holistic farming

Can Grazing Save Us?

According to Allan Savory, it can. And Savory has dedicated his life to promoting and educating people about the importance of the restoration of our grasslands through holistic management.

The Savory Institute teaches that sustainable land management involves a series of interconnected system; that a symbiosis exists between the soil, the plants, the grazers, the predators, and us. Seems commonsensical. doesn’t it?  There is a natural balance to our earth’s systems that, sometimes, in our zeal to make things stronger/better/faster, we tip. A balanced approach to healthy land management addresses the systems as a whole, enhancing ecosystem resilience, sequestering carbon, and building biodiversity.

By our nature, we seem more tuned to attacking individual symptoms without addressing the entirety of the system. Treating the land and our food systems holistically creates a sustainable process.

The Savory Institute puts it this way…

Nature functions in wholes

You can’t control or change one thing in one area without having an impact on something else in another area.

All environments are different

It is crucial to acknowledge nature’s complexity and that an action can produce completely different results in different environments.

Properly managed livestock can improve land health

When domestic livestock is properly managed to mimic the behavior of wild herbivores interacting with grasslands, they can reverse desertification.

Time is more important than numbers

Overgrazing of plants is directly related to the amount of time the plants are exposed to the grazing animals and the amount of time that lapses between consecutive grazing events.

We believe that the Savory Institute has something to teach us all. The cliff notes version of this complex, consuming subject is that all of life, a healthy sustainable world, is a balance… from the water systems under our feet to our food systems, from the plant and animals around us (domestic and wild) to our own physical health. Resolving our water troubles, our land use issues, our air and food quality troubles, should be from the whole systems, big picture approach.

We farm our land in a holistic manner, understanding that the soil beneath our feet is the foundation for the health of everything that lives on the farm. We are mindful that the Shippetaukin Creek runs through the property, and that how we treat the land affects the creek and folks downstream. Our animals are raised on pasture to allow them to do what comes naturally – forage, root, graze, and interact with one another – which helps keep them safe, healthy, and happy. For us, farming is a big picture, whole system process with many moving parts. And we are committed to managing all of those parts.

Small farms that manage their land in this way are helping to restore some of the balance we have lost to each region where they farm. In supporting these farms, we help heal the land, and since we are a part of the big picture, ourselves.

For more information about the Savory Institute, visit their website.

1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens