The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Forest gardening avoids animals

Comfrey at the base of a nectarineAlthough Edible Forest Gardens inspired me to think about gardening in a different way, I have to say that I am disappointed by the book's suburban focus.  If we're really mimicking a forest ecosystem,  shouldn't we move to a farm where animals would be present?

Some day, we'd like to be more meat independent, expanding past chickens and deer to sheep, goats, and pigs.  The problem is that livestock require well developed pastures, and I can't wrap my head around chopping down a lot of trees to create them.  Is it possible to combine the idea of forest gardening with the needs of animals to create a pasture that is more than a solid expanse of grass?

Speaking of animals in permaculture, check out our chicken waterer invention.

This post is part of our Forest Pasturing lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Actually goats are technically browsers and don't need a cleared pasture for grazing. They will potentially eat anything they can reach though, so double check if something is poisonous or a food you're planning on. If you have any kind of orchard space, that could be goat friendly with all the fallow fruit, but sometimes they manage to climb the trees, so it depends.
Comment by Sena Mon Nov 30 15:56:17 2009
Very good point! Stay tuned --- we delve into goats a bit more in a later post.
Comment by anna Mon Nov 30 16:16:03 2009
Forest gardening animals? Well, deer, turkeys, rabbits, squirrels come to mind. Of course goats, by all means, though I've watched one climb up a sapling to eat its highest leaves.
Comment by Errol Mon Nov 30 16:18:29 2009
I'm hoping to come up with ways to run domesticated animals in the forest without causing total decimation. From what I've seen at other people's farms, it seems like goats really do a number on forest in short order...
Comment by anna Mon Nov 30 18:38:05 2009

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