Land improvement strategies for lifestyle, farm and beyond

There are many simple, practical solutions and techniques for improving and restoring degraded landscapes.

Building water catchment swales with a tractor

Building water catchment swales with a tractor

For those with a tractor, plough and simple drag blade, making large scale swales does not necessarily require employing contractors with heavy earth moving equipment. For the cost of the fuel and your time you can quickly add these simple water harvesting and infiltration systems to your land.
  swale  tractor  water 
Water smart design and land use

Water smart design and land use

Plan for dry and survive drought with carefully designed and implemented rainwater catchment systems built directly into the landscape. Three core elements to mitigating the effects and impact of drought:
  1. Identify and intercept water flows to keep moisture on the landscape
  2. Improve soils ability to absorb and retain water
  3. Reduce the impact of hot, dry winds
Find out how simple land use patterns and strategic planting can achieve all these benefits and more.
  water  rain  land  farm  service 
The myth about tree & pasture incompatibility - photographic evidence

The myth about tree & pasture incompatibility - photographic evidence

I am passionate about trees and their numerous benefits so I frequently encounter this commonly held misconception when I try and encourage grass growers to consider incorporating trees on their farms. The argument goes something like this: "I can't plant trees in or around my pasture because they compete with grass for light, water and minerals, grass production would suffer".

This photo, taken a few hundred meters from my home on a conventional sheep and beef farm during the worst drought in decades is evidence that certain tree species can actually improve the performance of grass. If only people were as observant as they are quick to dismiss the value of trees in the landscape.
May 06, 2015
  trees  grass  drought 
Restoring China's Loess Plateau

Restoring China's Loess Plateau

Home to more than 50 million people, the Loess Plateau in China’s Northwest takes its name from the dry powdery wind-blown soil. Centuries of overuse and overgrazing led to one of the highest erosion rates in the world and widespread poverty.

Two projects set out to restore China’s heavily degraded Loess Plateau through one of the world’s largest erosion control programs with the goal of returning this poor part of China to an area of sustainable agricultural production.
  land  water  terracing 
Trees for animal fodder

Trees for animal fodder

By now it should be obvious that we need more trees in our landscapes, however inconvenient that may seem. The benefits are numerous. Using trees for supplementary animal feed is a smart strategy in drought prone areas. This includes:
  • Fresh leaves / foliage
  • Fruits and berries
  • Nuts and seeds
Once established, trees are long lived with a deep root system capable of funding moisture in dry times. Large volumes of edible material can be produced, along with all the other benefits provided by appropriate species of trees.
September 04, 2018
  trees  animals