Skyler Weber

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since Jun 17, 2021
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Recent posts by Skyler Weber

I picked goats because they are the only species I know of that can eat any amount of pine and juniper. They also can eat all the other deciduous trees I have. Like you said they are adapted to dry environments and need less water and food than sheep do while having a wider variety of diet.
1 week ago
I need some critiques for my mob grazing plan as it seems too good to be true. First, my property is 10 acres of pinyon-juniper savanna and receives 16 inches of rain annually. I want to replicate Allan Savory's mob-grazing method of restoring semi-arid grasslands. But, the numbers seem crazy to me. Savory works with up to 1 million lbs of animal per acre. Mob grazing is commonly defined as over 100,000 lbs per acre. Any less than that and you don't get the land regeneration effect. So to reach at least 100K per acre I would need at least 35 fully grown goats in 1700 square feet electric paddock and rotate them daily. That seems like a lot of goats for a small acreage. My small paddock can then rotate through all 10 acres in 10 months with daily moves.

The land is not the best as it has been about 40 years since it was grazed and has only had wildlife on it since. There is grass, but it is short and spotty in places. I would have to supplement the forage with cutting from the trees, and hay. However, if Savory's hype is real, then at the end of 10 months, the grass will grow strong and tall and then the goats shouldn't need any more supplement (barring a drought).

Some other notes to consider
-My property is fully swaled.
-Access to city water
-landscaping businesses drop off a truckload of grass, sticks and clippings daily during the growing season.
-I plan on making tree hay for winter

My questions are
-what breed would be best or what goat attributes would be best for this setup
-how much pine can I feed them
-If I run low on forage I can pulse onto my neighbors 200 acre property.
-any other advice welcome
1 week ago
What's your water situation? Living in a semi-arid environment, what I have mostly learned is live in your context. Instead of a traditional disney forest, I am embracing cactus, pinyon pine, and yucca. They produce more than you think.
3 weeks ago
Sorghum or sudan grass for sure. They grow in Sudan and make lots of biomass as well as edible seed. The chickens love the seed. It can be sown on the ground and germinate with even the lightest cover of soil. The best part is that they are available in bird seed mixes. At my place I can get them for around 30 cents a pound. Another would be sunflower.

Also, you should look into Hopi, Zuni, or Navajo corn which can grow in the desert without irrigation.
1 month ago
I work with juniper in Colorado and the only way we know to propagate them is transplant them or use the seed. The easiest way to plant them is to recover the seed from coyote and bear droppings. This way they are already activated and ready to grow. Kinda gross, but it beats having to gather the seeds, strip off the flesh, and then treat with acid.
1 month ago
It's definitely possible. The Hopi and other SW USA tribes raised pumpkins with zero irrigation in 7-10 inches of annual precipitation.

Here's a video of Hopi farmer who is raising squash (not pumpkin) in the desert.  

Does anyone know a good source of Hopi or Navajo seeds?
I have used Rocky Mountain Juniper and noticed no ill effects. People who work clearing the juniper complain that it is too "hot" when decomposing which probably means its greenery breaks down fast and has lots of nitrogen.  My only complaint is that breaking the wood is difficult and painful due to extremely flexible wood. In fact, Native Americans used the wood as bows.
2 months ago
What about molasses and compost? The long term compost pile got started last fall, it has some leaves and grass clippings from offsite. Should I instead start a fast compost from the ghost acre? Also, I want to use a sugar/carb source to activate compost tea, would molasses bought from the store violate the terms?  What about human urine? What about a compost tea using my long-term off site input compost pile and not the compost itself?
2 months ago