Commercial Farm Projects, Courses/Workshops, Land, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Water Harvesting —
by Owen Hablutzel May 3, 2013
Though too often vilified, both ‘cows’ and ‘plows’ have proven to be among our most effective and available tools for restoring healthy ecological and eco-agricultural systems in our landscapes. Bucking the trend in conservation that has denounced these tools from early on was Aldo Leopold – perhaps best known for his influential Land Ethic from 1948. In his earlier, groundbreaking book about working with ecosystems and wildlife, Game Management (1933), his preface made the visionary but provocative claim that “Game can be restored by the creative use of the same tools which have heretofore destroyed it — ax, plow, cow, fire, and gun.”
Regarding our Yeomans Keylining progress, here are the latest photos with my comments:
October 1, 2009. Last summer was dry. I chose this spot because we had bare ground and minimal grass respose to several years of rain. Grass was disappearing within the tarbush community seen beyond the tractor.
The idea of Keyline/Yeomans is to open soil to root growth by causing all water to soak in where it falls. The patterns hold water on the ridges and valley walls for this purpose. This is quite different conceptually from the ‘divert-and-impound’ mindset, which tends to deal with water after it has already been concentrated. The Yeomans Plow does not invert soil, or kill plants, as do most discs and plows.
Copyright 2013 Circle Ranch - San Antonio, TX.