Big Oaks Little Farm allows visitors to reconnect with nature and their food sources. They have scheduled farm days where you can learn more about how they raise their different kinds of livestock as well as maintain their beehives. They also set up their stalls at local community farmers' markets if you're looking to re-stock your pantry.
The term “grass fed” (as opposed to grain fed) refers to meat obtained from cows that were raised on a diet of grass and other forage, such as clover; situated in pasture and, when fresh grass is unavailable, hay. This helps to denote the difference between livestock that has been raised in feedlots and generally fed a diet of soy and corn, versus animals that have had access to their natural feeding environment in pasture, which contains grasses, wildflowers, and herbs. This term overlaps with “pasture-raised” and will usually be seen together. Grass-fed beef is also believed to taste better, and be better for the environment, too. There are several organizations that offer a certification for Grass Fed, such as the American Grassfed Association, Certified Grassfed by A Greener World, and Pasture for Life, to name a few.
Coined by Alan Savory, holistic management is an approach to managing resources in an agricultural setting. The term Holistic Management is trademarked to the Holistic Management International organization. At its core, the approach focuses mainly on livestock grazing in a way that is similar to cyclical grazing. This method means livestock are moved frequently from pasture to pasture, allowing for short periods of disturbance, followed by rest periods to allow for the grasslands to regenerate. Beyond grazing practices, Holistic Management also encompasses guidelines for decision making through six indicators: define what you are managing, define what you want now and for the future, watch for the earliest indicators of ecosystem health, don’t limit the management tools you use, test your decisions with questions, and monitor proactively. Additionally, Holistic Management relies on four principles. These are: that nature functions as a holistic community, that any agricultural practice must be adaptable to nature’s complexity, animal husbandry of domesticated species can be used as a substitute for a lost keystone species, and that time and timing is the most important factor in planning land use.
Some of the businesses listed in our directory will be using the same principles as Certified Naturally Grown farmers, but without the certification. Certifications can often be expensive and time consuming for most farmers to participate in, and therefore we feel it is important to acknowledge those who practice good land stewardship, without certification.
No-till farming is also known as zero tillage or direct drilling.This practice minimises soil disturbance while growing crops or pasture. No-till farming decreases the amount of soil erosion that tillage can cause in certain soils, as well as increasing the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil, retention of organic matter, and nutrient cycling. Some no-tillage systems rely on large amounts of herbicides to control weeds. However, tillage is dominant in agriculture today. Low-till and no-till methods are increasingly being utilized in poly-cultivation and may include the use of shallow disc harrowing, but does not allow plowing.
A set of design principles centered on whole systems thinking, simulating, or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. The term was coined by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison in 1978, and originally meant “permanent agriculture” but has expanded to include “permanent culture”. Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature, and thinking of plants and animals as multi-faceted rather than treating them as single product systems.
Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming. Some of its key focuses are topsoil regeneration, increased biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystems, supporting biosequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and improving the health and vitality of farm soil. Practices involved with regenerative farming include recycling as much farm waste as possible and adding composting materials from sources outside of the farm.
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