Fat Goats in a Drought

Turning liabilities into assets is a full-time job on our farm. The 2015 floods and land slips focused our attention and efforts on stabilising hillsides and stream banks for the last half decade at the expense of having a big vegetable garden and…surfing.

20200217_075943

20200217_075933

20200217_075923

But that storm event also shaped our thinking about the holistic management of the farm and what plants and animals would best suit our conditions, and also work in coordination with each other for synergistic effects. The main goal has been to develop a climate resilient farm that withstands extremes of both wet and dry. This summer we’ve been tested.

20200217_080311

You can see in the image above how dry the hillsides are, although patches of gorse remain darker. You can just make out our white goats grazing a paddock with longer grass that we’ve just opened to them this week. But our main source of nutrition for them over the last month has been poplars on the hillsides and willows along the stream.

20200205_092411

The kune kune pigs even nibbled away at the tender tips of the poplars.

20200205_092324

They left the branches throughly stripped.

20200217_080426

The willow below are the first ones we put in after the flood that took cubic metres of soil with it. We rammed them into the banks with the expectation that we would actively manage them as a chop and drop fodder system for the goats during late summer and early autumn so that they would not get overgrown.

20200212_113224

And the results! It’s been so rewarding to watch our fat and healthy goats munching away happily in the middle of a drought.

Peace, Estwing

One thought on “Fat Goats in a Drought”

  1. I love reading kindred minded stories. We have our house on the market & it is so hard to get people to see all the hard work & fodder that is available now. We keep being told to clear it all for quicker sale. Which I am not doing. ): Pray you get rain soon in nice small drops to start with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s