ants and other bugs. Her droppings will re-seed the grass naturally and because her droppings are high in carbon, they’ll help increase the amino acid production. Which will, in turn, increase the protein content of our grass for our other animals…
- Sheep – They are grazers, and can eat grass every day of their lives without complaint. Her droppings are high in potassium, which is the main nutrient plants need to grow. Without potassium, they can’t properly utilize nitrogen.
- Goat – They are browsers and will try to eat anything BUT grass. They’ll take care of weeds, bushes, sticks, and even trim your trees if they can reach them! Their droppings are also high in potassium, being a ruminant animal (animals with a fermentation system for a stomach).
- Chickens – Chickens are notorious for keeping your bug population down, and they love to eat grass too! Their droppings are high in nitrogen, which means that while it’s great for the garden, it needs to hang out with some soil and break down for a few months before you apply it to plants.