Civilisations and risen and fallen again because of the way we grow grains. Because grains thrive in bare earth, we plow every season, and what happens? The soil, this most precious resource is washed away. This is why the ‘fertile crescent’, one of the birthplaces of agriculture, is not so fertile anymore.

Col Seis is one of the founders of the ‘pasture cropping’ system which offers a way of growing grain seeded directly into deep-rooted, mostly native pasture. It’s a low-input, soil-building, civilisation-saving kind of thing. Although its applicability worldwide is yet to be fully explored, it’s impossible to understate just how important this kind of thing could be. Check out this must see video for a bit of Col’s inspiring story.

Here’s Cary (VEG’s Warehouse Manager and manager of the 40K Farm in Melton) and Dan from VEG and Col at a recent open day.

Carey and Dan with Pasture Cropping founder Col Seis

One of the principles of creating soil-building, polyculture, mostly-native pasture rather than degraded overgrazed landscapes is about moving grazing animals at just the right time to manage grass growth.  Lynden, Dan and Carey demonstrate:

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These principles are relevant to building soil with chooks in the backyard.

Here’s a video we took (sorry for the shoddy camera work) we took on another tour with Col last year where he talks about building the soil:

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Stay tuned this month as we begin publishing a series of articles about how we can give chooks a happy life while using them to do chores in the backyard, including improving soil fertility with controlled grazing.