Sunday, January 1, 2017

Equine Permaculture

I don't think that I had ever heard the term permaculture until about two years ago. I did not understand what it meant until about a year ago. Surely better definitions exist but I would define the term as a principled conservation practice that emphasizes development and maintenance of a healthy biome in the soil, conservation of water in the soil, reduction of runoff, and increased production of vegetation of various types without the use of synthetic chemicals. It gives a new meaning to the term "dirt farmer" in that our primary crop is the dirt that we grow and conserve. Everything that springs from that soil is a secondary crop that depends on the strength of the primary crop.

We are implementing these principles and techniques in our land management at the horse lot. Many years ago I had a soured fifty pound bag of sweet feed. I decided to spread it out in a very thin layer so it could dry and be eaten by birds. Within a few weeks that thin band of sweet feed was gone and the grass where it had been was taller, thicker and a deep blue green color. The only thing that I knew of that produced those results was bags of high nitrogen fertilizer.

I could not understand how so much nitrogen came from that little bag of feed. Only now do I understand that the plant's vigor was caused by a rejuvenated biome that resulted from the introduction of the nutrients and organic matter in that feed.

Permaculture fits in wonderfully with our philosophy of natural horse care, natural hoof care, and natural horsemanship.

This morning I came upon this organization.   I look forward to closely following their posts and other events.

I like where this newly opened door is taking me.

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