Sunday, March 21, 2010

Permaculture spring. . .

We are taking strides toward permaculture finally. We have been reading about it, and pondering it from the outside up until now. . .
In nature plants and animals work together to create a sustainable circle. All things in nature work together to create balance - and in return nature very efficiently turns sunlight into bio-mass. In conventional agriculture, most home gardening and landscaping, we the people, add loads of extra inputs to keep "balance" and end up very inefficiently converting sunlight to bio-mass. In most cases we have replaced "nature" with chemical substitutes that work fabulously on the short term, but tend to have long term troubles associated with them.

We have been struggling with an over abundance of roosters here at the farm. We inherited them gratefully, but in the last several weeks they have become mean, fighting and picking at the hens. The State of Maine has seen fit to tuck tail (so to speak) to the USDA and has written rather imposing regulations about poultry processing that are very anti-family farm and very big-agribusiness friendly for our state. The result is that we have had no viable means to thin out our roosters. . . yet.
Chickens wandering about in a half tilled field.

The good news is that for the inconvenience of housing that many roosters in one spot we are now reaping the benefits. With the ridiculously warm weather we have decided to go ahead and till. The fields are just about done now, but in tilling we have exposed weed seeds and overwintering insects including a few nuisance caterpillars. Our roosters are now happy as they have ever been going over the education field doing some preliminary weeding and pest removal.
Hopefully they will have fattened up and had their fill, giving us a head start against the bugs before they make the trip to meet their. . . processor. When the rains come it will be the ducks turn to get the grubs and the slugs. . .
Permaculture really is as neat in action as it is in theory. Alyssa "weather proofing" a temporary chicken shelter.

No comments:

Post a Comment