Friday, July 23, 2010

Another aHaa Moment in Farming

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Over the last 4 years on this farm I have had many an ahaa moment.

I am constantly amazed at man's involvement with the state of our farming and livestock. As most of you have heard me say, sheep (and other livestock) do know how to tend to their needs if given the habitat to do so. We manicure our pastures and plant single variety (not native) grasses. What we have are critters unable to battle the issues they have always been faced with. One of the most worrisome issues with sheep (and goats) today is internal parasites and the very cause (in my opinion) is what we have done to their desired forage. Then, when faced with the outcomes of increased parasite loads we have over medicated with the help of a pharmaceutical industry willing to supply whatever DRUG we need. Now we have worms that we cannot get rid of! Scary, yes. But there is always a silver lining and to me the farms and farmers trying to approach this naturally are finding amazing stuff. What amazes me most is our new found remedies are ways of our ancestors...nothing new at all! While attending a holistic class on ruminants (cattle and sheep) I heard the most amazing tale from one of the attendees. He asked the vet(traditional turned holistic) why his flock of sheep kept coming home with black noses. The vet asked if he had black walnut trees. YES! the farmer replied. The sheep know/knew that black walnut is a deterrent to internal parasites. Now, get this garlic is being used with huge success on farms., how did it get that name so long ago? My most recent find is a soap made by Shakley products for over 40 years. Farmers have been worming with this all natural soap successfully for 40 or more years!

I absolutely love to understand how we evolve thru history. In this scenario I am so happy that we're realizing the value in the ways of the past!


Spirit Oaks said...

But of course! <3
I'm a lazy gardener....really need to pull weeds, but I've decided that it's better for my earth to not. We do have sown grass out in the front of our 2 acres, but trust me....there are TONS of natives growing all around our property.
When we had to have trees cut, we saved most for firewood, but the largest tree, I just had them drop it and leave it right where it landed...not sure how many critters have made it home, but it is there for them, and to nourish the land. Florida is ALL sand, but at the back where that tree is....the trees have been dropping leaves and branches for at least a hundred years and there is actually SOIL back there! This Florida girl was shocked and ecstatic when I first discovered that.
I do my best to remove any invasives that are non native and we do have a few of those buggers.
Glad that people ARE still turning back to traditional ways.


Suzy said...

I have Navajo-Churros AND black walnut trees... do you feed them the husks? Leaves? Husked nuts? Mine like a bit of a nibble on pine trees, they always seem to know what to eat and what to avoid. Ours also share pasture with about 30 chickens, and I truly believe the chickens keep the parasite load down as they graze together. I've also heard about the garlic; I'm planning to dry and grind some of our garlic crop and add it to their regular mineral mix.

Suzy said...

I have Navajo-Churros AND black walnut trees! Do you feed them the whole nut? Husked? Leaves? I have also read about the garlic; I'm planning on drying and grinding some of our garlic harvest and mixing it into their regular free-choice minerals. We also have about 30 chickens that free-range in the same pasture as our 7 sheep, and I truly believe they also keep the parasite load down.