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KUMBARTCHO

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Have you started succession planning?

Yes, I have seen a few successors of rural properties who have not had a passion for the land, and succeeded out of a sense of duty (due to expectations, emotional ties to the family heritage, etc). Fortunately, later in life I have seen some of these have a realisation (often due to a personal crisis) which has led them to quit the farm, and follow their passion. When is the time right? Let us now look at some biological aspects of succession planning. I am a biodynamic practitioner, and follow some of the teachings of Rudolph Steiner. One of his ....

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The regeneration generation

One thing that came to me when on the phone with John Leggett was the concept of next generation and regenerative agriculture. Yes next gen, and regen! What effect will transition to the next generation of land managers have on the landscape? I look back on my experience, and the transitions from my grandparents to my parents, to myself, and now onto the new owners of the land. The transition from my grandparents, in who's era transport was largely horse drawn vehicles, stock work was on horses, stock transport was droving, timber treatment was with an axe, and labour was cheap. ....

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Succession: First thoughts, ideas and experiences

When in conversation with John Leggett in relation to the re-birth of my Soils for Life blog, the topic of SUCCESSION PLANNING came to the fore. Now, as with many things that I “have a go at”, I am no expert on succession planning, however I suspect that you, as a reader, also are not! I do however have some multi-generational experiences in this field. Firstly though, I would like to explore the definition, according to Dr. Google, the wizard, who resides within my smart phone, on which I am writing this story. Ask Google 1. A number of people or things ....

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Enabling landscape rehydration and regeneration

Transforming drains into chains of ponds on Kumbartcho. As I write Shan is “across the ditch” in NZ visiting an ex-WWOOFer who is working on an Angus stud cattle operation in the south island. I’m home absolutely enjoying “farm” life. My participation in the Community gardens in Kilkivan continues, as do new projects on Kumbartcho. Rehydration We have begun our Peter Andrews/Natural Sequence Farming-style landscape rehydration project. Stuart Andrews kindly took a day out of his family seaside holiday to come ‘consulting’ for us. Thanks so much Stuart! Now we have followed the plan (mostly), with some added personal flair. It may be best to do the work at end of the wet season, but our ....

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Managing soil, water and photosynthesis

Kumbartcho pasture into its second year of drought. Top of our list when we went ‘shopping’ for a new farm, was water. In times of drought it becomes really apparent that water is the single most limiting factor in our agricultural enterprises/gardens. Here we have a flowing creek, with water allocation, and a bore which is adequate for irrigation purposes (un-regulated). Now it is well and good to have all this water, however the cost of pumping it has largely become prohibitive for many agricultural enterprises. How then are we addressing this issue of water?? Our pasture and soil management is focused on having soils in best possible condition and pastures are managed for perenniality ....

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Reflections on drought and community

  Well here we are at end August 2014, tomorrow is first day of spring. August has delivered us 52 mm of rain, which gives us great soil moisture to begin spring.   Shan Joyce spraying Biodynamic soil activator The farm has had three sprays of Biodynamic soil activator, so is well ‘primed’ to burst into life/growth as the weather warms. Now is a good time to re-assess what are the ‘weak links’ of this farm.     Having attended to the farm’s acute need for rest (destocked 13/01/2014 till 16/06/2014), and to the farm’s need to achieve a biologically active soil (three applications of Biodynamic preparations).  The outstanding ‘weak link’ was stock water infrastructure. Stock ....

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Re-assessing farm weak links

  Well here we are at end August 2014, tomorrow is first day of spring. August has delivered us 52 mm of rain, which gives us great soil moisture to begin spring.   Shan Joyce spraying Biodynamic soil activator The farm has had three sprays of Biodynamic soil activator, so is well ‘primed’ to burst into life/growth as the weather warms. Now is a good time to re-assess what are the ‘weak links’ of this farm.     Having attended to the farm’s acute need for rest (destocked 13/01/2014 till 16/06/2014), and to the farm’s need to achieve a biologically active soil (three applications of Biodynamic preparations).  The outstanding ‘weak link’ was stock water infrastructure. Stock ....

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Monitoring farm actions and results

Image courtesy of The Australian Women's Weekly The Importance of Monitoring I cannot stress enough the value of monitoring as a tool to be used in all facets of farming. Here at Kumbartcho we started our monitoring program right from the beginning. On our former property Dukes Plain we did not start the monitoring till 1995, some 12 years after we took up the management. Vegetation growth on Dukes Plain There, within 6 months of beginning, we had saved our selves in the order of $40 per hectare, which we would have spent on re-clearing timber regrowth. Yes, within 6 months we were able to demonstrate from our grazing chart records that our timbered country ....