Are the big benefits of permaculture principles and organic regenerative agriculture resonating with you yet? Today we write about the benefits of raising goats and sheep in Belize integrated within the permauclture principles. Most commercial farms are causing serious harm to our environment and health which offers us the major motivation for finding more sustainable solutions. My intention for writing about goats and sheep in Belize is to help educate and inspire more people to adopt this efficient food growing system and help protect our environment. Yes goats and sheep can provide valuable benefits as you will learn in this post. As a long term environmentalist and enthusiastic eco developer designing an eco friendly and green community focused on renewable resources and sustainable systems is a big part of my obsessive compulsive passion project. It is important to research various eco friendly materials, methods, mindsets and models to find those that will best serve our people and project. We are determined to build an appealing, eco conscious, financially strong and super sustainable Belize Eco Village on our 149+ acres of land and goats and sheep will play important roles in our success.
Why Goats and Sheep in Belize?
Did you know that every year many tens of thousands of acres of grass and brush burn every year in Belize in raging fires? Where do goats and sheep fit in Belize? Everywhere! Goats and sheep can help with family farming and promoting permaculture principles in Belize. They can provide an integrated method for organic regenerative agriculture including farming, fire prevention, food forests, grazing and land management. Raising goats and sheep for food and grass grazing offers a valuable symbiotic support system. Big benefits of raising goats and sheep on a permaculture principles based farm includes: building biodiversity, enhancing topsoil, growing more food in the same space, growing nutrient dense organic foods, reduce burning of grass and weeds, reduce fertilizer and herbicide use, reduction is fossil fuels for mowing, replicating a holistic model in nature, producing organic foods, reducing slash and burn, reducing hunting pressure on wildlife, preserving wildlife and food for jaguars and providing an additional income to farmers. These happen largely because raising goats and sheep in a food forest provide: higher yields in the same space, improved energy efficiency, improved topsoil, local food production year round.
As mentioned in previous blog posts big ag, factory farming and Commercial Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) are harming vast amounts of biodiversity in addition to lost terrain, trees and topsoil. This is leading to a catastrophic crisis in many environments around the earth. We desperately need improved methods for producing more locally sourced food and reducing food contamination with a renewable and sustainable system. Most commercial food production is damaging and destructive whereas a permaculture system and organic regenerative agriculture offer continually renewable resources. Raising goats and sheep would replace many damaging and destructive methods with a more progressive permanent practice. A lot of feed, food, fossil fuels, money and time are wasted burning, mowing and spraying herbicides on grass and weeds whereas following permaculture principles using goats and sheep could help prevent and reduce much of these wasted resources.
My research for the Belize Eco Village leads me to great ideas, insights and inspiration for food independence and self sufficiency while also protecting our environment. My full attention is directed to finding great resources and role models to improve our community. Our goal is to find bright ideas to design, build and live using more effective, efficient and environmentally supportive solutions, strategies and systems. My recent meeting with Sonja at the 13 Mile Marker of the Southern Highway in southern Belize was another educational visit. She inspired me with a great method and role model for innovative approaches with: citrus growing, goat and sheep husbandry, food production and soil building. She supplies beef, pork and sheep products to the market. While they are not fully using permaculture principles I could still learn some valuable ideas that would help me to do so on our land. The beef and pork are more inefficient animals to raise and require lots of grass and land but the market demand for the products is there. If more people would consume and raise goat and sheep it could reduce beef and pork consumption. She has the sheep grazing under the citrus trees to control grass and weeds while naturally fertilizing therm. She impressed, influenced and inspired me to utilize some of their sustainable systems in our project. Even if one does not want to consume the beef or pork it is obvious the sheep are a much more effective and efficient part of the eco system and reduces the use of herbicides.
Goats and Sheep versus Mowing
As more eco minded and passionate people put their heads together it becomes self evident that one of the most environmentally friendly and financially feasible long term solutions to feed families is to raise free range fowl and sheep and goats. A key permaculture principle is to stop harming the land and start improving it. Free range fowl and goats and sheep can be used to easily grow large quantities of edible foods, fruits, herbs and vegetables in relatively small areas of land. The fowl eat bugs, grass and seed and the goats and sheep graze the land while providing waste that provides the nutrients for the plants and the plants help by providing food, protection and waste product uptake. This creates nutrient rich waste that produces high quality nutrient dense whole foods. Indigenous people around the world have been effectively raising free range fowl and goats and sheep for centuries.
Creating a dynamic, healthy and holistic blend of free range fowl and goats and sheep plus farming based on permaculture principles will lead to productive and profitable communities, economies and farms. You can learn more great information about the benefits of free range fowl from Geoff Lawton and sheep and goats from Permaculture Research Institute
Code of Conduct for Goats and Sheep
Goat and sheep offer a creative blend of: energy conservation, farming, food forests, food (meat and milk), organic nutrient dense whole foods, trees and water conservation. This will lead to increased income and yields with less effort because of better efficiency, diverse crop productivity, enhanced food production, healthier food and lifestyle, improved nutrition, less destructive practices, less fossil fuel use and increasing productivity over time. The ideas, intentions and inspiration of permaculture principles and organic regenerative agriculture with goats and sheep will be listed in our guidelines and home owners manual for safety, self sufficiency and sustainability. It supports our decision to avoid spraying toxic chemical compounds like fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides on our property. Those chemical compounds are toxic to people, plants and planet. It is obvious the long and short tern consequences are too risky to all babies, bats, bees, birds, butterflies and beautiful beings living in our community to allow the use of toxic products. We will maintain very high standards for living in a chemical and toxin free environment to protect the air, food, homes, soil and water. Our community Declaration of Protective and Restrictive Covenants and Design Standards will outline our best practices for goats and sheep, permaculture principles and organic regenerative agriculture.
Healthy Habits & Habitats
In 2017 Morningstar NEWS will continue our 50% focus on Healthy Habits and 50% on Healthy Habitats and Sustainability Strategies. As we design our new Belize Eco Village we will research and role model proven permaculture projects. Our vision is to attract a wide variety of eco-conscious and passionate people to help design, build and live in our eco friendly, healthy and sustainable community. Imagine the advantages of goats and sheep helping us eat, live, retire, visit and work better while enjoying an even more happy, healthy and holistic lifestyle. We will focus on those ideas, insights and inspiration as we provide more progress pictures and vivid videos. Stay tuned for progress posts with solutions, strategies, suggestions and systems to develop the 149 acres of pristine Caribbean pine ridge and broadleaf forest.
Where is Your Gap?
What behaviors, beliefs and decisions regarding your habits and habitats are harming your happiness and health? What will it take for you to protect your family and self from the damage, degradation and destruction occurring right now? What destructive food production practice are you willing to stop being a part of the problem and start being a part of the solution instead? Could goats and sheep help control grass and weeds while also offering to feed you and your family better food for less money?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
It is well documented that our daily habits and habitats greatly impact our happiness and health. There is a wealth of wisdom regarding healthy habits to start and health hazards to stop. What are you willing to do differently to protect your self and family with better choices? Creating a healthy habits and habitat code of conduct and mastery action plan will enhance our quality of life for everyone now and in the future. We cannot sustain our happiness and health with continued destruction of our planet for factory farms and feedlots to feed more people. Are you ready to be the change that you wish to see in the world?
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding healthy habits and habitats? Are you ready to learn more and join our terrific team?
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