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The concept of silvopasture challenges our notions of both modern agriculture and land use. For centuries, European settlers of North America have engaged in practices that separate the field from the forest, and even the food from the animal. Silvopasture systems integrate trees, animals, and forages in a whole-system approach that offers a number of benefits to the farmer and the environment. Such a system not only offers the promise of ecological regeneration of the land, but also an economical livelihood and even the ability to farm extensively while buffering the effects of a changing climate: increased rainfall, longer droughts, and more intense storm events.
Silvopasture, however, involves more than just allowing animals into the woodlot. It is intentional, steeped in careful observation skills and flexible to the dynamics of such a complex ecology. It requires a farmer who understands grassland ecology, forestry, and animal husbandry. The farmer needn’t be an expert in all of these disciplines, but familiar enough with them to make decisions on a wide variety of time scales. A silvopasture system will inevitably look different from year to year, and careful design coupled with creativity and visioning for the future are all part of the equation.
Author: STEVE GABRIEL
Texas Bug Book is your complete guide for identifying and organically controlling all of the most common Texas insects. Drawing on years of practical experience and research, organic gardening experts Howard Garrett and Malcolm Beck give detailed instructions on how to identify, understand the life cycle of, and control or protect Texas insects, mites, snails, slugs, nematodes and other critters. They also include striking color photos and black-and-white drawings to help you identify each bug. Garrett and Beck highlight the many useful roles that bugs play in nature and offer proven organic remedies for infestations of pest insects.
Author: Garrett, Malcolm Beck
This guide contains 101 easy things you can do to ready your home for a disaster. The simple yet smart projects ensure that any household is prepared for that inevitable day when disaster strikes. From California earthquakes and Rocky Mountain wildfires to Midwest floods and Atlantic hurricanes, millions of people face life-threatening emergencies each year. This handy and helpful book shows readers how easy it is to prepare their home and family for any disaster. By breaking down the many facets of prepping into straightforward steps, this book transforms a seemingly daunting task into easy-to-do, manageable projects. Author Bernie Carr’s unique “survivalist lite” approach requires readers to dedicate little time, money, or space, but provides a big payoff: being fully prepared and self-sufficient.
Author: BERNIE CARRR
Turning waste into wealth sounds too good to be true, but many worm farmers are finding that vermicomposting is a reliable way to do just that. Vermicast—a biologically active, nutrient-rich mix of earthworm castings and decomposed organic matter—sells for $400 or more per cubic yard. Compare that to regular compost, sold at about $30 a cubic yard, and you’ll see why vermicomposting has taken root in most countries and on every continent but Antarctica.
Vermicomposting is also one of the best sustainable solutions for organic waste management. Vermicomposting manure and crop wastes on farms improves crop yields while reducing demand for off-farm inputs. Vermicast has higher nutrient levels and lower soluble salt content than regular compost, and it improves soil aeration, porosity, and water retention. Plus, vermicast suppresses plant diseases and insect attacks. Municipalities, businesses, community gardens, schools, and universities can set up vermicomposting operations to process food residuals and other waste materials.
Author: RHONDA SHERMAN