intensive stock management
it's going to be like the ballet in Fantasia: crocodiles, hippos, other things. only, there will be a lot of eating and shitting and trampling. Baby, the Nubian goat, and all the chickens are going to be marching around the entire property soon. we've got a couple of portable electric fences and we're going to practice some rotational grazing. Baby should probably have a few friends to help her out for this to really work well, but we've got to start somewhere, right? the idea is that the goat will chew up the grass and proceed to poo and pee and effect some hoof tillage on a small area for a day or a few days and then we'll move her to a new spot. the chickens will follow after the goat eating some more grass and bugs and scratching things up which should incorporate the goat and chicken shit into the soil. everybody gets moved frequently so they get fresh new ground that will be continually fertilized each time the rotation comes back around. we may add other critters in the future. credit where it's due: we're drawing heavily on work by the likes of Allan Savory, Joel Salatin, Allan Nation, et alia.
July 2011 update:
it isn't exactly Fantasia just yet, but the chooks are making the rounds, and we're AWA-certified. which is nice. the chickens are spreading their chicken poop fertilizer all over the orchard and gardens and keeping the grass trimmed. they get new ground every day, and most of them stay inside the fence.