Agroecology

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Agroecology

  1. 1. Agroecological Practices at The Farm Between John Hayden
  2. 2. Managing an ecosystem to create wealth
  3. 3. For us, ‘wealth’ is not only measured in terms of money, but includes : a healthy lifestyle, being immersed in beauty and close to nature, building community, stewardship of the land and buildings, intellectually and physically challenging work
  4. 4. • Health • Beauty • Permanence (Sustainability)
  5. 5. What is a sustainable agroecosystem? A sustainable agroecosystem is environmentally sound, economically viable, socially just, and meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  6. 6. What is a sustainable agroecosystem? a) Maintains the resource base on which it depends b) Relies on a minimum of artificial inputs c) Manages pests and diseases through internal regulating mechanisms d) Is able to recover from disturbances caused by cultivation and harvest (Edwards et al. 1990, Altieri, 1995)
  7. 7. Sustainability Indicators for TFB compared to Industrialized Agroecosystems Sustainability indicator TFB Industrialized Species Diversity Higher Lower Stability Higher Lower Internal Nutrient Cycling Higher Lower Complexity of Species Higher Lower Interactions Net Primary Productivity Lower ? Higher Energy Output/Input Higher Lower Soil Organism Activity Higher Lower Modified from Gliesman (1997)
  8. 8. Diversity = Stability = Resilience Integrating Livestock Multiple crops and successions Temporal and spatial rotations Enhancing Biodiversity/heterogeneity with Weed and Cover Crop Mgmt Multiple Markets
  9. 9. Example of use of cover crops and grazing in rotations Spring Summer Summer Fall Peas, oats Grazed Buckwheat Rye/vetch Year 1 or PW, LQ barley Grazed Year 2 Rye/vetch Pumpkins Pumpkins Rye/vetch (continued) Rye/vetch Vegetables Vegetables Rye/vetch Year 3
  10. 10. Our Markets • CSA – 25 families • Farmers’ Markets • Local general stores and restaurants • Wholesale black currants to winery • Intervale Food Basket • Rabbits and chickens
  11. 11. Why Livestock? • I love animals • I love knowing where my meat comes from • I love manure • I love to try to mimic natural systems • I hate mowing • I hate waste
  12. 12. There is no such thing as waste in natural systems
  13. 13. Stacking Functions When a component (element) of the farm has multiple beneficial functions. How to get the most bang for your buck from a farm element. Nature stacks functions, so should a practicing agroecologist.
  14. 14. Farrowing on Pasture at The Farm Between
  15. 15. Stacking Functions w/ Pigs • Pork ($2.50/lb HW, customer pays for butchering) • Piglets ($85 each) • Manure • Hogging down cover crops • Perennial weed eradication • Vegetable ground production • Turn ‘wastes’ into assets • Therapeutic benefits
  16. 16. Balancing Inputs/Outputs
  17. 17. Horsepower at The Farm Between
  18. 18. Chickens Meat Birds Laying Hens
  19. 19. Rabbits
  20. 20. The Laws of Nature Everything is connected to everything else Everything has to go somewhere There’s no such thing as a free lunch Mother Nature bats last!

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