Life in the natural world weaves a complex web among all creatures and plants. While we can see the life cycle of the pastures and animals, what we can’t see is just as important – the life cycle of the soil! In the soil, plant roots make up as much (or even more) mass as the plant above ground. As plants are grazed, the roots die back to the same length as their leaf counterpart. The dead roots decompose and provide nutrients for soil biota. These microorganisms in turn assist the grasses by making other nutrients available and competing with harmful bacteria. The animals fit in by eating the grass and turning it into manure, which via the soil becomes more grass.
At Champoeg Farm we choose to mimic this migration to improve the health of our land and animals. Cows and sheep graze ahead of our poultry, keeping the grass at a manageable height for the birds and providing fresh growth for them. After the animals pass through, the ground is allowed to rest until the process repeats. Each animal favors a different aspect of the pasture and is insusceptible to the parasites of the preceding species.
Nothing is wasted and everything benefits![/teaser_box]