Jerry Ward wrote:My goal is to be able to raise one head of beef cattle at a time to supply my family. I'm in S.E. Michigan, can anyone tell me how many acres of pasture I would need to do this? I was thinking about one of the smaller breeds like a Dexter. My hope is to spend 2013 building up the needed pasture and get the animal in the spring of 2014.
You're right. Orchards are monocrops.
paul wheaton wrote:Nature is going to try and take out a monocrop. It is nature's design. Orchards are monocrops.
You're right about that one too.
paul wheaton wrote:But if you take out 90% of the trees yourself, and fill the spaces with a variety of other species, then the remaining trees can have long vibrant lives with no care. In alignment with nature.
paul wheaton wrote:Granted - taking out a very old and productive tree is a painful thing. Probably the most painful thing to give advice about when a permaculture designer encounters an orchard. And most orchard owners will not do it. At the same time, at least if we project the message, then when there is a new field and somebody says "orchard!" hopefully somebody else will now say "how about a food forest instead?"
Because of the way that they are predator friendly, because they see the value of water, because they take a long-term approach to the land, because they use animals to do work instead of relying on petroleum products, because they don't pick fruit until it's ready, because they plant in such a way that each fruit ripens in succession, I found their way of doing things comfortable and was willing to stop at most of the way there instead of going through the last few painful steps.
paul wheaton wrote:When I visit a lot of places, it's kinda painful because they have a long ways to go to get to what i think is good. But these guys were most of the way there.
paul wheaton wrote:When I visit a lot of places, it's kinda painful because they have a long ways to go to get to what i think is good. But these guys were most of the way there. The two suggestions I made were: more texture in the landscape (the land is too flat); move away from "orchard" and toward "food forest" (convert from 100 olive trees to 10 olive trees, plus 20 other species)