Hi everyone I just wanted to report on the success I have been having with permaculture. I am pretty pleased with myself and want share (OK boast)
I live on 50 acres of old fields, fields have not had animals in nearly 20 years. They are over grown with weeds and shrubs. So thick it is unpleasent to walk through so I do'nt. The perimeter fence is in terrible shape and I can't afford the thousands of dollars to rip out whats there along with hedge rows that have grown up over last 50 years or so to plant new fence. Nor do I really want to do that. I have been working on laying the old hedges to make permanent living barrier that could contain cattle sheep and goats. But this will take years for me to complete but I have started.
Now things started to get exciting this spring when my neighbour who rescues horse from the meat auction approached me as asked if she could put her horses in my old fields I said sure so long as she puts up the electric fencing herself and I can put some of my own animals in there. Deal! She did the fencing and put about 15 horses and I put 3 Scotch Highland cows. The effect upon my fields has been amazing. I enjoy walking through them now as the grasses have been eaten down to lawn level. The animals are eating the weeds like golden rod and some shrubs. They are leaving the Black walnuts I planted 8 years ago alone and they are thriving with less competition from the formerly tall grasses and weeds. The shrubs they are not eating are being knocked down and will probably die and be replaced with more grass. The horses are amazingly friendly, they come up to me on my walks for nuzzles and back scratches. I feel glad that I have helped in their rescue.
Some unanticipated benefits are that there are now horse mushrooms spread throughout my field although I dont have a identification book so I've not eaten any yet. I think these shrooms will be there for years to come now so no rush. Another is now that I can walk through there I have discovered choke cherry and crabapple trees and have made many jars of cherry and crabapple jelly. And Ive been looking for a source of hawtorne seed to plant in my hedgerow for years now and the other week I found a tree in there covered in hawapples. Problem solved
Anyways, sometimes I am not always clear on what is and what isnt permaculture.,, but what ever this is i am pleased.
The sun's a light bulb and the moon is a mirror-- Gord Downie
Sounds like those fields needed some animals.
Between clearing, they are providing some valuable input into the soil.
I hear you about fences. Pretty costly if done right (though more costly if done wrong!).
Hedgerows used to be common, but most have been ripped out to make room for a few more rows of crop, and for easier turns with the belching iron horses. A good hedgerow, with minimal maintenance will out last any fence. I have often heard tell of farmers tearing out the hedgerow, and later commenting "That strip is the most fertile soil on my land." It is the last stand of nature on many farms.
I think that one of the underlying principles of permaculture is to just let nature do the work for you. The more you let Mother Nature do her job, the less you need to do. Over time, she will balance everything.
Keep up the good work...it will just get better as time goes by.