A few years ago 8 farming families from the Gundagai/Holbrook area in the Eastern Riverina realised they where asking themselves the same key questions about their farming practices. How do we turn our farms into places that are not only sustainable but actively regenerate the land? And how do we make sure that this process creates financially viable businesses, beautiful physical environments and not too much life stress?
Through training in the principles of Holistic Management, all of us gradually transitioned to thinking and acting differently when making decisions about our lives and our farms.
We decided to launch 8families to share these experiences, promote the resulting products and to show people how satisfying it can be to go down the regenerative path. So these are the stories of 8 families. Well 9 actually. But we started as 8 and we are sticking with those lovely curves.
And what is Holistic Management?
At the heart of Holistic Management is a simple process of decision making and goal setting that helps clear the clutter. This results in decisions that are better informed, so that environmental, social and financial goals all get due attention and can be balanced – as best as can be. Then using the tool of Holistic Planned Grazing we focus on creating pastures that carry enough nutrients to nurture animals and regenerate soils at the same time, without resorting to chemical props.
Here’s how the Savory Institute describes the work of the founder of this process, Allan Savory:
“In the 1960s Zimbabwean wildlife biologist-farmer Allan Savory made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems and developed a way to restore the land to health using livestock as his primary tool. For centuries we believed livestock were a major cause of desertification, but Savory’s (and others’) research showed that the cause lay in how those livestock were managed. The solution involves mimicking the behaviour of the formerly vast herds of wild grazing animals. He devised a simple method any pastoralist can use to move massive amounts of carbon and water from the atmosphere back to the soil and begin reversing thousands of years of human-caused desertification – on the scale required, which no technology imaginable can accomplish. In the process, we can feed more people and enhance societal well-being”. http://savory.global/