I would like to open sustainable alternatives to farm our family farm. The land has been row cropped for about 40 years and the soil consequently is low in N, P, and K, has reduced fungal activity, and is generally less fertile. It requires inputs to produce. I would like to improve the soil fertility of my family’s farm using livestock, namely pigs and goats. I will divide a 14 acre plot in half and rotationally graze pigs on one half and goats on the other. Both species will be followed by mobile chicken/duck coops. I will test the soil before the animals are allowed on the plot and again before winter. The idea is to build a model by which I can improve the soil profitably, provide high quality, healthy meat and eggs locally, and reduce the use of artificial inputs.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Measure whether goats or pigs contribute more to soil fertility.
- Through soil testing measure the varying ways each animal specie contributes to soil fertility.
- Develop a model that can be used to expand the livestock operation and get more land on the mend and away from artificial inputs
- Release a monthly update video on YouTube that shows my progress with a final video at the end that summarizes my results and can be easily disseminated to interested parties.
- Share my project/process/result with other farmers at the Indiana Small Farm Conference and Southern and Northern Indiana Grazing Conferences.