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  1. Prairie Shepherd

    Waffle gardening, anyone?

    Is anyone using waffle gardening techniques? In my Montana garden, soil biology and organic matter improve every year, but it seems like each year there's less rainfall for gardening. Groundwater isn't suitable for irrigation here. I have a rainwater capture system and some permaculture...
  2. Prairie Shepherd

    DROUGHT RESILIENCE NETWORK: Tall Tale Competition!

    For the non-fiction competition: The drought is so bad in my part of Montana that more than a few cattlemen are selling cows and buying goats and hair sheep. Some perennial grasses are droughting out, so here comes the weeds. When weeds are the main crop, it only makes sense to eat 'em rather...
  3. Prairie Shepherd

    DROUGHT RESILIENCE NETWORK: Tall Tale Competition!

    Wow, that is DRY! Where was that? And more importantly, what did it take to heal up that wrench-filled trench?
  4. Prairie Shepherd

    I commit to this practice to build drought resilient soil . . .

    When I listened to Dale's webinar yesterday, I decided to commit publicly (gulp!) to working on holding more water through building some beaver dam analogs, similar to what Dale called leaky weirs. Our drought in Montana is killing some big cottonwoods and they are right beside the creeks that...
  5. Prairie Shepherd

    Heat stress on cattle

    The summer of 2021 set records in Montana for heat as well as drought. Many days over 90, and temps up to 113F. I raise natural colored wool sheep and noticed several things. The amount of wool a sheep was packing didn't matter much -- longer woolled sheep didn't act noticeably different from...
  6. Prairie Shepherd

    Sheep grazing to improve CRP lands

    I found the link to this at the Understanding Ag newsletter -- which is well worth signing up for! Here's how the Understanding Ag crew summarizes the video:
  7. Prairie Shepherd

    Seven reasons why you should add sheep to your regen ranch

    Glad to hear from another sheep-aficionado, David! Here's hoping you're back in the sheep business soon!
  8. Prairie Shepherd

    Seven reasons why you should add sheep to your regen ranch

    Hey, all you non-shepherds -- check out this article by the Noble Foundation about what sheep might do for your regenerative ranch. Of the seven reasons listed, I must admit that #6 is what keeps me knee deep in sheep, though #7 is why this makes good business sense too:
  9. Prairie Shepherd

    Why I farm

    I love what you wrote, High Plainsman! I wish more people could be as lucky as we have been, to be born on and for the land. I am such a fan of the Quivira Coalition's New Agrarian program and of WWOOFing, where more people can connect with regenerative agriculture, the deep satisfaction of...
  10. Prairie Shepherd

    Anyone using biochar as a soil amendment?

    Thanks for posting so many valuable links, Peter of Asheville. Huge fan here of Dr. David Johnson's work. I have found the Microbiometer to be useful (and fun!) in on-farm comparisons of various compost piles and of soils under differing management on my place. The affordability and immediacy...
  11. Prairie Shepherd

    Replacing peat in seed starting mix?

    As someone who loves wetlands, especially fens and peat bogs, I have decided to avoid all soil mixes with peat in them. When I went to start some seeds for spring and read the ingredients on the bags of seed starting mixes I have on hand, I found my pro-peat stance rules out most soil mixes...
  12. Prairie Shepherd

    Resources for Establishing and Managing Silvopasture

    Thanks so much Lee for posting all this information! These are EXACTLY the type of resources I need as I contemplate silvopasture for my operation. You saved me a bunch of time googling around by posting so many good resources in one place! Much appreciation to you!
  13. Prairie Shepherd

    Prairie Shepherd, Montana

    Hi, I raise finewool, natural colored sheep in northcentral Montana. Though my place has some hay meadows with water rights, in our dry climate (11" per year on average), this is pretty much an arid grassland/sage steppe property. Catching and holding more water in soil is hugely important to...
  14. Prairie Shepherd

    Silvopasture wannabe

    Thanks for the advice, High Plainsman! Your pasture looks great. Wonderful to have grass along with trees that provide shade, fix nitrogen and provide food for sheep and bees all at the same time! I'll look into weed barrier. Your example has me excited to give this a try!
  15. Prairie Shepherd

    Gateway Research Organization: a great place for regenerative podcasts!

    Steve and Amber Kenyon of Alberta team up every other week through the winter months to host a series of open discussions with some of the greats in regenerative ag from both Canada and the US. I've learned so much from spending a few hours a month in these free and wide open discussions. If...
  16. Prairie Shepherd

    Electric fencing for sheep

    Thanks, Doug! Always good to hear the nitty gritty on this. I especially liked hearing about your success in keeping the sheep contained even on hay in a small area. What type of posts do you use?
  17. Prairie Shepherd

    Steve Kenyon: My number one priority on my farm is to repair the water cycle

    I've learned so much about regenerative ranching from Albertan stockman and grass farmer Steve Kenyon. He's one of those rare people able to integrate land, water, livestock, wildlife (he especially loves dragonflies and dung beetles!), economics, and quality of life for his family in their...
  18. Prairie Shepherd

    Perinatal losses in lambs and kids

    David Fernandez wrote: I don't raise goats so can't attest to the quality of the second publication, but the one on lambs is comprehensive, current, and tremendously helpful, Dr. Fernandez. I wish I'd had the publication 15 years ago! Thanks for generating and posting the information!
  19. Prairie Shepherd

    Bread and Sweaters

    How to have your cake -- well, bread -- and eat it too: integrate goats and sheep in small grain farming! Cool article at the Fibershed website today...
  20. Prairie Shepherd

    Electric fencing for sheep

    Thanks for your reply, JustinM. I appreciate all ideas -- you never know when someone will have exactly the answer needed. I'll need to keep looking though because: I've used Gallagher SmartFence and at least in my application, my three strand fence is more effective and less expensive. My...