Craze to Graze
Here at Grass Corp. we are enjoying the cold, not only as a good excuse to stay inside and take it easy, but also because the winter weather means that we have come to the end of another successful growing season and can focus more on getting ready for the coming growing season of 2019. Most fruitful for us though is the time we get to spend sitting around the large family dinning room table discussing the life that we live and our plans for the future.
Just this week we were able to slow down and discuss what we are doing, what we will be doing, and most importantly, why we do what we do. I started thinking about our craze for grazing and how it is such a monumental part of “why we do what we do.” In our discussions around what we will be doing in the future we heard such ideas come across the table like “geothermal greenhouses with fresh grown citrus” all the way to starting a 1000-acre sheep ranch. In our discussion we had to return to reality and focus on why we might do any of these crazy things.
The truth of the matter is that the circle of life is what makes the world go ‘round and what our family wants is to take our portion of the world and make that life cycle as holistically healthy as possible. This circle undoubtedly starts with sunshine. The good clean sunshine is pure, raw, energy, that was intended to fuel the earth. In recent decades, the ability to harvest sunshine with something besides green leaves and turn it into an electrical power source, has made people realize more significantly the potential power of the sun. Green leaves are still the most effective way to harvest sunlight because they are far more efficient than any manmade solar panel.
So, we know how to most naturally and efficiently harvest sunlight, big deal, but what really sets us apart is how we harvest those green leaves and turn it into food. The most common way that the world sees the harvesting of plants is through commercial agriculture and what is termed “Row Cropping” since the plants are planted and harvested in rows. This commercial system does great at making nice clean looking fields, but is it healthy and holistic? The world is filled with billions of species of different plants and animals. I find it hard to believe that the best way to grow our food is to use only a handful of these living organisms. Our pastures are filled with over 30 species of trees, grasses, and other leafy things. The many kinds of plants create symbiotic relationships that form healthy pastures and soils that feed our many kinds of animals.
With all these different kinds of animals, we can manage the grazing of plants depending on the season, weather, and amount of growth in the pasture. All of our animals eat the grass as it stands. When the animals are grazing, we don’t use equipment and fossil fuels to harvest the plants, feed the animals grass, or haul away the manure when the animals are done with it. The animals use their two or four legs to walk to the grass and the grass is harvested by their uniquely designed mouths. Then the animals drop the leftovers right there in the field where they ate.
Using nature to feed nature is efficient and the healthiest way to grow food for our family and yours. When we think about why we do what we do, we have a holistic answer. We harvest sunlight efficiently by grazing it with animals that live on the ground where their food comes from so that we can give the healthiest food to you, our customers. I think we are crazy for grazing because it is how we most naturally interact with nature, our food, and our community.