In quest of stronger systems and tighter bonds
Did you know that?
I’m sure you know that massive herds of bison once traversed much of North America. You probably know that caribou still migrate over around the top of the world, feeding on next-to-nothing. Wild sheep still wander through Mongolia. Multiple species of grazing animals move through the Serengeti together.
They are essential to our lives on Earth, not harmful.
For much longer than humans have been relevant as apex predators, such animals have roamed and evolved—evolved with the lands and plants beneath them.
When tall grasses came onto the stage of life, around 500 millions years ago, they had a counter-intuitive need, in order to not only self-replicate, but to keep on living.
The tall grasses needed to be eaten and trampled. Occasionally.
That is just what large herds of grazers did. As well, the animals spread their saliva and waste behind them, re-inoculating the land with their own special gut flora every time they visited.
These enormous herds did not visit but once or twice a year—perhaps not every year—but when they did, they mashed down much of the plant matter they did not eat.
Thus, they exposed the bases of perennial grass plants to sunlight, allowing them to keep growing. And dead, oxidized plant matter was trampled back to the ground, where it became habitat for a new set of (tiny) creatures before decaying fully.
These great animals—bison, buffalo, zebra, horse, caribou, sheep, elephant, mammoth, cattle, and many more—have not only been essential sources of human sustenance, but the gears of a gigantic photosynthetic engine powering the planet’s oxygen supply and carbon cycle. They are essential to our lives on Earth, not harmful.
How we interact with and manage wild herds and livestock is the determining factor in the preservation AND ENHANCEMENT of our planet. Fertile soil and functioning water cycles require better grazing management (as well as less crop farming).
It’s with these thoughts in mind that I’m pushing to add goats to our operation. And I’m asking for your help so that I might also add cattle this year, while simultaneously purchasing bees and growing mushrooms.
One little farm a time, focusing on farming in nature’s image, can bring us the environmental resilience and quality of life we seek.
Not everyone is up to speed on the very desirable nature of grazing animals. It is true that our dominant methods of raising main livestock species are disconnected from the land in ways that decrease planetary and human health. And it’s on these grounds that many advocate for the abolition of meat eating. If you’ haven’t seen it yet, you will. I have been following the effort for more than ten years (beginning with groups that thinly disguise themselves as animal advocates.
One of the latest moves contributing to limiting food independence and meat production was a Facebook policy change banning the advertisement or sale of any live animal on its platform. Facebook’s change was devastating for a number of people using the platform to transact thousands of dollars worth of chicks, dogs, sheep, and many other animals.
I don’t mention this event to pry into Facebook’s motivations. I’m interested in the results.
The internet has become the central pillar of society. Facebook plays no small part in that. As we look toward forming regenerative systems, I’m certain that a main pillar is getting face to face again. Regenerative society means up-cycling the energy between us, and reducing the exposure to energy being whisked away (such as by third-party whim).
What does this have to do with Promote-A-Goat?
After submitting an advertisement to Facebook yesterday, I soon realized that my ad was not obviously (enough) composed to communicate that I’m selling goat and lamb meat. 20 hours later, that ad is still pending approval, and the new ad I submitted one hour ago was accepted 30 minutes later.
Why an ad?
Though I truly want to market healthy meat as close to home as possible, I accept that the most ready markets for lamb and goat are more than an hour away. And the first task on my plate, in the process of direct marketing, is selling to those who already want the product.
Again, why bring up Facebook and the backstage stuff?
I’m trying to make this a regenerative process, wherein anyone can learn what it’s going to take to regenerate, whether as a farmer or regenerative consumer.
So, watch where your energy goes. See where it’s wasted. See where it swells.
I know my energy is not swelling on Facebook, so it’s time to think more about next steps.
This isn’t a fun story.
Jessie, a classmate since preschool, stopped by Monday afternoon Continue reading
On my approaches to weaning, handling, and stress:
One of the most stressful times in a farm animal’s life is weaning. There are other stressful times, such as hauling and pre-slaughter, but weaning is a little different. Here’s why:
I spent a long time figuring out that the video files I captured these lambs with are not compatible with WordPress. So I’m delayed Continue reading
I drove off in January to buy some ewes off of a farm. I didn’t know what I’d see or bring back, but I wanted some sheep. Why? I wanted the experience, the additional stream of income, and a hedge against economic woes to come. I brought something different back to Border Street.
So when I showed up and saw an average bunch of ewes, though much smaller than the sheep I’m accustomed to, I pretty much said, “Get on board, girls.” Continue reading