Todays aerial at Ridgedale, note the addition of the awesome contoured medicine cabinet some of the incredible interns planted in the East of the photo. Cold climate super berries topped with mulberry in a little protected heat pocket adjoining our riparian zone. We also planted nearly 100 oak along the road, understood by hazel and eleagnus for long term high value pruned timber and windbreak as well as a nice achitectural feature...
Perennial Cropping: Silvopasture meets Forest Gardening meets Keyline Design ( soon to meet Holistic Management!)
This article documents the major patterning of the farm at Ridgedale PERMACULTURE as we laid the Keyline tree lanes and planted thousands of long term perennial crops within our pasture lanes. For a better introduction to the farm's context you can read an article here. Water systems and Keyline patterning is also addressed here. The original plan for the tree layers of the farm design is outlined in another article available here. So now we explain & assess the actual implementation. For context, at the time of this work we ourselves had only been on site for 6 weeks and the planning, layout, machine work and major planting all took place in Week 1 and 2 of our 10 Week Internship. (We have another 10 Week Internship program running July- Sept)
Elin, the Ridgedale Chef, has been lovingly restoring this old cream separator. We met a lovely old lady who used to be a champion milker at Ag school and had equipment lying around she was willing to sell us. Compared to modern equipment this gear is super robust, reliable and well engineered (at a fraction of the cost) We like well engineered stuff, and from the context of only needing dairy for farm needs, there seems no better way to go.
Our lovely Fjällko cows, Viola & Clover are doing great after their arrival to Ridgedale. They have adapted effortlessly to life in rotational grazing and seem to enjoy all the attention they get along with hand milking twice a day. With over 30 people representing all the major climate zones here at the farm there is demand for fresh milk and yoghurt, and Clover (who is in the early stages of her 2nd pregnancy and still giving great milk) is supplying it. Towards the end of the year we will have 3 cows and possibly Viola will be pregnant too, which should supply us with all our dairy needs. These cattle are well suited to our needs; a small cow that is hardy, comes from a mountain habitat and likes to browse on a wide variety of fodder and produces milk, that whilst not being so plentiful, comparing the yield per kg live body weight, it is on par with the larger breeds SRB and Swedish Holstein. In addition, mountain cow milk is very well suited to cheese production as it contains high levels of "good" protein. Compared with milk from other breeds it is (per kg milk) almost twice as large, which means it only goes to 7-8 kg mountain cow's milk to get 1 kg of cheese, compared with 14-16 kg of milk from commercial breeds.
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