Diversity with livestock is very helpful in revitalizing soil. Photo credit: Brandy Jackson Photography
Livestock are at the center of soil building and the success of Funny Duck Farms. Farmer Sam Klinck explains how, with a photo tour of her family’s farm.
See related article: Livestock for soil building at Funny Duck Farms
See related post: Before and after photos: Building soil with livestock
Many thanks to Sam for sharing these photos and this information! -TCOG editors
Our land, before and after photos (1 of 3): As you can see, it’s pretty bleak. This is what the land on our farm looked like before we started using old junk hay and livestock to revitalize it.
Our land, before and after photos (2 of 3): We put down a layer of old junk hay which provided organic matter and seeds. This is what grew back.
Our land, before and after (3 of 3 photos): This is what it looks like now after the cows graze down new growth. What I love about this is even after grazing, there is very little soil showing compared to the first picture.
Winter pig area, (1 of 3 photos): This soil is dry and lean and rocky. Livestock like our pigs help revitalize the soil.
Winter pig area (2 of 3 photos): In spring, the pigs are sent to the woods. The land has had a rest. Vegetation has flourished. Now, we can graze cows on what was previously dry, parched soil.
Winter pig area (3 of 3 photos): Due to our rotation and revitalized soil, this is what our pigs get to enjoy in the fall.
In the spring, pigs are moved to the woods; they clear out the understory and bring rocks to the surface, enabling us to provide additional pasture and other forage areas for other animals.
The pigs clear land for the cows, the cows’ milk feeds the pigs, the chickens clean up anything the pigs leave behind and keep the flies off the cows. Photo credit: Brandy Jackson Photography
Diversity has been central to our success: for the health of the its soil, people, plants and animals and in terms of what we can offer to our CSA members. Photo Credit: Brandy Jackson
Interested in small scale organic pork production?
Check out Sam’s book, Farrow to Finish: Pigs on your Organic Farm!
Aimed at readers with hobby farms and small organic farms who would like to raise pigs year round, this basic handbook is also a great guide for those wanting to learn more about keeping their own pigs for breeding stock.
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