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 Post subject: Small pasture workshop
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:11 am 
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My wife and I are attending this workshop, thought I would pass the info along.

http://www.hrm-texas.org/preserving_your_paradise.htm

A workshop in Holistic Management on small acreage.
How do you know which actions to take or to avoid to keep your land healthy?

Holistic Resource Management of Texas invites the public to a one-day intensive workshop on managing small tracts (5 to 50 acres) with or without grazing animals. This event will be held outside, on the land in Wimberley, TX, from 8:30am to 4pm, November 12, 2005. Cost for the day is $25 and includes handouts and a catered lunch. Register online or by calling Peggy Cole 512-847-3822.

The workshop will address the following concerns:

How do I plan for the maximum enjoyment of my land?
How do I make sound management decisions?
Restoring springs -water for wildlife, for plants and for pleasure
Vegetation - the good, the bad and the ugly. What plants do/don’t I want and how do I ID them easily??
How much cedar should I remove and how should I do it?
What is the land going to look like in 50 years if I do nothing or if I do____?
What are the best ways to restore my land's health?
How can I graze my animals without harming the land?
How can I attract certain birds (song birds, quail etc.), butterflies?
Is the only good bug a dead bug?
Who is underfoot and why should we care?
Do I need to reseed or how do I reseed the place and with what?
How do I work with my neighbors and the surrounding community to influence a greater whole?
After a variety of speakers on the above topics and a catered lunch, participants will go out in teams on the 15-acre tract to practice making a land plan, while they learn plant identification from team leaders. Consolidation of the plans and brainstorms will follow with a panel of experts to answer questions specific to your own operation or the practice tract.
Holistic Management enables you to improve the quality of your life while enhancing the environment that sustains us all. And it’s all based on a simple change in the way you make decisions. Holistic Management gives you a practical way to develop a clear, focused vision for your future, and enables you to plan how to get there in the most economically, environmentally and socially sound way.

Join others who love the land in an enjoyable and informative hill country event—a great place to meet new friends and neighbors. Please reserve your space by November 5, so we can plan lunches and hand-outs. Dress for walking hilly grassland.

Registration deadline is November 5, please visit the Field Day Registration form.
http://www.hrm-texas.org/preserving_your_paradise.htm


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 Post subject: ? Video Available
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:14 pm 
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Location: Scurry,TEXAS
Tony

I have bad back problems and I can't sit for long periods of time. Do you know if there is or will be a way to get a copy of the session on VHS?

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:15 pm 
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There isn't a plan to tape the event, it will be some sitting and some small group breakout to walk the pastures. I'll check for handouts or other information.
Tony M


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 Post subject: Workshop
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:51 am 
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Tony,

I will also be attending. I look forward to meet you and your wife!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:03 pm 
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Same here. There is one other lady on this forum that is trying to juggle her schedule so she can attend. I got a note from a person who was just at the place where the event is held. She said everything looks great.
Tony M


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:18 am 
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Location: Southeast Dallas County/Balch Springs ,TEXAS
Is this out in the Wimberley TX down past Austin? Goodness. Do they have these same type classes closer the the metroplex? Heck, I have land they can use for the class - ha ha. That is just a bit too far for me. Please, do keep us informed of other classes like this that are closer to home. Thanks. It really sounds like a good class, too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:11 am 
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I'm just glad they are having it down south of the metroplex for once. I still don't have a kitchen pass, though. Too much going on tomorrow. Dang I'd like to go to one of these.

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 Post subject: sooooo
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:05 pm 
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So how was it? I went to their website and the whole holistic thing is very interesting. I'll have to catch a seminar one of these days - please keep us posted when they come up nearer to DFW won't you?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:54 pm 
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The feedback I got and my own thoughts were mixed. Here's what one attendee said:

"I enjoyed the afternoon session but was disappointed in the morning session. Many of the "advertised" topics were not covered at all. There were topic areas that I was very interested in......but they were wholly or almost wholly excluded. Examples of topics that received 10 words or less:
o Restoring springs -water for wildlife, for plants and for pleasure
o Vegetation - the good, the bad and the ugly. What plants do/don't I want and how do I ID them easily??
o What are the best ways to restore my land's health?
o How can I graze my animals without harming the land?
o How can I attract certain birds (song birds, quail etc.), butterflies?
o Is the only good bug a dead bug?
o Do I need to reseed or how do I reseed the place and with what?"

The afternoon session was a visit to an HRM member's 15 acres where we were shown how portable electric fencing works. After that we split up about 100 people into 10 groups and answered specific questions about the health and prospects for the property. Each session was led by a subject matter expert (grass identification, extension agent, etc) and we spent about an hour walking around making observations. We all reformed into one group and reported our observations.

The objective here was to give feedback to the property owner while learning how to evaluate your own property.

I enjoy being around people with a common goal, spending time in the hill country and being outdoors. It was not the best learning event for me but it was well worth the time.
Tony M


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:07 pm 
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Tony M wrote:
The feedback I got and my own thoughts were mixed. Here's what one attendee said:

"I enjoyed the afternoon session but was disappointed in the morning session. Many of the "advertised" topics were not covered at all. There were topic areas that I was very interested in......but they were wholly or almost wholly excluded. Examples of topics that received 10 words or less:
o Restoring springs -water for wildlife, for plants and for pleasure
o Vegetation - the good, the bad and the ugly. What plants do/don't I want and how do I ID them easily??
o What are the best ways to restore my land's health?
o How can I graze my animals without harming the land?
o How can I attract certain birds (song birds, quail etc.), butterflies?
o Is the only good bug a dead bug?
o Do I need to reseed or how do I reseed the place and with what?"


I've gone to a couple of these seminars and read some stuff. Here's what I THINK I know.

o Springs and creeks are restored by fencing them off from livestock. Simple answer. Livestock pug up the underlying creek bed.
o Vegetation will take care of itself. Just let the livestock eat what they want and trample what gets trampled. Pretty soon it will all be natives unless you have an unusual circumstance. There are exceptions which your local feed store can help you with. You definitely don't want jimson weed or loco weed. Johnsongrass is okay part of the season but not at other times. You'll need to find the problem plants and dig them out or only graze those fields when the plants are not poisonous.
o Properly fenced livestock is the best way to restore the land's health. Herd the animals up tight and move them often. They need to return to the same pasture maybe once or twice a year but certainly not 15 or 20 times a year. You will hurt the land if you move them back in before the grass is ready. You can also hurt the land by not moving in any animals at all. Once or twice a year is great.
o Birds and butterflies will come with the increased grass growth. If you really want to keep the birds coming, figure out where they want to nest and keep the livestock out of that pasture until they bird nests are vacated. (there is a lot more to planning this operation than meets the eye)
o There are lots of good bugs. Chances are once you restore the soil health, the only bugs you see will be good bugs. If you get bad bugs on your livestock, watch carefully for animals that do not get the bugs. Breed them heavily and cull the bug fodder animals.
o You probably do not need to reseed. The seed is there but it has not had the necessary animal impact on it to germinate and grow.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:51 pm 
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Location: Frisco, Prosper & Celina, TX
I attended the conference (our first HRM event) and here are some of my random notes and what I THINK :wink: I learned:

Listen to the Land. Observe.
Write your goals. What are the things we value? Have monthly mgt/family meetings.
Don't feed your soil anything you wouldn't feed your kids. :o
Dirt is dirt. Soil is a civilization. We saw fascinating macro-video of tiny critters grooming each other and interactions between various micro-species. Some of the footage could be used in the next Star Wars sequel.
A local hill country development is reserving a 180 ac. conservation easement, and subdividing into 15 acre tracts with 5 acre building envelopes.
Aquifers used to be recharged by lightning fires (easily killing water guzzling cedars confining them to steep canyons) and by tall deep rooted grasses - switchgrass, Indiangrass, little bluestem and big bluestem (allowing water to filter deep, slow water runoff and stop erosion).
Tall grasses die off when they are overgrazed or cut because the roots don't regenerate like annuals do. Build your base with sideoats gramma.
Remove cedar from flat deep soil.
Pile cedar SLASH as windbreak, habitat, or to stop erosion.
Pin cedar logs on steep slopes to stop erosion.
Dig swales along contour to catch water above target plant and plant it on the berm.
Harvest rainwater for wildlife with a "water guzzler": a tin roof guttered into a 50 gallon barrel fitted with a pet waterer.
Build a digger dam to create a swimming hole.

Next trip reserve extra time to visit Hamilton Pool, Pure Luck Farm, Arnosky's Flower Farmstand, Natural Gardener Nursery, Tank Town, Boggy Creek Farm, Salt Lick BBQ, etc.

And Tony is right about the best parts: communing with like-minded folks who care about land stewartship, and being outdoors in the beautiful energy of the hill country.


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