Thursday, October 7, 2010

Green wool

After approximately 17 hours in transit, I landed in Nowheresville, Australia and visited a wool farm that practices sustainable land management. I learned all about the dangers of over-grazing, how both summer and winter native grasses help sustain food supply throughout the year, breeding techniques that eliminate the need for certain chemical treatments, the benefits of combining a flock of sheep with a flock of cattle, natural ways to reduce soil erosion and that you don't call paddocks "fields."

In contrast to the farm we visited, the neighboring field used conventional techniques, including chemical pesticides and infrequent paddock rotation. The differences in the two fields was staggering. One was lush, with knee-high grasses and the other had only little shrubs and very short grasses.

It was a very interesting day and I learned a lot more than I ever expected to. It was also nice to see some very cute sheep running out of our jeep's pathway - it kind of felt like a safari! But I was so desperately tired that I don't think I made much sense and am very, very ready to go to sleep.

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