Like many areas of the country, this summer has been a hot one at GreenFriends Farm! It’s the time to prevent fires and nurture the grasslands. That’s why GreenFriends Farm recruited 21 beautiful Angus bred heifers provided by Aaron Lucich, to treat the soils of the rolling hills of the M.A. Center San Ramon with holistic management techniques and a lot of concentrated bovine power. The cows arrived on June 15th and will continue their party in the pastures until they are finished grazing the designated sections.
In between grazing the invasive plants, aerating the over-rested soil, trampling in dead plant material and fertilizing (a lot), the cattle even had time to teach a weekend workshop on Holistic Planned Grazing held the weekend of June 23rd. The workshop (also co-taught by Richard King, Nate Chisolm, Jeremiah Stent, & Aaron Lucich) was a success and the treatment of the land has been going very well so far, according to Aaron Lucich. All of this work prepares the land for optimal fall and spring grass growth and will reduce the current dominance of invasive plants such as thistle, poison hemlock and wild radish.
Aaron is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the increased ecological function of this beautiful land. “I hope this experience sets an example that can help people everywhere to achieve greater self sufficiency and an increased connection to their environment.”
“Mob Grazing” is a holistic management technique where a herd grazes a small piece of land intensely for a short time and then is quickly moved to the next pasture. This allows the pasture to rest for long periods of time and eliminates the need for chemical herbicides or heavy diesel engine machinery. The intense grazing mimics the natural process of soil building and advances the ecosystem in several ways by: 1) creating microbial rich soils with deep-rooted perennial grasses, 2) curbing erosion, 3) increasing the water cycles for wells and springs and 4) providing a fertile understory for forests and orchards.
Check out our before and after photos!
Before the herd
After the herd