Sunfield Farm Awarded Funds for Pasture Restoration

Sunfield Farm & Waldorf School has been awarded $3,000 by the Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation to enhance the fertility of its pastures. The foundation, based in Laguna Beach, Calif., recently funded 23 proposals, awarding more than $56,000 to organizations nationwide.

“We are honored that the foundation has recognized Sunfield for our sustainable and innovative practices,” said Dana Nixon, Sunfield Farm development coordinator.

She added that the pasture restoration plan draws on the practices of biodynamics to enhance fertility through animal inputs.

“Sunfield utilizes animals in our educational programs and as tools on the farm,” Nixon said. “Although we have close to 30 acres of pasture, the yield when harvesting hay is lower than we would like it to be.”

To enhance the yield, Sunfield plans to incorporate a rotational grazing plan that will allow the animals to make daily deposits into their “fertile soil account.” Sunfield Farm & Waldorf School received about a quarter of its full proposal. The foundation money enables the purchase of gates necessary to safely move the Sunfield sheep and cows into low-fertility zones, helping to boost the nutrients in the soil and produce a better hay crop.

“Why not use the innate grazing habits of our livestock to aid in rehabilitating our pastures?” said Nicole Witham, Sunfield farm manager and educator. “Managing the animals in this way allows us to manage the land with less labor, less inputs and less disruption from mechanical equipment.”

Courtesy of the PT Leader