Grant Schultz wrote:
Just remember, if you're going to start a cider brand - make it from fresh juice of heirloom varieties, not "organic" concentrate from China!
Luke Groce wrote:Thanks for that. I know common sense goes a long way when bringing animals near plants for human consumption. But not enough people I talk to are doing it -so I am always interested in seeing what makes sense to others.
One question you didn't address above: Any thoughts on whether you would prefer to start a system like yours in a corn/soy mono-crop field, or a typical midwest set stock grazing cow pasture? (similar climate). I'm looking into both right now.
I was re-listening to some podcasts with you the other day, and had a couple sets of questions:
1. Did I correctly hear that you're using 30 foot spacing all over your farm between the tree crop strips? Not sure what climax tree species you're working with, but are you looking to have a closed canopy forest there in 50 years, as opposed to maintaining the system as a silvopasture? When Darren Doherty was on here, I asked him about Mark Sheppard's spacing for those who want to graze and crop in between long term, and he said he liked the idea of 100 ft between rows. Just curious if you can shed some light on your choice of spacing here, and what your end goals are (which, I understand, may not be achieved in your lifetime).
2. You talked about grazing animals from low in the system to higher on the hills in a given season (I believe you said this was to prevent runoff from their waste from following them down the hill). Maybe this is one of those things that will have to be worked out over time with your grazing plan revisions, but I have a few questions: when exactly are you thinking of putting animals in those lowlands? Is the keyline system so effective that they won't be soggier than the ridges in April/May? Do you worry about your hilltops being dried out first, and therefore not recovering as easily from that later graze? Obviously you can't take every possible thing into consideration in a design, and you've walked around on a key lined property in each of those months. I haven't. I'm just trying to figure out how it looks on the ground, and how to order the importance of various different factors in designing my systems.