Appreciate the great info Steve Heckeroth shared on electric tractors, battery maintainence,
charging, etc. Somehow, we had never really thought of an electric tractor, and now we will!
With permacultre & Holistic Management /MIG grazing, we rarely have the need for one, but
it is handy at times. And would be necessary for any major land-use changes we might consider
in the future.
From a 'holistic' persepective, I do wonder about the overall impact on the envoronment of building
the tractor and the solar panels; does anyone have info about that? What would the expected life
of the tractor, and the solar system be? And the batteries, how eco-friendly are they? Equipment
'rusts, rots, and depreciates', as well. And what about when the batteries are used up? Or the
solar panels no longer work? Haven't looked into this yet in detail, but would like to hear what
others think about this.
Have to admit though, that the amount of acreage quoted for maintaining horses blew me away.
My dad farmed with horses, and they did not use NEAR 13 acres per horse; probably closer to
4 ac/hd, or less (this is to produce 100% of their feed). Obviously this will vary with the climate
and rainfall, but management is the major factor.
Of course, since this is a permaculture site - as Paul pointed out - no one would be pasturing horses
in a 'set-stock' situation, right??? (Where the horses are on the same ground every day of the year.)
We've found it a help to have other livestock to use all the extra grass that grows on the land with
horses on a good rotational/paddock shift system. Instead of compaction, we've seen the soil get deeper
and richer each year.
On the plowing, it is interesting to note that the width between the rows of gardens and crop fields
I've seen has always been wider than what I've seen with horse-drawn equipment. That said, we're
not fans of plowing or discing and bare dirt. Dad said compaction was never a problem in the fields
with the horses; again this can vary with the soil type, but soil management will play a big role.
Sounds like Steve has had a lot of fun tinkering with those cars! But the idea of converting rare
cars... We're more preservation oriented when it comes to rare and antique automobiles. Still,
is all sounds like fun (maybe almost as much fun as eco-farming! <smile!>).
Appreciate Steve and Paul taking the time to share this info.
Farside Farm, New England
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