Lucky discovery

We came across an interesting discovery lately. It happened by accident one night when the sheep decided to bust through the electric fence keeping them in their pasture and out of our organic flax crop. I arrived on the scene in the morning to find, not surprising, a flock of contented sheep and, surprising, an essentially untouched flax crop. The sheep had spent their time selecting volunteer oats out of the crop. So, we decided to use this ‘biological herbicide’ to our advantage!

20140730-150739-54459576.jpg
Sheep have this amazing ability to use their lips to sort through what they are eating. I watched a ewe the other day take a mouthful and push the flax plants back out before biting off the oats.

20140801-114125-42085272.jpg
The sheep grazed on the flax crop for about 5 days, and there were very few flax plants actually eaten. There was some damage in a few places where the sheep rested, but this is likely offset by the advantage of having reduced competition for the crop as well as the weight gained by the lambs from the excellent feed source.
This is a great example of how organic cropping works best intertwined with livestock. It also makes you think about how we can quick people are to use chemicals to control weeds, when in some cases there might be another option!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s