During the mid 1800’s, Scotch whisky was highly sought after by the Miners and tradesmen who made a living working in the mining camps. I can’t really say I’d blame them, if I lived in near freezing temperatures, sleeping in a tent with no earthly comforts beyond a wood stove that barely warmed my toes and burdened with back breaking work for the modern equivalent of $20 per day – I give a lick to the bottle too… but I digress.
Over the years relentless acres of once productive land, having long been abandoned by hearty Homesteaders who left for the bright lights of the city during the ensuing waves of Farm Crises, succumbed to the Scotch Broome invasion. The remnants of our once great agricultural powerhouse are now covered in Scotch Broome – depleting the local ecosystem of productivity and resources.
One tell tail sign of Broome infestation showed this last summer as a devistating 97,000 acre loss due to the enormous King Fire. It lasted from September to October, costing eighty structures, a dozen injuries and millions of dollars in firefighting resources.
Abandoning ecosystems once touched by the human stain to suffer without proper management is tremendously destructive – and reeks of human arrogance. We messed it up - we ought to responsible to manage it properly. Human interaction has happened; we have affected the eco system - There is no turning back. In an often ill-advised, but well meant gesture we allocate incredible resources to an effort that is doomed to fail though generous donations to this or that club or society. The sad fact is that a dangerous cocktail of legal environmental rulings and ignorance of ecosystems have overruled the common sense approach of properly managed domestic animals on the land. Our country is now horribly mismanaging our forests on a wholesale level.
We have acres and acres of Scotch Broom covered land that could be used for productive grazing. One of Scotch Broom’s good qualities is that is it a legume, a plant that fixes nitrogen to the soil. You might recall that nitrogen is very useful in good grass production – we use Chicken manure for nitrogen too.
What we’ve found is that if we can remove the Scotch Broome, the fire hazard is reduced by 70-90% or more and the next season, a grass sod begins to develop. By season three or four we are grazing cattle on lush, moist grass with no fire hazard.
The problem – how do we effectively remove scotch broom? Bulldozing creates erosion, is often dangerous and costs money. Hand cutting requires frequent visits to the back specialist - and we have acres of Broome. Spraying will kill broom but eventually find itself back into our beef supply.
Our answer – HOGS!
We found that our 150-200 pound Hogs, love to root up Scotch broom. We place a border around them with electric wire, and give them a good source of clean water. Together with soy-free, 100% organic feed they go to town…
Beyond clearing brush and saving homes, lives and possibly thousands of taxpayer dollars, our Hogs provide Good, Clean food for hundreds of families. They provide real, meaningful jobs to a small family of people who care deeply for the environment and their animals; they rejuvenate the soils with their manure, to make growing grass possible for the grazing of Grass-fed Beef. They take food dollars away from Hormel foods and other disgusting factory food, industrial, government subsidized producers that make available nutritious products such as Spam to you and your neighbors.
Free-range, proper domestic animal management is a boon to the environment. By voting with your dollars, you are doing more to save the environment than any donation you can make to a club or society.