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Margaret Bad Warrior

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since Oct 15, 2012
Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation
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Recent posts by Margaret Bad Warrior

I spread straw on our garden one spring. That led to an endless bindweed apocalypse from which it has never recovered.
7 months ago
We sort of sheet mulched the kitchen garden by covering about 5000 ft2 with cardboard, and covering that with about 50 tractor loads of old horse poo. In the center of this we constructed the spiral. We piled old concrete chunks and whatnot to give it a base, covered that in horse poo, and built the planting spiral using pretty petrified wood and other cool stones from the nearby river. This picture is right after it was built. Once seeded, almost all of the herbs were super-productive. It does need to be rebuilt about every 4 years, and the poo replenished.
1 year ago
I have two questions:

Background: We run approximately 500 cattle (1/2 ours, 1/2 lessee) on 8800 acres in South Dakota. Land is high plains, mainly rough country with a lot of draws, divided into 10 pastures. Two 1000 acre pastures have a river, the rest have stock dams, and one has a well. A neighbor, Todd Mortenson has been using holistic management since the 1990s and we have been looking at implementing it as well. His carrying capacity on his 8000 acres is 1600 head, not 500. I've watched your TED talk and am looking for funds to attend your conference at the end of June in Colorado. Interestingly, I spent about three hours today wandering about the pastures with Michel Kravcik talking about small water cycle theory and how to implement his Blue Alternative techniques on the land here. We talked a little about how your holistic grazing would work with his system of contour trenches, weirs and dams and other water retention mechanisms, but we didn't know enough to talk any specifics. Here are my two questions:

1. Todd says holistic management is different than mob grazing, but he didn't explain how. For the life of me I can't figure out how mob grazing would work in our area given the amount of fencing needed, and manpower running cows all over the country all day long. Could you explain how your system is different than mob grazing?

2. Many areas in our pastures are turning into hardpan, particularly level areas on hilltops and plateaus. Hardpan is a dry alkaline flat where not much grows but cactus. These areas expand year by year. We have dimished a few by placing mineral tubs and salt blocks in them. The cattle crush the cacti, chop up the surface and poop all over. This has helped in a couple areas but is not consistently effective. Could your system help restore these areas, and how?

Thank you for your time,

Margaret Bad Warrior
Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation
Ziebach County, South Dakota
6 years ago
We're in Ziebach County, which is about 200 miles away from Rapid. When you get here, check in with SD Community Action in Rapid - ask for Jed. I think they're trying to get something going down there. Good luck!
7 years ago