Beyond Farming

Beyond Organic – Beyond Grass-Fed – Beyond Farming

We don’t just raise livestock on pasture. Nor do we simply abstain from chemical use. We’re an ecosystem repair team. We regenerate old crop fields and pastures by planting native grasses, flowers, and trees, and appropriately managing livestock to enhance ecosystem function. 

We’re not just farmers, we’re keystone species – active participants in the restoration and management of dynamic, diverse, and functional ecosystems that: 

  • Build Topsoil – rapid grazing followed by long rests allow the grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees in our paddocks to continually and sustainably regenerate our soils with organic matter (carbon!)

  • Sequester CO2 – through the decomposition of roots, shoots, and leaves, the grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees in are paddocks are essentially pumping CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering it in topsoil. As long as we don’t plow it up (which we won’t!), the carbon will continue to build in the soil, making our ecosystems more lush, productive, and drought-resistant.

  • Purify water, recharge aquifers, reduce flooding – Water does not percolate through bare soil. By maintaining continuous perennial grassland, and with keyline design, we allow all the rainwater that fall on our land to percolate through our soils,  into groundwater reserves, purified on their way, and thus reducing the flooding waters that often originate on upland crop fields.
  • Enhance Biodiversity – We manage for savannas – scattered groves of fruit and nut trees and shrubs among continuous grasslands that we rotationally graze. Savannas are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet and ours are no exception. We provide habitat for many wildlife and endangered species such as many small mammals, deer, turkey, grassland birds, hawks, owls,  eagles, insects, and native pollinators, and prairie plants.

What’s the key tool we rely upon to accomplish all this? Animals!

We raise cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, and chickens that are rotated in sequences around the farm, mimicking patterns of grazing that might have been present among the Pleistocene megafauna (like Mastodons!) All of our animals are lovingly raised, humanely handled, hormone and antibiotic free, have continuous access to sunshine and shade, and are managed in ways that help us restore functional ecosystems. Cattle are 100% ecosystem fed (grass, flowers, shrubs, and trees – not just grass!). In addition to grass, clover, flowers, chestnuts, hazelnuts, acorns, hickory nuts, mulberries, apples, cherries, and insects, our pigs, chickens, and turkeys are fed moderate rations of soy-free, organic, GMO-free grains.

The byproduct of restoring savanna ecosystems is healthy, delicious, meats!

If you live in the Madison, Milwaukee, La Crosse, or Minneapolis areas (or anywhere in between!), please consider signing up for a Farm Share!

 

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