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Mark Shepard on Overwintering Livestock

 
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Hi Mark, I was very pleased to see your name on this forum. As you know (I'm the Illini), I have read your book twice and have given two away as Christmas gifts. I have a question: Do you overwinter any of your livestock and if so, do you grow hay (or grain) to feed them or do you buy hay or something else?
Richard
 
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My question is: Are there examples of Amish farmers adopting or already using your techniques? What lessons, if any, have your drawn from indigenous cultures that once stewarded your land.
 
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Lets see... Overwintering livestock. Yes we have overwintered livestock but not always... We do cut and bale hay. When we've overwintered critters, we build them a windbreak of hay. They get on whatevr side is most comfortable, make a nice nest and slowly eat their shelter over the winter. Water has been the biggest nuisance in that chipping a hole in the ice of stock tanks then dipping out and hauling water qualifies as work and therefore I'm allergic to it... We've got a partially finished Holzer inspired "Bunker" with a tank buried in the ground behind it, but its not finished yet and we have no idea if the water will stay thawed.

As far as taking clues from the original Americans who lived here, ABSOLUTELY! ... Our farm was a managed Oak savanna... There's a camp site on one ridge (just above a spring at the intersection between 3 ridges) where I've found stone tools. Some of our "Legacy trees" are huge, open-grown red and white oaks. Actually our whole FARM is inspired by the original peoples... They "farmed" it as an oak savanna with oaks, apples, cherries, hazelnuts, plums, grapes, butternuts, raspberries, strawberries, fungi, animals and more... We're doing the same only designed and intensively planted...


 
Richard Frame
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Thanks Mark for your response. And thanks for the valuable work that you do. In my opinion, your contribution is immeasurable and gives me hope for our species and for the earth.
Richard
 
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I have established forest in s. oregon. Oaks, pines, etc. I am thinking of diversifying with running livestock in the trees. I have heard more than once, from Mark Shepard's presentation to ACRES USA and Mizzou's Agroforestry video, that sylviculture is NOT about using established forest. What am I missing? Is running pigs/cows under establish woodland ecologically foolish? Or are you just trying to get folks to plant more trees?
 
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