On the pages section of this blog I am posting GOATS. This is an in-depth look at my permaculture grazing system. I am sharing the numbers from my operation. This is my personal accounting. The accountant handles the numbers different for tax purposes. There are various ways to treat income, expenses, and investments. Needless to say, I had a lot of depreciation. This benefited me as good tax write-off. Another very important point is I do not include my labor so when you consider the amount of time I invested in this operation over these 6 years there is a considerable labor cost not realized. When this is considered, one should be very careful about engaging in this type of activities. I am semi-retired living off investments and some activity in farm management. I am just now in 2021 going to start seeing a positive return on an investment started in 2015. Sales are going up and investments in the system leveling off. I am now selling mostly animals born on the farm.
Some notes to consider when reviewing my grazing operation I posted on he pages part of this blog. The title is goats but really it is goats, cows, dogs, and people. Keep in mind before I built this grazing system the farm already had some fence. There were already two barns, a cabin, and an RV. There were existing wells and electric service. There is 300 acres of family land. I have 80 on the border of the family farm. This alone adds up to $1MIL. In a nut shell this is my affluence trap and my opportunity. REAL Green says relative and realistic so do not get tied up in the good or bad of this. When you go local you become unique and yourself. Get out of guilt or anger of the status quo of value and concentrate on the journey into decline. The family farm we have had in the family since 1948. I have a spiritual connection in the land of those who came before me. I dwell in their history.
This family farm participated in a special native grass program 20 years ago that cost around $150,000. These costs were around 50/50 with the government although lots of other cost were involved the gov did not cover. There was a CRP program to expand the riparian areas along the drainages. These have become outstanding cover for wildlife. This family farm is a wonderful example of a rewilding. I took 60 acres of this farm for the grazing system and there is 40 acres dedicated to raising hay. This hay field also gives an added dimension to the mosaics of habitat so even though it is n a sense industrial AG it was inserted into a mosaic of habitat to enhance the benefits for wildlife and humans. I have 80 acres personally. I have a shop I just built and 50 year old brick house I did a total renovation too. I gave it a second life. I feel second life to homes are machinery is a conservation effort because you are recycling. I did this in a green manner with maximum insulation. There is a lot of money in these almost 400 acres! This is why I often say REAL Green is the calling of few just like in the middle ages monasteries and castles were few but profoundly important.
This is my trap of affluence. There is a lot here to manage and take care of. You can see if I want to be green then a REAL Green approach is needed. True green means going extremely small and decoupled from transport, consumerism, and the welfare system. Going brown in industrial ag would mean I would expand the animal business approach and remove the rewilded part of the farm for profit operation. I chose the REAL Green approach that is a polyculture approach. You have to approach this type of operation with a business mentality but adapted by permaculture. This permaculture goes deeper with a spiritual permaculture of meaning. So this is a physical and spiritual permaculture adapted to the status quo. This then is a journey of green prepping that seeks to use the status quo to leave it. This is the nature of affluence so stop getting angry or feeling guilty about the green problems this presents. Man is a destructive species so the best most people can do is channel this destructive behavior to good ends. Again some of you can go TRUE Green but most can’t.
REAL Green is green prepping and a journey. This journey is my journey but also the locals journey It has been a passion of mine that developed over time so an intellectual and a skill journey. I love being a shepherd. I love having a permaculture homestead. Finally the monestary is my spiritual permaculture and mental homestead. I love managing an animal operation. It is hard and tedious work that over time is very satisfying. If I had to have an outside job and do it there would have to be big changes. The other alternative that many families do that love farming is have one spouse work off the farm. In my case I am living off investments. I managed to incorporate REAL Green into my trap of affluence. Yes, affluence is a trap for me. I wish I could have been totally TRUE Green from the start but this is what I have so I am REAL Green.
This grazing operation is greener because I make an effort to shape it realistically and relatively in regards to my limits of localism. My people, place, and life situation shape how green I can take it. Another important point is I could triple the amount of cattle I have and quadruple the numbers of goats. This is always and option. I could do even more for-profit activity if I expanded the operation over the entire family farm. I don’t do this because rewilding is an essential part of REAL Green. It is here the spiritual permaculture kicks in somewhat like the religious tithe of the middle ages. In this cse it is giving back to the ecosystem that is above your human local of people and place. I could expand in a crisis if this is what is needed for my local. This is the prep part of green prepping.
Currently what I am doing is the best holistic option. My grazing operation is another piece in the mosaic of habitat. It is 60 acres of the 300. I have low stocking rates, polyculture pasture, and multispecies on a fifth of the land with the rest rewilded. Even my 40 acres of hay fields becomes a mosaic when place within a rewilded natural setting. This is a keystone of my permaculture localism. This operation is the specialty that gives my homestead and monestary definition. There are other components to my green prepping but the grazing system is the central focus. I also have a sustainable wood lot and heat with wood. I have a garden, orchard, and grapes. I have chickens. I also have techno low carbon capture with a simple but robust solar system with battery and inverter. I utilize conservation principals with food, insulation efficiency, and reduce driving. Consumerism is focused on warehousing things of value for the coming decline into a likely future collpase. These are the secondary efforts with the grazing system my specialty.