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Restoring clear-cut with goats, pigs and chickens...  RSS feed

 
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We're eyeing up this piece of land and conjuring up plans to improve it and make some money at the same time. The location is temperate, coastal - in Argyll, Scotland. Stays mild throughout the year - plenty of rain and not much sun. Plenty of midges.







There are a couple of hectares up for grabs with potential for more if we need to expand.

Removing the stumps isn't an option so we're having to work with them.

Has anyone experience in grazing a clear cut with goats? I think we could get away putting in some electric fencing on this landscape.

We could use a rotational grazing system like the one below or similar:



Possibly following on with pigs and chickens to build diversity and keep parasites down.

We'd like to experiment with trampling in a nice varied cover crop mix.

I imagine the soil will be fungal dominated and we'll see some broadleaves coming up naturally which would be desirable for goats.

We're investigating the economic viability of keeping goats for different aspects - meat, milk, mohair...

If anyone has any experience, thoughts or ideas on this we'd love to hear them!
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Gorgeous location! It seems to have a lot of potential. The main thing I'd worry about is erosion, so you might want to take the loose debris and make low berms on contour - NOT big hugelkulturs. These small berms are helping a lot on our place where we're experiencing flooding rains and erosion.
 
Sean Kettle
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Gorgeous location! It seems to have a lot of potential. The main thing I'd worry about is erosion, so you might want to take the loose debris and make low berms on contour - NOT big hugelkulturs. These small berms are helping a lot on our place where we're experiencing flooding rains and erosion.



Yeah, they're beautiful views. And it's so quiet there - the edge of the world. Good call on the berms, we'll definitely try and do something along those lines. I think there are issues with drainage in some spots of the land.
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Sean, I like the view of the loch, from the photos hogs or pigs might be a better choice for grazing, I don't see much browse growing on the land.
We use hogs for plowing up new areas, they are easier to contain with electric tape fencing than goats are.
We currently have our hogs on a plot that we wanted fully rooted up, they have done their job admirably, the soil there has improved many fold and has changed enough that it now grows any seed we throw out there.

I do know that goats will graze but it really isn't their first choice, at least here in the states.
The berms idea from Tyler is a grand one, it looks like there is plenty of material to create a lot of on contour low berms.
It does look like you might have a bit of a swale near that road, but if water collects there, some heather might be a good thing for that area for a start.

Fungi are definitely going to be your friends, I would be making mushroom slurries and spreading all that I could over those stumps.
Won't take the fungi spores long to get going smashingly well.

Redhawk
 
Sean Kettle
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Sean, I like the view of the loch, from the photos hogs or pigs might be a better choice for grazing, I don't see much browse growing on the land.
We use hogs for plowing up new areas, they are easier to contain with electric tape fencing than goats are.
We currently have our hogs on a plot that we wanted fully rooted up, they have done their job admirably, the soil there has improved many fold and has changed enough that it now grows any seed we throw out there.

I do know that goats will graze but it really isn't their first choice, at least here in the states.
The berms idea from Tyler is a grand one, it looks like there is plenty of material to create a lot of on contour low berms.
It does look like you might have a bit of a swale near that road, but if water collects there, some heather might be a good thing for that area for a start.

Fungi are definitely going to be your friends, I would be making mushroom slurries and spreading all that I could over those stumps.
Won't take the fungi spores long to get going smashingly well.

Redhawk



Hi Redhawk,

Great to hear your hogs are so effective, I think we'll definitely have to get some in. I've heard mixed feedback about their efficacy for removing stumps, but they certainly can't make things worse!

I found this great little video on hog and goat grazing, we might play about with some of these techniques...



I'm looking into a mini stand-alone mushrooms farming operation on the site - I've not heard of mushroom slurries, I will look into it! I'll definitely try and get our stumps inoculated. I've posted this idea on another thread regarding shrooming the stumps (one of the problems I see is that they're all very much dead and dried out):

Sean Kettle wrote:I've been thinking of adapting a method I've seen to fit our circumstances (the dry stumps)



Taking off a slice as per the method on the right, and then boring a bowl out of the stump. Filling this with nice, moist, inoculated substrate - and then fixing the slice back on top. I'm not much of a mycologist so please say if I'm missing some crucial points or steps here!

I had thought about wrapping an inoculated stump in plastic but this would only serve to cook the stump in sunny weather...

Does anyone know if there's any such edible/medicinal mushrooms that would take on Sitka, Larch or Western Hemlock?



 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Chicken of the woods is one of the tastiest mushrooms that like the conifer trees. like Sitka.

The following links should get you to great information on mycology as well as the supplies you will want.

gourmet mushrooms

fungi perfecti (paul Stamens

the mushroom patch

the mushroom shack

this one is a good book to have

The method you show is a good one for stumps, be aware though that if there are local mushrooms (in the area) they may have a foothold already.
On our farm I have encouraged the mycelium to grow everywhere, the downfall to that is that if I want to make mushroom logs, I have to cut a tree down and inoculate it immediately or the naturals will gain that foothold and create problems for the ones I want to grow.
 
Sean Kettle
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Chicken of the woods is one of the tastiest mushrooms that like the conifer trees. like Sitka.

The following links should get you to great information on mycology as well as the supplies you will want.

gourmet mushrooms

fungi perfecti (paul Stamens

the mushroom patch

the mushroom shack

this one is a good book to have

The method you show is a good one for stumps, be aware though that if there are local mushrooms (in the area) they may have a foothold already.
On our farm I have encouraged the mycelium to grow everywhere, the downfall to that is that if I want to make mushroom logs, I have to cut a tree down and inoculate it immediately or the naturals will gain that foothold and create problems for the ones I want to grow.



Thanks for the links RedHawk! Great help. Have you had any joy inoculating dead and dried out stumps? I'll check out chicken of the woods, I'm aware of it but have never tried it. I've just gotten in touch with Rooting and Fruiting here in the UK for assistance.

I'm not long back from a course on the Soil Food Web, hosted by one of Dr Elaine Ingham's disciples, Zach Wright. Mind blowing stuff - I'm with you - we need to get the fungal element back out there into our soils!
 
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