Self / Farm Sustainability

 Keeping livestock for milk is one of the oldest and most traditional ways of self-sufficient farming and it is still a way of ensuring food security today. Many  types of livestock – including sheep, goats and cattle – can be kept to supply milk.

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 I am often asked if its really worth raising a beef steer for home meat consumption, so when we had a steer butchered a few weeks ago, I decided to weigh  all the cuts of meat and calculate the value of the product versus the approximate cost to raise the steer, so that I could work out if it was worth doing.

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 With a new hay season around the corner it’s time to clean out the hay shed and remove spoiled or stale hay in readiness for the new supply. Even with  well-kept hay there will always be a certain amount of wastage; there may be anything from a pile of sweepings to several bales that might have been  affected by damp and are suitable for cattle to eat, but not horses.

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 Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a sustainable food production system where farmers sell direct to the consumer. Farmers grow a product  consumers want, in exchange for them supporting the farmer.

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Permaculture is a design science for sustainable agricultural environments. Through the observation of natural function, it seeks to integrate and arrange  various elements within a farm enterprise (e.g. plants, animals, buildings and infrastructures) in such a way that they support and benefit each other while  performing multiple functions (e.g. harvesting water, providing shelter, feeding farm stock).

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 Small farmers and hobby farm owners consistently rate sustainability of their property as one of the most important factors to consider. 'Sustainability' is a  term that tends to be used loosely. It can mean very different things to different people.

What is sustainability in farming?

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