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

All Flesh is Grass

All Flesh is GrassGene Logsdon's All Flesh is Grass doesn't quite bring rotational grazing to the backyard, but the author's focus on people with 2 to 100 acres who are growing meat for personal consumption makes his ideas accessible to the average homesteader.  Don't get me wrong --- the intense information in Greener Pastures on Your Side of the Fence and in Greg Judy's mob grazing workshop were invaluable as I continue to plan our pasturing setup, but it's also helpful to hear from someone farming on a much smaller scale.

What does Logsdon's pasture setup look like?  His 32 acre farm in northern Ohio has about 15 acres devoted to pasture, on which he raises cows, sheep, and chickens for his family.  The farm is divided into seven paddocks, each of which is about two acres in size, and he lets livestock spend about three weeks in each area before rotating them to the next paddock in line.  (Yes, it is suboptimal to keep your livestock in a paddock for more than six days, but sometimes the homesteader doesn't need to reach peak efficiency if he wants to keep his sanity.)

Most of Logsdon's pastures are a permanent mixture of bluegrass, ryegrass, white clover, and tall fescue.  However, he also rotates a few paddocks through annuals (and short-lived perennials) like red clover, wheat, corn, alfalfa, timothy, and ladino clover.  Using all of these pasture plants, Logsdon is able to start his animals on pasture in late March and keep them there until they finish eating the stockpiled grass in January or February.  Since he plans calving and lambing around the pasture year, selling or eating meat animals in December, he has relatively few livestock to feed during the nonpasture month(s).

This week's lunchtime series will walk you through Logsdon's operation in more depth.  I highly recommend his book for the firsthand information on plant polycultures, but have to warn you that if you have little patience for pseudoinformation, you should skip over the anecdotes that make up the chapters on individual types of animals.  I got bogged down in the sheep chapter for about three months before plodding on through to the intriguing tidbits in the second half of the book.

Get a jumpstart on SPRING with my 99 cent ebook.

This post is part of our All Flesh is Grass 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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Excited to learn more about this book!

~ Mitsy

Comment by mountainstead [] Mon Mar 12 12:37:25 2012
I'll hit most of the highlights this week in my lunchtime posts.
Comment by anna Mon Mar 12 13:10:10 2012

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