Philosophy 10 – Celebrate the natural state
By appreciating the entire natural state, we pay respect to the whole ecosystem, from the soil biology to the eagles flying overhead. Our management decisions reflect this, for example, through our No-Till policy and allowing ecological succession to manage our unwelcome plant populations. Celebrating the natural state allows us to select appropriate biology and genetics rather than forcing and modifying the farm ecosystem to bend to our wills. Managing the farm this way will reduce our reliance on industrial energy.
An example is the selection of hens. It is not necessarily the breed that matters, rather the appropriate animals that will flourish in our environmental system. There is more variation within a breed than between breeds. So, select your preferential breed and source the most appropriate individuals from that breed. We prefer a light-coloured hen. They will be more obvious (if out of place) to workers, especially those learning livestock observation skills. They will also be better able to cope with increased temperatures and should be able to graze when dark breeds are seeking shelter from the hot sun.
Our preference is also for a breed, traditionally, known for being dual-purpose (to create a meat enterprise for the rooster portion when we breed our own). If sourcing replacement hens, off-farm, it is important to find those thriving within a similar ecosystem to the one we have developed here at Eaglerise Farm. Hens need to be able to forage rather than being bred to live in a cage or a shed and get fed ad lib.
Eventually, we’ll have bred the perfect chicken for Eaglerise Farm – the Eaglerise Hen.
These are before and after photos of a lonely, large stag tree in an ephemeral spring. We revegetated the area and now you must look hard to find the tree. These old dead trees provide valuable nest sites in their hollow branches and roost sites for the many birds that require clear landing and takeoff perchs. These higher branches also provide look out sites for many birds to search the area for their meals.
This is one of our many resident snakes. It is a Red Belly Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus). In their natural state they help control vermin and bird populations.
To the right. Brush-Tail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) adopt to our spaces. They make our spaces their natural habitats. Some believe they cause significant damage. They make themselves at home in our sheds. They are part of the fabric our of landscape.