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Quinta do Vale da Lama
Quinta do Vale da Lama
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Odiáxere, Algarve, PT
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Quinta do Vale da Lama

Quinta do Vale da Lama

Odiáxere, PT

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Alley pasturing with donkeys

Project: Quinta do Vale da Lama

Posted by Mari Korhonen over 11 years ago

As a result of some HM and RegenAG studies in the winter our two donkeys have been recently grazing in the fig orchard.

In the end of April a few of us participated a Holistic Management and grazing planning weekend course in Ronda, Spain taught by Kirk Gadzia from USA. Almost immediately after returning home we started taking the first steps of putting the new inspiring information into practice. Following the principle of starting small and learning to work with the new methods and patterns in our local conditions, our two donkeys are now grazing along in small frequently moved segments between the rows of the fig orchard!

The donkeys are followed by a movable chicken pen of laying hens which treats the fly larvae incubating in the donkey dung and adds another bit of fertilizer of their own, AND produces eggs. In addition to grass and insects the chickens diet is supplemented by some pellets as well as weeds from the garden, part of which will stay on the ground and serve as mulch. Although the appearance of the ground after a treatment like this can be pretty rough, what we learned was that the time of grazing on a piece of land, as well as the recovery period before the next grazing - which we carefully monitor and control - is much more important than the actual numbers of animals, and that the duration of rest between grazings is an essential factor to the healthy recovery of the grass.

Looking forward to seeing the results!

Img 3849 Img 3847 Img 3852

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