Farm Small Farm Smart Daily

Doniga Markegard of Markegard Family Grass-Fed comes on the show to talk about ranching, permaculture, and the regenerative power of rotational livestock grazing.She is a real life rancher, who is out there successfully doing things the right way. On her ranch she is using cattle, sheep, and pigs to build the soil and supply the San Fransisco Bay area with high quality food.Doniga discusses why traditional ranching methods often fail and lead to degenerative cycles with the soil; and how a more holistic, permaculture approach can actually repair landscapes. She talks about how they use permaculture on their ranch to increase species diversity and to increase the water holding capacity of the soil. She touches on how to get into ranching, the advantages of small herd dairy, and the importance of leasing land.

Key Takeaways from this Episode:

-The healing power of using proper livestock rotational management on a landscape is tremendous. Doniga often sees the benefits after just one or two rotations. The disturbance created by the livestock starts to build organic matter in the soil, sequester carbon, increase water infiltration, and that then leads to increased species diversity.
-The big impact of stock ponds. Early keypoint dams have played a huge role in the health of their farm. Water is kept on site, instead of running off site, causing erosion. Retaining this water has helped to rehydrate the landscape.
-Don't be afraid to lease land. Land is prohibitively expensive in California, so leasing is a good option for ranching. It will require some work, but a lot of land is available.

Visit for show notes.

Direct download: PVP012-09202013.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 9:31am PDT