One event packed to the brim with three highly informative workshops from experts on dung beetles, holistic grazing and regenerative agriculture.
Last Sunday Landcare, the Regenerative Agriculture Network Tasmania, and Ripple Farm Education Hub held a fantastic experiential workshop on the crossover between dung beetles and regenerative agriculture.
The event was hosted on Ripple Farm by Daniel Lore and Rachael Treasure. This dynamic couple talked us through their farms' first five years of being managed using regenerative principles.
Daniel gave us a demonstration of 'moving the flerd'; (flock of sheep +herd of cattle) using holistic grazing techniques. He demonstrated calling the cows - they responded VERY loudly, running eagerly to him before he opened the gate... He also noted that he inspects the livestock everyday, getting to know each animal personally and ensuring a higher level of animal welfare.
Celia Leverton gave a fascinating presentation on restoring soils using rotational and mob grazing. She shared information about trials currently underway helping farmers figure out for themselves what grazing periods give the best soil heath results in their particular situations.
In a workshop with Andrew Doube, we discovered and handled a sample of Ripple Farms abundant Dung Beetle population.
It was wonderful to see so many dung beetles in an environment that would have been very difficult for them a few years ago.
Regenerative agriculture has begun to transform the soils on Ripple Farm from hard clay, to more friable soil, enabling dung beetles to dig and breed with more ease. The lack of chemicals in the stock dung has enabled the beetle to live without danger of being poisoned.
Doing their part in the big picture, the beetles have helped develop the soil by burying dung and tunnelling, and reduced the need for chemicals by burying stomach worms before they can reinfect the stock. Healthy dung beetle populations and rotational grazing support each other and are two parts of restoring and maintaining vibrant soil heath!
Thanks to all who came along, those who shared their wisdom, and the amazing organisation of this event by RANT, Ripple Farm, and Andrew Doube.
Events like these empower Landcarers by providing them with resilience-building skills in our changing environment.
The catering was outstanding thanks to Celia, Rachael, Daniel, Andrew and Rachael's daughter, Rosie. The 'Dung-balls' were a favourite!
This workshop is part of our Outreach Program which aims to increase capacity for Landcarers so that all our land and coasts can be cared for by the community.
It was made possible by funding from the State Government's Landcare Actions Grants.
Images thanks to Evie Drinnan and Rachael Treasure