Self / Farm Sustainability

 Keeping livestock for milk is one of the oldest and most traditional ways of self-sufficient farming and it is still a way of ensuring food security today. Many  types of livestock – including sheep, goats and cattle – can be kept to supply milk.

 I am often asked if its really worth raising a beef steer for home meat consumption, so when we had a steer butchered a few weeks ago, I decided to weigh  all the cuts of meat and calculate the value of the product versus the approximate cost to raise the steer, so that I could work out if it was worth doing.

 With a new hay season around the corner it’s time to clean out the hay shed and remove spoiled or stale hay in readiness for the new supply. Even with  well-kept hay there will always be a certain amount of wastage; there may be anything from a pile of sweepings to several bales that might have been  affected by damp and are suitable for cattle to eat, but not horses.

 Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a sustainable food production system where farmers sell direct to the consumer. Farmers grow a product  consumers want, in exchange for them supporting the farmer.

Permaculture is a design science for sustainable agricultural environments. Through the observation of natural function, it seeks to integrate and arrange  various elements within a farm enterprise (e.g. plants, animals, buildings and infrastructures) in such a way that they support and benefit each other while  performing multiple functions (e.g. harvesting water, providing shelter, feeding farm stock).

 Small farmers and hobby farm owners consistently rate sustainability of their property as one of the most important factors to consider. 'Sustainability' is a  term that tends to be used loosely. It can mean very different things to different people.

What is sustainability in farming?

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