Only when the last tree has been felled,

Only when the last tree has been felled, and the last fish has been eaten  – will we realise – that we cannot eat money.

 

Indian Proverb

spotted_tailed_quoll

After growing up in the world of the slash and burn mentality and playing in eroded and denuded creek beds as a child in central Victoria, I bought a property in South Eastern Queensland that had been overgrazed to the point of exhaustion.

Intially I let it rest, I began to introduce livestock after about 18 months.  In that time, with the help of good rain and storms, I watched it become green again.  The variety of flora amazed me and still does.  Daily I find new things growing, species that weren’t here four years ago.

I am now running around 220 head of meat goats, they are helping to rid the block of weeds, of which there are many.  Lanatana Camara is our worst offender and while it can be dangerous to livestock in small doses it appears that goats can manage it.  Perhaps goats are able to find other fodder that nuetralises its effects, some other goat farmers have suggested this.

Many landholders in this district still burn on an annual basis, to rid land of bush fire fuel and promote new fresh grass growth.  However the loss of minerals and microbe activity from the soil caused by burning seems to me, to outweigh the benefits of burning.

The heavy summer rains and heat that we get in this part of the world appear to rapidly break down the bulk of the dead vegatation, inturn improving soil health.

I am feeling my way, listening to my land, I won’t be ploughing, I won’t be using artificial fertilisers.

As yet I’m unsure how I will deal with soil compaction, I may trial some deep ripping.  I have many deep gullies and have started to construct silt traps in these using stone from the paddocks.  This appears to be working, these traps are filling with silt and it does slow the flow of water, so that more is retained in the land.

Some other ideas that I’m interested in are shown below, let me know what you think, and tell me about your successes and challenges…..

Visit my page on Sustainable Farming to view links,

~ by australianmeatgoats on May 7, 2009.

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