Farming for Carbon Capture and soil regeneration
Aiming to live authentically and allowing nature do the work
The Principle: We live in and are part of a perfectly synchronised, self regulating, intelligent biological system.
It always delivers on time and without fail, we can rely on the rhythms of nature absolutely. This system appears to do ’nothing’ but leaves nothing undone; so why would we not work with it, rather than try and manipulate this perfection.
Most of our agricultural land globally has been degraded over millennia, the rate of degradation and loss of topsoil is accelerating with modern agricultural's mechanistic mindset, the use chemical fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and fossil fuel. This means by implication that if we continue to farm degrading soils, the plants and animals that grown in and on it, and we ourselves will also become depleted. Something needs to change.
We can change things by mimicking nature
The Principle: In nature there is no bare soil, except where there is human interference. The earth is naturally covered in green armour, remove it and topsoil and carbon are lost to the atmosphere by ploughing, erosion, wind and rain. Keeping soil covered with grass, crops, trees or any organic material e.g. compost or seaweed is essential.
Making sure there is no bare ground, causing minimal soil disturbance, no digging or ploughing, and creating the environment where this becomes the norm, is what we are trying to do here. Soil will always cover itself if left to it's own devices given the atmospheric moisture that we have in the UK, we are trying to assist this process.
The Principle: Herbivores over millions of years created our topsoils. We need to mimic the the herding behaviour of the vast numbers of herbivores that roamed the earth for thousands of years, herding caused by ferocious predators. They were always mobbed up, moving, mowing and fertilising as they went, creating the rich fertlile topsoils and the diverse savannahs, prairies and grasslands that modern agriculture has been mining and losing. The loss is accelerating. Herbivores are an essential part of the solution to reinstating our topsoils and their health.
Action: We can achieve this by using short periods of high impact planned grazing of our permanent native herb rich pastures - followed by long rest periods of 40-90 days. Or whatever period of rest allows for the recovery of pastures after grazing.
This is done by moving our livestock every 24-36 hours during the growing season, it takes half an hour at the same time each day. The animals all get really excited when it come to moving time. All that is needed is some cheap electric fencing, some stout walking boots, the ability to observe what's happening with a response that is continuous and flexible, making sure the animals are where they are meant to be, when they are meant to be there.
This method of grazing enhances plant and fauna diversity and achieves maximum solar energy gain through photosynthesis, growth of topsoil, carbon capture and regenerated soil biology. Photosynthesis is natures chemistry set, it costs us nothing and has the capacity to transform our lives and the health of our planet.
The result is the regeneration of soil health, because of the creation of effective water and mineral cycles, energy flow from the sun through green armour that in turn feeds the community of animals, insects and microbes both above and below ground.
All of this reduces the risks of drought and flood, and begins to ensure food security for future generations to come.
As a result:- Healthy soil,Healthy plants, grass, crops and animals, Healthy us.
Herbivores fed on what they were designed to eat : diverse green plant material or hay made from it. Absolutely No grain, and high levels of animal welfare because they live in an increasingly diverse, healthy and natural environment.
An environment where there is no need for inorganic chemical fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, or pharmaceuticals, instead a greater and growing balance and the use of biological solutions in a biological universe.
JUST REAL NUTRIENT DENSE FOOD
Produced from animals that are 100% grass fed
Hover over photo for legend or click for slideshow
This is what our pastures look like after 60 - 90 days rest
The hay is ready for cutting, the cattle are up to their bellies in grass.
Four days from scything, dry, green and smelling wonderful!
Meadow hay windrowed and ready for carting.
Just a Quad and small adapted trailer with low ground pressure tyres
Hay is store loose
We don't bother with baling
The smell is amazing!
We feed the cattle their hay on hard standing so as not to damage the pasture
Scattering hay against the fence stops it blowing away in the winter gales
We feed hay from December to early April
0.1 of a Hectare for 24hrs
24 hours later
Nutrients move from the bottom to the top of the hill with the animals
They have no choice,they put the Dung and urine where we need it.
Each pin marks a separate paddock of about 0.1ha
More Photos on their way