Silvopasture is the deliberate integration of trees and grazing livestock operations on the same land.
Our Silvopasture is designed to direct the pasture space into a diverse “woodland” ecology filled with trees designed to feed livestock (sheep, pigs, chickens), bear crops, and build strong ecosystem diversity. The silvopasture will strengthen in productivity with each year as the trees grow towards maturity. Contour swales create beautiful alleys that can be flood irrigated while maintaining a positive appearance for neighboring communities as the system establishes.
Once mature, this “woodland” will serve as one of the farm's most productive and abundant areas. By planting a large variety of trees and shrubs that also produce marketable crops, the potential for multiple yields and harvests makes this system incredibly abundant once mature.
This variety also helps to mitigate crop loss due to early frosts, common on the Front Range. With high diversity, even if some species are hit, many will still fruit. This innovative approach to farming has the potential to rapidly build soil and sequester carbon while maintaining financial viability.
Siberian Pea shrubs, False Indigo shrubs, and Honey Locust trees, all of which are nitrogen-fixing, will be alternated with the fruiting plants to exchange necessary nutrients. These plants are also highly nutritious for livestock, as most are leguminous and high in protein.
*In general, especially on large land surfaces, this practice leads to degeneration of soil health.
Credit: Kiss the Ground
*Regenerative practices help rebuild healthy soil.
Credit: Kiss the Ground
TREE PLANTING - CARBON SEQUESTRATION
We have long had a dream of turning our historical farm into a sustainable education and community center for soil regeneration, water retention, and organic gardens. We are now taking action towards making this vision a reality, but in order to maintain momentum, additional infrastructure is needed.
The immediate plan is to install a 6,000 tree windbreak and soundbreak along Hwy 36 and Lake of the Pines border to combat soil erosion from those 130 mph winds that sweep our plains. This protection will also offer pasturing animals another source of shade and forage material.
The windbreak consists of a front row of Blue Spruce or Douglas Fir, with a second colorful row of Black Locust, Sugar Maple, and Autumn Blaze Maple, followed by a third row of nitrogen-fixing thorny and flowering shrubs to protect our Silvopasture and discourage the deer and elk.