Cattle, Forestry, Side Projects

Silvopasture / Agroforestry

After taking a few classes for fun in the forestry department of my university, I ended up pursuing a minor in forestry with no plans to ever use it prifessionally. From forest ecology to the evolutionary growth hormone responses that control plants in ways I only thought possible by conscious decisionmaking, trees are fascinating. As a result, trees would have to be an integral part of my farmstead. Investing a few years into growing a tree to maturity to produce hundreds of pounds of human food or animal fodder seemed like the embodiment of my sustainable goal.

With a spattering of seemingly relevant keywords, the practice of silvopasture in the field of Agroforestry was finally uncovered.

Easily deduced from the contraction that forms Agroforestry, it is an application of forestry in agricultural systems. Silvopasture is growing trees over pasture so the fruit supplements turf fodder.

Simply, silvopasture aims to add more calories in fodder than the shading from the trees remove from pasture grasses. There are many other benefits as well like holding soil on rocky areas and preventing erosion. As my farm is classified as rocky outcrop, this management strategy aligns perfectly with my land, my management goals, and sustainability for after I am gone.

I’m reading a book on the subject that deserves its own series of posts regarding the benefits of silvio pasture, viable species, etc. Stay tuned!

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