Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book Review #3: All flesh is grass, The pleasures and romises of pasture farming.

My Book Review Disclaimer:  I am not going to waste my time or your time by writing a review about a book that stinks.  Likewise, I am only going to bother reading it if it's not a waste of time and I am learning from it.  If it's good and I think it's a worthwhile read, I'll put it up on here and tell you why.

So I hit a craze of books from the library on grass fed and rotational grazing... in light of my future plans to turn my 3 acres of grass, which currently requires 3+ gallons of petroleum and 3+ hours of my life to keep it looking nice, into food for my family via livestock... and this book was one of the results.  So without any more chit-chat, let me tell you more about it.

Gene Logston - this guy has an opinion and isn't afraid to tell you what it is.  If you disagree with him, I get the impression he wouldn't mind telling you that you are wrong!  But I also think if you want to learn, he might be pretty happy to teach you whatever he can... this could be a blessing, as I hear he lives not too (relative term) far from where I am!

What Gene has to say in this book is primarily focused on the Ohio/Kentucky region of America and cites numerous examples from around these two states, including one you may have heard of before... Bob Evans?  Yea, he was a real guy who apparently got famous selling sausage, but his heart was in grass and grazing animals.  

What can you learn?  Well one thing that Gene and Mr Evans both seem to agree on is that if we would stop doing so much useless work, we might be a little more efficient!  Stop tilling, stop planting, stop harvesting!  With the exception of frost-seeding, all those efforts are a lot of work that isn't needed!  Take growing cor for example... farmers spend a lot of time preparing the land, planting, spraying, cultivating, fertilizing, harvesting, drying, transporting and grinding the corn.  What if they just planted it and let the livestock do the weeding and the harvesting?  He makes some convincing arguments, I'd love to hear what the naysayers think.

Another topic covered is grass types.  You can probably get a doctorate degree on this topic, but I think Gene did a good job laying out the pros and cons to different types of grass without one.  One thing that struck me especially about this topic was his admiration for bluegrass (maybe he likes the musical style as well, I don't know) as well as "weeds" like lambs quarters, dandelions and wild amaranth.  Most graziers wouldn't care to see that in their pastures, but perhaps they should, as they are very nutritious!  (Don't believe me, ask the hippies!)

At the end of the day, this was a fun read.  Gene's writing style is fun and thought provoking.  It covers a wide swath of information, but doesn't get bogged down.  I hope to meet him some day and, shake his hand and maybe even pick his brain!  I highly recommend checking this one out!

No comments:

Post a Comment