Tag Archives: silvopasture

Silvopasture and Soy Side-by-Side

soil-regenerating pasture growing happy healthy 100%-grassfed animals who have one bad day in becoming proteins and nutritious foods. peace be upon them
that pasture replacing and adjacent to non-organically grown GMO soybeans (>95% U.S. soy) grown with petroleum, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and more. how at peace are the creatures involved? peace be upon them
eating meat ain’t necessarily good for the environment, CAFOs are something to carefully critically consider before you source your food from them if you have choice in the matter. silvopasture and holistic grazing though? productive ecological restoration, we got a lot of work to do y’all, let’s make it real! peace be upon you

Greg Judy Talkin’ Sheeps Doing Sheep Stuff

What was a nuisance plant with these weeds, you try to control that with mechanical means… we’re growing lamb! We’re growing lamb, with weeds! Ok? Oh look, that little yew right there at that tree just going to town on something…what are you eating? It’s weeds. Ain’t even grass under that tree, it’s weeds.

Funny though, you change your mindset, you look across the landscape at all this brush up there. I got a crew up there. *looks at flock of happy sheep* …

No shortage of great scenes and statements from Greg Judy’s ecological grazing. From another video talking about animals and land:

I used to work myself to death putting [chemicals] and diesel fuel on the stumps trying to cut’em and kill’em. Just spent a lot of money and probably wasn’t good for my health either. Look at all this diversity. Nature is not about just growing one plant. …We’ve got the cattle coming in here tonight, they are absolutely going to be in heaven…

Agroforest Example: Black Locust in Silvopasture

In this video is a beautiful and simple example of agroforestry’s mutually beneficial closed loops in action: black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia).

Black locust is grown in pasture to create a managed savanna known as silvopasture, one of 5 common agroforestry techniques.

Black locust has a few roles in the silvopasture system. It is part of the fabric of holistic grazing, wherein herds of large mammals rotate around partitioned areas, intensively grazing on each then moving on to let it regenerate growing more soil each time. To manage livestock, many fence posts are needed, and what better wood for fence posts than black locust?

Black locust is rot resistent and can grow quickly (3-4 ft/yr in NY). Its density and rot resistance makes it an excellent material for firewood or weatherproof construction including fence posts. While it grows it fixes nitrogen from air into plant-usable form in soil; it offers leaves with similar nutritional value as alfalfa for animals; it offers honeybees and humans sweet flowers; and it offers many other co-benefits of trees.

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Regenerative Life – Highlights from Mark Shepard’s Lecture: 23+ Years of Agroforestry Lessons

As agroforesters we have the ability to do two things at the same time. We can do ecological restoration simultaneous with agricultural production. We don’t have to take land out of production and [set land aside] to get nature values, we can get both out of agroforestry ecosystems.

Mark Shepard, 23+ Years of Agroforestry Lessons on YouTube

If I was a cow, I would want to be in a landscape like this. It’s beyond better than the life many cows face in agriculture, and it’s also better for many other creatures. As a regenerative savanna-like agroforest system, sunshine becomes all kinds of good things for that location and beyond, for those living there now and generations into the future.

Click the screenshots below to see examples from Savanna Institute lecture by Mark Shepard of diverse and rich agroforest ecosystems.

Cows in silvopasture agroforest system at New Forest Farm
PigsChestnutApplesElderberryHazelnutsCurrantsGrapesMulberriesZucchini
Chickens, Hazelnuts, et al.

If you’re considering doing diverse agroforestry at medium to large scale, Mark makes a worthwhile point later in the lecture (around 52:00) about the scale and timing of implementation, advising to setup as much as you can initially at once rather than slowly roll things out piecemeal.