Soil feeds the Grasses
Grasses feed the Cows
Cows feed the Soil
If soil has the carrying capacity to feed a 1000 pound cow, there should be 2000 pounds of “livestock” in the soil, converting organic matter and soil into nutrients that feed the plants that the cow then eats. Many of these “livestock” that live in the soil, also live in the gut of the cow. The gut is a breeding ground for the continued regeneration of the health of the community of “livestock” in the soil. A deep healthy rich soil with high organic matter takes years to build.
In order to carry more “livestock” in the soil, just like livestock above ground they must be fed. You do this with prennial crops like pasture or annual and bi-annual cover crops, growing every day of the growing season, only using tillage sparingly to control growth of unwanted crop species. If you fill the soil with roots of plants you want to grow, there is no room for weeds to take hold. You cannot do this with a monoculture. It takes three or more different types of plants, with different roots systems to create a competive environment that will crowd out unwanted plant species. That is why Mother Nature has hundreds of different species growing in a native prairie, and livestock are healthiest when they get many different plants to eat, instead of just one or two.
This is the paradigm change that is driving the regeneration of our depelted soils, and packing more nutrients into the foods we produce. As organic producers, we have chosen not to use chemicals, only tillage when needed.