Conventional wisdom tells us grazing damages the land, that our use of pasture land to support herds of cattle is unsustainable. Not necessarily so, says Lopez farmer Lucas Limbach. Lucas led the September Transition potluck with a presentation on Holistic Management to a packed house at Sunnyfield Farm. Holistic Management is a planned herd grazing system that uses natural grazing methods to replenish soil carbon and restore soil to a healthy state. The talk also showed how these newly developed techniques are creating resilience for communities now and into the future, and are addressing our most serious challenge of climate change.
Lucas attended the “Roots of Resilience” conference in Oregon this May, led by Richard Teague and Peter Donovan. The pair are part of an innovative international environmental restoration movement started by Allan Savory.
According to Savory’s Institute for Holistic Management, under natural conditions and when properly managed, grazers are nature’s gardeners. “It’s an exquisitely balanced interplay of biological processes that let an estimated 60,000,000 bison build prairie soils up to 9 feet deep across the vast plains of North America.” The institute has been instrumental in reclaiming hundreds of acres of parched land suffering from desertification in East Africa, which today supports millions of wildebeest, zebra, impala, and other game.
Lucas writes, “My plans and ideas going forward [include] opportunities for creating land-based livelihoods and thriving working landscapes on Lopez and beyond, even more abundant local food, meaningful local jobs, sensible settlement patterns, healthy and beautiful and productive land, abundant clean water, stable climate.”