The secret to raising healthy livestock is healthy soil, it makes clear sense that the healthier our soil the healthier our pasture and livestock will be. The major focus in our Holistic plan is improving our soil.
We are on the top of a hill 500 feet up in the North Kent Downs AONB, our soils are eroded by rainwater run-off and strong wind so we have researched and implemented systems that build soil and will make our farm sustainable long in to the future.
There are more organisms per square meter below ground than above it, a healthy soil is teeming with life, by understanding and nurturing this eco system we can build more soil and not destroy it.
Some of the systems we are using to build our soil are:
Mob grazing has been developed by observing how large herd animals lived on the land. The herd stays together for safety and eats vigorously as a group moving slowly across the land.
The advantages of this is that they eat everything in the pasture (not browsing selectively) so everything is trimmed, trampled and covered in manure in 1 day. Weeds are suppressed, trampled grass and manure is returned to the soil.
The herd then moves on and the pasture and soil can recover for a long period before being grazed again. This graph shows the growth curve of grass leys, rotations grazing with a herd keeps the pasture in the prime growth stage for longer, improving it’s health and the health of the soil beneath.