Update on Land Use Partnership Initiative with Pilot Grazing Project

In  2011 Sustainable Nantucket  launched our Land Use Partnership Initiative with a Pilot Grazing Project in partnership with the Nantucket Island Land Bank and Faraway Farms.  A Sustainable Nantucket apprentice worked with Island livestock farmers Caleb Cressman, Dylan Wallace, Nicole DuPont and Andy Harris –all of Faraway Farms– and learning how to maintain a small flock of sheep and chickens on the Land Bank’s Craig Property. In 2012, our 3-way land-use partnership will be re-located to the Land Bank’s Pout Pond Rd. property – a four acre parcel off of Milestone Rd.

Using low-impact rotational grazing, the team is moving the sheep and chickens around the property using portable fencing to contain the animals. Their grazing area is changed frequently on a schedule that is designed to assure the best health and nutrition for the animals, and minimal impact for the surrounding ecosystem. As the sheep graze the property, they eliminate the need for mowing, and as the chickens follow behind they act as “parasite control” as they forage for food.

The end result of this project is education for SN’s agricultural apprentices and Nantucket’s future farmers, access to land for Far Away Farms, and property maintenance for the Land Bank, which is also fulfilling a part of  its charter to support the traditional industry of agriculture. We hope this will be the first of many cooperative farming arrangements for SN and the Land Bank.

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