WE PRACTICE HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT HERE. WHAT IS THAT YOU ASK?
Holistic management in agriculture is an approach to managing resources. It restores the land by recreating the way animals evolved to interact with their environment. This approach was developed and popularized by ecologist, farmer and environmentalist, Allan Savory.
BECAUSE HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT RESTORES THE SOIL ECOSYSTEM NATURALLY, WITHOUT THE NEED FOR CHEMICAL TREATMENTS, IT OFFERS LONG-LASTING BENEFITS:
INTEGRATING OUR ANIMALS WITH THE ECOSYSTEM
Nowhere in nature will you find an ecosystem of only one species of animal consuming only one source of food! It simply doesn’t happen: instead, you’ll find a wide variety of species with symbiotic relationships. And that’s how it is here: our cows, sheep, pigs and chickens interact with the land, the plants, the bugs, other animals – and each other – in unique ways, just as they would in the wild
Chickens play a double role in our farm ecosystem: they clean up the pastures and intensively fertilize them wherever they go.
Our chickens are raised in a brooder for the first few weeks because they are highly temperature sensitive when they are young. But when they are ready, they move out to pasture in portable housing that is frequently moved, following after the cows and sheep. The chickens eat fly larvae and other bugs along with the pasture grasses, and we supplement their diet with local grain and fruit/vegetable waste.
Chicken manure is very high in nitrogen, and after they’ve gone through a pasture, the land is so heavily fertilized that you can easily see the difference when you are walking by (or even in an aerial photo!). The plants are so lush and green that the rest of the farm looks drab by comparison!
Our pigs also have a unique job here: clean up crew!
They gobble up our household compost along with any garden waste and the food scraps from our restaurant, Odla.
We are involved in a neat program that links grocery stores with farmers so that we can feed the waste to livestock as opposed to having it fill up our landfills and so huge amounts of produce, bakery and dairy products are added to their ration.
In the spring we put the pigs into the shelters that the cows and sheep used all winter that were bedded down with plenty of straw and hay. These packs of leftover hay, straw and manure can get pretty huge by springtime and we would normally use a tractor or Bobcat to clean up the mess. Instead, we send in the pig and they have a grand old time rooting through the piles and turning it into rich compost, which eventually ends up fertilizing our gardens.
The pigs live outdoors year round in a 6 acre pasture so they are always foraging grasses, legumes and roots out in the pasture and we supplement all of that with a grain mix we grow and mill on farm giving them a very diverse diet that they love and it all helps with waste reduction.
BOTTOM LINE? OUR BUSINESS IS BUILT ON THE WEB OF LIFE.
We’re super excited to be getting back to the old-fashioned way of farming, where all of the animals played a role in sustaining each other and the land, as well as the people. The old-time farmers knew about those relationships and used them for millennia, but modern-day practices of specialized industrial farming have gotten away from that natural symbiosis and the results are evident around the world.
Our own experience, and emerging science, is bearing out what the old farmers knew: when plants and animals are given a habitat that is appropriate for them, they will flourish naturally… and the land, water, and climate will flourish as well. We’re committed to helping create that future on Farm One Forty, and we hope you’ll come to experience it!