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

Salatin-style pasturing

Multi-species pasture

When you start reading up on sustainable pasturing, Joel Salatin's name pops up quickly and often.  In case you haven't heard of him, Salatin's 550 acre farm feeds various animals in succession on small patches of ground, using the behavior of each species to improve the conditions for the next animals in line.  The result is pastures that become more productive every year...oh, and lots of high quality meat to eat and sell.

Diversified pastureOur pastured lamb suppliers follow Salatin's lead, so I thoroughly enjoyed getting to tour their farm and see the livestock in action.  On perhaps six acres of good pasture (along with some more weedy areas being reclaimed), Megan and Erek currently have four pigs, two big tractors of Cornish Cross chickens (going in the freezer next week), a flock of Christmas and Thanksgiving turkeys, seventeen lambs and their parents, a calf, two milk goats, and three kids.  (That's goat kids --- they've got a human kid of their own, but he's not for meat.  The other younguns in the pictures are friends.)

Megan told me that it takes the two of them only half an hour to attend to this huge menagerie on an average day.  (Of course, there are lots of non-average periods when they spend sunup to sundown slaughtering chickens or two full days chasing cows out of the woods.)  Stay tuned for the rest of this week's lunchtime series to learn about the nuts and bolts of their Salatinesque operation.

Our chicken waterer is perfect for tractors since it never spills on uneven terrain.

99 cent pasture ebookThis post is part of our Salatin-style 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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Dear Anna and Mark, I have found you blog very recently, and just wanted to say that it is the best homestreading blog I have seen on the web. It is exactly the experience that I am interested in. I have raised my own meat and egg chickens in our back yard before and wanted to turn it it to permaculture based mini farm. Before I could make it happen we had to move overseas for couple years and away from land. I do my best now to prepare for homesteading by foraging in local park and uni campus for wild mushrooms, berries and apples, and preserving them of course. Your writing provides me with inspiration and give me hope that everything is possible if you really want it and that all obstacles can be conquered. Thank you very much and looking forward to your new posts. Aleksandra

Comment by Aleksandra Tue Sep 20 05:34:47 2011
Thanks for your kind words, Aleksandra! It's amazing how much homesteading you can do in the city without a speck of land to call your own. I used to love to forage for unwanted apples when I was a kid in town. Good luck!
Comment by anna Tue Sep 20 07:38:47 2011

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