At Nomad Farms we constantly strive to improve landscape health. You won’t hear us use the word ‘sustainable’ much. To us it seems a little unambitious and connotes a line in the sand where economics and ecology meet head-to-head. We see it differently.
We think healthy, diverse abundant ecology is the very driver of highly productive farms, that they are very much one and the same, and such systems drive both ecology and economics in a positive direction. This is why we call what we do ‘regenerative’.
So for us to take on a technique, activity or production system, it has to pass our simple test. Does it contribute positively to landscape health?
When we talk about landscape health we mean the big picture stuff. The fundamentals. These include the water, mineral and energy cycles, biodiversity, abundance and beauty. Our aim is for a healthy system, and believe a healthy system will naturally produce favourable and healthy plants and animals. So if we see what some may call a ‘weed’, we try to think about what mother nature is telling us about our management and the state that the system is in, rather than see the ‘weed’ as a problem in itself that must be dealt with combatively.
So we don’t use herbicides, insecticides or really any biocides at all. We believe an unbalanced system is best rebalanced by adding something and increasing diversity, not trying to remove components and simplify the system. After all, systems are not made up of components, they’re made up of connections.
We believe this gives the best opportunity for nature to demonstrate her amazing potential and help our animals and us thrive. Call it agroecology, call it biomimicry, there’s lots of fancy words and we embrace lots of them, but ultimately, we work with nature, not against her.
This was kindly recognised recently by the Landcare community by awarding Nomad Farms as winner of the 2015 South Australian Landcare Award for Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices.
Animal Health at Nomad Farms
At Nomad Farms animal health is central to everything we do. This means more than simply being free of diseases or maintaining healthy growth rates. It’s about well-being and thriving naturally. We believe that animals should be able to express their true animal characteristics, and that diverse natural systems have health as their default setting.
Chicken instincts are to scratch the earth for tucker, dirt bathe and preen themselves in the sunshine. Cattle are driven to graze on fresh and diverse pastures as well as enjoying the safety and fun of a herd. All of our animals are raised on fresh pasture and given the best opportunity to express themselves.
We use low stress handling techniques and provide the natural conditions for our animals to thrive, moving them regularly to fresh pasture and relying on sunshine and biodiversity to cleanse and refresh the landscape.
We believe that natural systems will always tend towards health, and that diseases are symptoms rather than causes of imbalance. Our animals thrive naturally in production systems which mimic nature. We don’t use parasiticide, hormones or antibiotics. We prefer to rely on a healthy environment and the natural animal defences developed through a few million years of research and development. Our animals are raised with immune systems, not chemicals.
Human Health at Nomad Farms
By producing healthy animals and healthy land, humans have the best opportunity for optimum health also. We use no chemicals, no hormones, no antibiotics. We believe real benefits flow through from healthy, active soil, to nutritionally dense and balanced plants, to animals with true well-being, including two-legged animals.
We also see social regeneration (along with ecological and economic) as something to strive for, both within and beyond the farm gate. So we often hold events at Woodlands Run, ranging from pasture workshops for sharing ideas, to music festivals for straight out fun! We think fun is pretty important too! Please see our ‘News’ section for upcoming events.
Just like the other animals on the farm, we aim for well-being. A balanced life of hard work, good friends, local community, lots of fun, making a positive contribution to the world, and making a fair wage so we can keep doing it.