Book Review: The Art and Science of Grazing: How Grass Farmers Can Create Sustainable Systems for Healthy Animals and Farm Ecosystems

By Sarah Flack, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2016

Review by Samantha Klinck

The Art and Science of Grazing Book Review Canadian Organic GrowersReading this book is like attending a personal workshop designed for your farm.

In her fantastic book, The Art and Science of Grazing, Sarah Flack gives the reader the information they need to properly manage pastures and grazing on the farm for the betterment of their livestock. She takes all the components one must consider in pasture management and lays them out in an easy to read and understand format, without skipping the science of how all the components fit together.

The book covers not only the needs of the pasture plants, soil, and livestock, but also helps you understand how to set up the most suitable grazing system for the farm. She is able to show what is happening in different grazing systems in a scientific way, while also reminding readers to focus on the art form, which is the observation of the livestock and plants, interpreting those observations, and finding ways to solve problems and improve production over time.

There are many helpful topics covered in the book, from understanding the basic needs of the pasture plants, setting up new or augmenting existing pasture systems, calculating acreage for livestock grazing density, design and implementation of fencing, consideration for watering systems, and even winter grazing.

Throughout the book are many helpful pictures and illustrations, as well as practical examples from working farms located in different areas of Canada and the United States. This book would be a valued addition to any farm or ranch that wants to improve or maximize their grazing capabilities. It has been a much referenced book on our organic farm since we first got it.

Samantha Klinck is the author of Farrow to Finish: Pigs On Your Organic Farm and farms at Funny Duck Farms in Jasper, Ontario. Samantha also contributed to the Fall/Winter issue of TCOG.

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This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

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