Joel Salatin y Darren Doherty Barcelona 8 May 2019 & Masterclass Menorca 9-11 May 2019

Joel Salatin y Darren Doherty Barcelona 8 May 2019 & Masterclass Menorca 9-11 May 2019

Thanks to Aline Van Moerbeke for compiling these notes and posting them on the Permacultura Mediterránea FB Page:

Aline’s photos from the Masterclass can be found here:

These Masterclasses were organised by the teams at Editorial Diente de Leon & Organic Managers in conjunction with the owners and farmers at Son Felip, Algaiarens and La Vell

Barcelona 8 May 2019 – Escola Superior d’Agricultura de Barcelona

Joel Salatin

  • Orthodoxy against heresy
  • Sterilisation is better than living microbiology – Pasteur vs Béchamp (terrain theory)
  • Nature is not simple it is diverse, it is not routinised it is dynamic, it is not mechanical it is biological
  • Annual vs perennial
  • No functional regenerative system without animals Moving – Mobbing – Mowing
  • Parts are more important than wholes
  • Global vs local
  • In 1900 1 calorie needed to put 1 calorie on your plate, today you need 15 to 1
  • Mega food processors vs domestic food kitchen
  • We have to be very excited to use our culinary art in the home
  • Wellness movement is beginning to add strength to the heresy of traditional healing being unacceptable
  • Orthodoxy: all will be fine, heresy: we are going to end up where we are heading if we don’t change our path. Desertification, loss of soil fertility. Rising of illnesses. Listeria, salmonella, e coli, food allergies, downward trajectories. Sperm counts are in the tank
  • Lack of participation is the reason why we are heading where we are heading.
  • The government knows better than the individual?
  • The lunatic fringe is where all innovation comes from.
  • Be a heretic!

Menorca 9 May 2019 – Masterclass Day 1

Joel Salatin – Interior – El Mercadel Auditorium

  • The quickest way to break down a relationship are unexpressed expectations.
  • The hardest thing in the world is to make a decision.
  • If you show me a person that can make decisions, I show you a leader.
  • There are fewer and fewer things that are under our control, and that affects our decision making.
  • It’s better to make a wrong decision, than no decision.
  • We don’t only want to give you practical and physical tools for decision making, but also emotional and philosophical tools.
  • 3. What got you here, won’t get you there. You need to stay in business to enjoy the lifestyle.
  • 4. No farm is filled to its abundant capacity, diversity! Multifunction!
  • 5. No business is sustainable until it generates 2 salaries from 2 generations. You have to have enough coals to keep the fire together
  • 6. My success does not require your failure
  • The only question over the next 3 days here is: what am I going to do with this. Our problem is we don’t dream for ourselves. We want to fill expectations of others.
  • There is no paradise this side of eternity: every place has his assets and liabilities. What drives the livestock, is water. If you don’t have water you don’t have anything.
  • One of my rules for water collection is: is my collection increasing or decreasing the “commons” (the shared watershed). Good help for decision making. A well depletes the resource. If everyone sucks from a river, it goes away. If we create millions of little ponds
  • The land of the US was 8% water, today less than 1%. It came from beaver ponds. 200 million beavers!
  • Yeomans style: catch the water higher in the landscape.
  • Eliminate surface runoff: the cup off the commons is full, only runs over when the cup is full. A pond is a savings account. Not a dam! Never end a drought with a full pond. ?
  • The carbon economy
  • Nature sanitizes two ways: rest and sunshine and Animals stimulate decay of plants rather than putrefaction.
  • Deep bedding needed
  • Animals can do the work: pigerators
  • They are in hog heaven, best employees!
  • The weak link on our farms is always between our ears, it’s not money, it’s not resources, it’s not seeing opportunity
  • Adaptable buildings to host many uses to avoid building up of pathogens
  • Silvopasture, 80 days. The pigs transformed with latent seed in the seed bank (they remove the landscape in the forest, the pigs awakened them with their disturbance).
  • Timing is strategic, monitoring to see what you get. Leave them too long it goes to weeds, too short it goes to brambles and bushes and forest succession.
  • Electric fence with nylon ropes around trees. Pennies. Nothing planted. Everything activated in the understory of the forest, by the pigs, grow their own feed whilst the forest is growing, so it’s cashflow.
  • Cows prune grass – refresh
  • Moving – mobbing – mowing, principles of herbivores in nature
  • Electric fence allows us to put a steering wheel an accelerator and a break on the tool that is the herbivore
  • Thank God I live today and not 100 yrs ago
  • I couldn’t live without electric fence, chainsaw, front loading tractor, water pipe…
  • Don’t demonize the cow
  • Mega fauna on the world’s large prairies
  • If we are going to build soil, biomimicry, this os how we are going to do it.
  • Water becomes a critical element, needs to be piped in, not have them soil their own drinking water.
  • Portable shade trees: we don’t want them under a real tree: builds up pathogens and we want the manure out in the field!
  • Pick a spot and you can treat it: the animals will transform it one day
  • K-line gravity fed watering system from NZ
  • Sudex, corn, barley, rye… increase sugary feed for livestock in summer: concept is to regraze sooner than normal. The cows are not happy when we use them to aggressively graze down the old pasture to prepare the area for direct drilling, but one day of pain to a lot of gain: double graze, incredible amount of biomass in one day. 450 days gained on this double pass.
  • Very little equipment. 50cents to 1 dollar capitalization. Not 4 dollars to 1 as normal, for equipment and buildings (not including the land cost)

Darren J. Doherty – Interior – El Mercadal Auditorium – Creating Profit out of Practice (1)

  • There is no job more complex than agriculture. Most diversity of skill sets needed.
  • Agriculture did not start off with a blueprint, a university plan.
  • Don’t take on too much. You will almost 100% fail. Go a bit slower and treat each enterprise a bit more seriously.
  • The mental climate is the biggest challenge we face. How to practice agriculture is very well settled, nothing is really new. It’s the human stuff that we gotta get sorted.
  • What are your core motivations?
  • Self determination is key
  • You don’t have to all get along, it’s not healthy
  • Whole under Management
  • Stakeholders
  • Resource Base
  • Statement of purpose
  • Quality of Life
  • Future Resource Base –> Humans and landscape like rewards. Know where you want to work towards. We want to get better. Clear pathway and it is being planned through the pathway of the business.
  • Sharing Economy
  • For a lot of you your narrative is way ahead of your reality, customers like seeing what you preach.
  • Flexible and portable watering system. Make sure to code. Map your water assets.
  • Make a franchise prototype, so that anyone can come in and replace you. Do not store all the info in one person’s head. Stuff happens. Design for the redundancy of the practitioner.
  • Swales are aggressive treatments. The whole landscape should be the swale. Cover the landscape! Import mulch or bring in animals or plant cover crop.
  • Only need a couple of mm of hay, not straw, on the surface. Straw or wood chip evaporates too fast. Life begets life. You don’t need deep mulch for whole landscape covering and it’s too expensive.

Darren J. Doherty – Exterior (Son Felip/Algaiarens) – Keyline

  • Managing your water in the landscape.
  • Uncovered soil: dry crust and no life. Minimal ground cover makes for soil that is alive.
  • Starting point in regeneration of landscapes is to cover the soil, from there we can control rainfall.
  • Hard to integrate animals in landscape with young trees.
  • Smaller landscape consider geese as herbivores that cycle the vegetation.
  • Observe the soil: soporific fungi, very small amount only because of the lack of moisture, plant canopy is very low, moisture disappears.
  • Keep canopy so that the shade of the grasses can still catch the dew because of difference in temp night and day and close to sea — value of dew! Keep the pasture/grass a bit higher.
  • More fungal attack with more moisture.
  • On this pasture right now the primary agent of decomposition is oxygen. The carbon oxidises and it goes up in the air as CO2 — chemical decomposition not biological. Add humidity by adding animals — biological decomposition. This binds the fungal activity to the soil.
  • Sunlight, Water and CO2 turns into sugar from photosynthesis — the magic that drives the whole show. You need leaves to keep the moisture underneath them. Shorter: needs to keep using the starch in its root system to keep recovering.
  • Polysaccharides — sugars are the Cash Flow of the soil. Sugar, we need it down, not pull it up from the roots.
  • Look at diversity of plant species. Diversity is 30 or more species. That will take some time to get there (now 5 or 6)
  • Don’t disempower yourself if you don’t know the names of the plants — dig samples up and look at roots. Why long root going deep down? What’s the purpose of the root’s physiology? Ask yourself questions? Why is this plant here? What is the function of this root?
  • Humans with mechanical mind gets rid of the tools that are already decompacting: plows!
  • Thistle ( Carduus, Cirsium, and Onopordum) roots go down 3m in one year. No plow can plow down 3 metres!
  • I would trust the plant over a human any day!
  • Function is more important than the diversity in early stages
  • But I would keep the canopy a bit higher
  • I am not worried about the competition between these and the cultivation of the olive trees, because these plants are C3s, cool season plants, warm season plants C4.
  • The C3s will be brown or dead so there will not be any interaction.
  • Cynodon dactylon (a C4) — Bayer/Monsanto makes a lot of money off of this plant… summer active plant, its root system is reflective of compaction. It loves it.
  • Many pasture seeds can remain viable for 200 yrs. Small changes of management can change the landscape. They react to different actions.
  • Cows or sheep for more than one week on a small area, vegetation will have changed totally. Probably thistles, because they react to the nitrogen quick.
  • Next step of water control is through row orientation. Row based. We have planted approximately 250.000 olive tree. Sometimes we planted them opposite to the contour, for the control of water.
  • Most agriculturist are experts at compacting. Not very much expertise in improving soil structure.
  • We can manage plants, add different minerals, adjust proportion from calcium to magnesium but still every soil has its limits because it is part of a landscape.
  • But we can also change the orientation. Drainage is not on contour, it’s perpendicular. Don’t always think you always have to work on contour. Look at your catchment. Keep working on soil structure, improve carbon in the soil.
  • Increase ratio of fungi to bacteria in this soil. In grassland ideally 1 to 2, but it could be 1 to 1. In forest opposite 4 or 5 to 1. Try to adjust balance in favour of fungus in the forest, grassland opposite.
  • Disturbance of the soil (plowing) is oxidation… releases CO2. It has to stop because it is killing our planet.
  • If you are going to use a machine (because of our mechanical mind, we have an addiction to steel), use a subsoiler/Yeomans Keyline Plow. Brings a lot of air in but also a lot of space for water.
  • Sometimes you need to give a little bit of fertilizing because often these systems are so depleted.
  • Also irrigation if needed. Depends on the rains. Timely irrigation is one of the best fertilizers 50mm at the right time makes a huge difference. 25mm in one month, 25 a month later.
  • Maximum leaf to stem ratio. At this growth stage most energy (sugars) goes into the roots. That is the moment to cut. If there is no more rain, those annual plants will die. But you have put a load of carbohydrates in the soil (sugars) and all that biomass on the soil. All of the max root systems offering pathways underground for water.
  • Row Orientation Options Trying to balance input costs, externalities and the production. Keyline pattern ticks a lot more boxes bit is least used.
  • Grid pattern – dehydration landscape
  • Contour – 84 % of the grid pattern
  • Keyline- 93% of the grid pattern

Joel Salatin – Exterior (Son Felip/Algaiarens) – Cattle Grazing

  • Precision grazing. Not too much not too little. The first thing we need to do is make a measurement of our inventory to a constant. Cow equivalents.
  • Convert this herd 27 head, some younger, 24 cow equivalents. That is our constant.
  • What if we have 27 cows and 27 calves of 2 months 1/5th of a cow, what then if also 2 bulls which is 1,5 cow… moving them everyday we test ourselves every day. We observe the herd at 18:30 and they are not even interested in moving, so they have had enough.
  • The electric fence wire is at nose level height or our torso level — should be at your wrist height held next to your hips. It’s the same for everyone.
  • Most problems with electric fence are it is either too loose or the voltage is too low.
  • Hair is an insulator, so it takes a while for them to get shocked therefore it needs to be tight, the right height and at least 4 to 5.000 volts for a hot spark.
  • Ground rod has to be the same amount of surface area in the ground as the wire length. Not too thin wire. Lots of resistance. Can pull down your energizer voltage.
  • First set up the access. Fence that out. Because the road now has become a permanent thing on the landscape. 1m on each side fencing. You want it to be the artery so that 1 person can move up to hundreds of animals on their own. Every 100m a gate on each side to move the chicken mobiles.
  • Most properties don’t have the stone walls. They complicate the design. They are stagnant.
  • Waterline right down one edge of every road/lane.
  • We know how much to give them because we move them every day. In one month you get skilled in observing and knowing what they need. If at the end of the day or when they are lying down earlier there still is 10% on the ground we want to give them 10% less tomorrow.
  • We have to look at the manure. We want pumpkin pies. We don’t want sheetcake. Too humid. You can tell a lot about their feed quality and performance by looking at their manure.
  • If you waste 10% every day, you have lost about 4 days in your grazing program. If you push them too hard you lose on the other side.
  • 72 cow days per hectare, 80 cow days per hectare, 40 in third pass… add that up and check off next year against these historical records.
  • You can’t go by the land area, you have to go on your track record. Does it go up or down
  • You never want to have cows go over the fence! You always want to roll the fence up. Good training. Don’t teach them bad habits.
  • The procedure has to be the same every day.
  • Insulators on the stakes to be able to centre the wires.
  • Pinheiro says though to not have chickens after the cows, because they destroy the pumpkin pies that we need for the beetles.
  • Don’t take water from aquifers, yes from ponds for example in freezing conditions if you want to have moving water to prevent it from freezing (keep it flowing even when the cows have had enough and the tub is filled up to the overflow.
  • No molasses or sweeteners on the ground. We can put a mineral box/kelp (Ascophylum nodosum) next to thistles or put our shade mobiles to put on the thistles. You use your infrastructure to catch the movement of the animals and that way you get rid of the plants in the first pass, another area in the second pass etc.
  • Sheep better for almond and vines. Special sheep muzzle has also been invented so they can only eat when their heads are down and not when they lift up their head (so they cannot eat the grapes or low hanging branches of almond trees). Or poultry. Chickens or turkeys. Goats are not preferred in these situations because they are too aggressive.

Menorca 10 May 2019 – Masterclass Day 2

Joel Salatin – Interior – El Mercadal Auditorium – Animals

  • Chickens after the cows. Totally free range. Egg mobiles. Let out it morning. They eat everything from larvae in the cow pies to earthworms but we have seen no decrease in biodiversity (earthworms’ eggs pass through the chickens and are returned to the earth).
  • Egg mobiles: 150m of small diameter air hose on a 25m garden hose reel to be able to reach out farther in the field, feed every 3 to 4 days, feeders in the middle of the egg mobile, slatted floors. 2 smaller mobiles easier to manoeuvre than 1 big one.
  • 300.000 dollars worth of eggs as a byproduct rather than having to pay for Ivermectin etc to sanitize and as a fertilizing spreader. The animals are doing the work and they love their “work”.
  • Clean eggs: make sure they don’t’ want to roost in the egg nests. 10 hens per nest box.
  • Guard geese: some are great, 80% are terrible. So you have to work through some. If you find a good one though, geese live up to 40 yrs, so will be around for a while.
  • Electric netting (bottom square is dead, so it doesn’t earth out) for the specific egg production: 1000 chickens per quarter of an acre.
  • Move them every 3 days. Height of fence is 42 inches. We don’t cut their wings, the electric fence gives off a variegated colour, which gives the chicken a confused image, and she doesn’t know where the ends of the fence are.
  • Chicken psychology. Multispecies makes for confused pathogens. Chickens together with rabbits and pigs. On deep bedding (compost). Empty the space and then cultivate vegetables on it, as it has been composted and sanitized by the animals.
  • Multifunction your structures. Fixed structures dominate our decisions. Not good. New context could come along. On Menorca we are stuck with the stone walls. They complicate our work.
  • Hoop houses: multifunctional infrastructure: Concrete floor as a barrier underneath deep bedding to keep them from digging down all the way to New Zealand in the winter time. We didn’t want to lose the opportunity though to cultivate vegetables. So have trenches in the middle of some concrete sideways.
  • Hay wagons when not in use can be shade structures for turkeys on the field. 1 acre of grass put through rabbits is worth 40.000 dollars of fertilizer!
  • Don’t become too weird for your market. A tough chicken to cook is not going to sell. So we use the “normal” breed. We are in transition. The market moves incrementally. We don’t wanna go out of business because of stubbornness. We choose our compromises.
  • A chicken doesn’t have a stomach, remember to give the chicks grit. Density x mass x time = formula for stress factor.
  • Design our structures for deep bedding (carbon diaper): side walls high enough. Wood shavings for broiler chicks. Straw, hay and sawdust mats together and you get all sort of problems and pathogens.
  • Portable brooders can be moved with a truck. The chicken tractors are moved every day. Young farmers are scared away by high entrance cost: land cost.
  • Mobile structures! Yes they rot away from time to time but it is cheap. You can put them on land that is rented or even given to you because every other farmer around you wants the extra nitrogen. It doesn’t need building licenses.
  • Modular structures! You can do it on cash flow, without debt. The way to scale (up and down) without breaking the bank.
  • Management intensive! People over energy, fertilizers and high capital. Better farms with more people! Our equity moves to non physical, which cannot be repossessed: skills, clients… it makes your business nimble. 1 person can move 5000 chickens in 1 hr. Constant movement keeps the vegetation on the soil.
  • Turkeys cover a lot more ground than chickens. They don’t get the electricity thing. Introduce them to the net when they are small enough to not run over the net, big enough for them not to fit through the holes of the netting. Turkeys eat rocks: grit. Their manure is highly mineralized. Feed buggy and shade structure.
  • Kosher Halal kill. We don’t wanna electrocute or gas, it’s traumatic. Polyface has an illegal processing setup. We do whole bird cut ups as well as pieces. We compost all the guts in the compost lasagna style. We use no disinfectants, chlorine or antimicrobials. Again, illegal.
  • Every type of bedding under the different animals is handled differently. With the chickens it is only cleaned out once a year, leaving corners of inoculants. Cows gets its bedding composted and, then it goes on the field that the hay gets cuts from later, to close that loop.
  • We never sell hay, it’s like selling your fertility.
  • Pigs poop in one space. Tractor picks it up, it gets composted a month or so, and then it gets used in the field.
  • Insect farming to feed the chicken is fantastic but in order for us to raise enough of them in order to meet our protein needs, it would be a whole new enterprise in and of itself. One of the problems is the mixing and handling.
  • Grain is easy to handle and easy to store. Crickets and grasshoppers and worms etc. add bodies and juices to the business it might be making things too complicated. Diversifying is good but too much makes it inefficient.

People – Couples

  • If you want your significant other to go with you, you need to know where you are going.
  • Mission statement. Allan Savory insists on this. This is the thesis of your life. The soul. The focus.
  • We are always tempted to go somewhere else, every day there are new opportunities.
  • Develop this once sentence so that you can get other people to go with you.
  • Honouring diversity: number 1 reason about why farms fail is disagreement between husband and wife. You have to talk about your differences. Starter – finisher, spender – saver, there needs to be trust. Introvert – extravert.
  • 15.000 people coming to your farm per year, that is a problem for an introvert. But as Teresa is the saver and in charge of the pocket book, she understands that we need to have people come through the farm. Solution was to have scheduled tours. Cleany – messy… you have to find common ground. So in the end we developed the lunatic tours and it became a $36000 enterprise that came out of trying to solve a problem.

People – Children

How you interest your children in working with you?

  1. They want to be feeling important. Integrate them in a meaningful way, not ‘maid’ work.
  2. Love to work, never use it as a punishment. Make all work task oriented not time oriented, it teaches fooling around to just make up time. Task oriented teaches them completion.
  3. Give them freedom to decide. They have got to be able to fail.
  4. Create investment opportunities. Let them have something that they own. The get to know stewardship.
  5. Encourage entrepreneurship through autonomous business. Sweet spot between 8 and 11 years old. Both my children had $20000 dollars in their bank account from their own businesses. Daniel rabbits, Rachel baking business. No allowance was given, they made it themselves.
  6. Maintain humour. Smell the roses. Put a comma in life.
  7. Pay for labour, don’t pay for chores. Some things you have to do in life without getting paid for like put your shoes away, wash your clothes. But if they are doing things that really takes something off our plate, we pay them. We also let them spend their own money so they gain financial wisdom.
  8. Praise. Praise. Praise. Complaining is really easy, even easier if you are a master… easy to get frustrated, but you have to praise any action your child initiates. ‘We have got to put equity in the emotional gas tank’ — Stephen Covey.
  9. Enjoy your vocation, enthusiasm is contagious! Don’t show your kids to moan, they will not want to follow in your footsteps. If you cannot enjoy it, change it so that it does become enjoyable.
  10. Back off from personal domains. Successional. Let the kids take some authority. We have family meetings with our adult son, so we know that there is a space to work through conflicts scheduled. Designate it on the calendar. We have found enormous value to brainstorming sessions. No judgement! No negative comments. Maybe there are good ideas of your team that are not being captured. Make space for them routinely.

People – Community

  • Every team player you have has to fit the community: family, clients, neighbour
  • They have to fit our community, culture, character.
  • The quickest way to destroy trust in any relationship is to have unexpressed expectations. Make sure everybody gets the expectations. “Move chickens” needs to be understood.
  • We develop protocols. We don’t want hourly employees because that creates tension, we want people to take care of projects. Standard operating protocols.
  • Time oriented vs task oriented. We have done time and motion based studies so we know what the benchmark values are for all our standard procedures. Self-vetting system.
  • People control their own time. Memorandum Of Understanding. MOU. Not contracts. A clause that says nobody can sue anyone for anything.
  • Thinking that your labour is worth more than what the task is worth, you won’t be able to scale that ip. So you need to find people that are at the stage in life where they will be happy with the 20 dollar per hour job where you want to be charging 40 dollars for your own hours, so you can the move on.
  • Interns are an option, although it is a hard program, it’s only for people that have a heart to mentor. For someone who wants to share the information and has a passion for the skills to see the profession go on. The objective is mentorship.
  • This idea is way older than public schooling (Bismarck, who started institutional education because he needed soldiers for his army). It’s a historically valid way of transferring skills and knowledge. Interns go from 1st of May until 30th of Sept.
  • Apprentices go from 15th of Oct to 15th of Oct. Interns can apply for apprenticeship. Aug 1 to 10 you can apply for internship. To pick the interns, we are precise, comprehensive. No exceptions.
  • We give them 10 questions. In writing and a video. No vegans, as it doesn’t fit our culture. We don’t discuss the applications between us, to not influence each other. Choosing the interns is a process we have a process for. If they pass the application they have to come for a 2 day check out to live with us and they fill out the Briggs Myers Personality Test too.
  • Have faith in the system. Confide in the process.

Darren J. Doherty – Exterior (Son Felip/Algaiarens) – Pastured Pigs

  • Omnivore manure is always richer than a herbivore’s manure
  • Careful not too many nutrients, because more leaf than fruit.
  • When intercropping it is necessary to monitor which crop is more valuable? Test areas when bringing in a new layer. Pigs or almonds? Which product is more valuable?
  • We are currently in a green drought.
  • We don’t know if it is a good moment to import the pigs now to the almonds, the trees will already be under stress.
  • Choose a pig breed that doesn’t dig so much? Farmers still don’t know yet how this impact is…
  • Bury your pipe always, sun degrades and the pigs and cows also destroy plastic.
  • 40 by 40m, 50 pigs for 1-5 days with no more than 20% ground cover loss.
  • Density influences disturbance and manure spreading.
  • Supplement the pig in dry conditions. Barley is good for high protein. Manage the nutrition of the animals! The biggest cost is food, buying and handling.
  • Commercial production doesn’t allow quality going up and down, restaurants and clients will soon disappear. It might not be 100% organic or coherent but it is what feeds the world and it is regenerative regardless.
  • Adapting the height of commercially started almonds will mean that the trees will be unproductive for a few years. But when start from 0 yes you can do it right with a view to incorporating animals in the future. Choose your compromises.
  • Management is key.
  • Sheep is an animal that can stack functions like meat and wool.
  • Test your understanding of monitoring of groundcover per m2 and you will get good at it.
  • Darren and a group of producers and marketers in Victoria worked with the government to changed the laws about pig density, got facilitation and invited the politicians out to the farms and fed them. They made sure there was common ground. Understood the other side. Now the law says that you need minimum 50% of groundcover.
  • Not just green plants, also litter. You need to get down to the ground level, especially when you are just starting, to see the bare areas between plants.
  • Also use drones for monitoring — using DroneDeploy app. Same flight path and same altitude every month or season. Spectral analysis. Both for monitoring and in preparation for a for government inspection. Showing leadership through monitoring, to prove that they are improving the amount of ground cover and landscape function.
  • Prevention of fire is more of a grazing question than a pig system question. You need high carbon to have more green to prevent fires.
  • Summer active grasses start to appear when 4 or 5% carbon in the soil. It stays raining underground
  • 150.000 litres of water in the soil per hectare per % of carbon in the soil. Try and be a carbon farmer so that you can have green plants throughout the year. Cut or heavily graze around the perimeter as a buffer of 20m or so of vegetation management.

Darren J. Doherty – Exterior (Son Felip/Algaiarens) – Cereals

  • The primary agent of weed control of conventional organic cereal production is cultivation during or in field preparation.
  • Use fire or cultivation, organic cereal operation has very low carbon sequestration happening because it is very hard in a commercial organic cereal growing system.
  • Some herbicides still used therefore, as a means to an end. It will become unnecessary, pragmatic approach to survival of your business.
  • Certified organic reduce your tools and prevent you from getting to a lot of the outputs that we want to achieve.
  • C4 are warm season grasses. C3 is winter cereal. You can grow C3 in a dormant bed of C4. We have problems to finding them in Spain but they are on the roadsides. That is where the carbon is higher. The pragmatic dance here.
  • Bruce Maynard: lazy farmer. ‘No Kill’ farming. AUD$12/hectare cost. Low risk but also low probability of grain yield.
  • Colin Seis – Pasture Cropping – AUD$85/ha cost, he can get cereal crop or if it is not a good year then he still gets forage for his herd. All conventional tools are available and applied in Pasture Cropping as the farmer decides.
  • Conventional Cropping AUD$180+/ha has the most risk.
  • Don’t suppress ecological succession, do test areas, incorporate sheep in the cereal crops — especially at the G22-G28 stages of growth (Zadok Scale) where they can graze out the emerging broad leaf (forbs) crop weeds.

Joel Salatin – Exterior (Algaiarens) – Silvopasture

  • Light control, more stems when more fertility, measured at DBH, diameter at breast height = basal area (base covered by the trunk).
  • Silvo pasture conversion and/or Forestry
  • Forestry: we want this to remain a forest.
  • Many people agree that the oaks were first.
  • Measure DBH in inches. Double it. Convert it to feet. That is the diameter you want to clear out around that three. No more because if you let in too much light, you germinate more sprouts on the trunk. You want that tree to prune itself and grow up tall and straight so you can use it for timber. It can double its growth in the next year if you take out the competition.
  • We need more forests and fewer trees, density is not good, too much competition.
  • Pine trees are worthless. What do you do with them? We chip them up and use them as compost on the open fields. You can also make planks out of them to use for construction.
  • Sabina protected tree… funny times with legal stuff. Would they take pigs to jail if they were to root it up?
  • Hilarious the situation… the forests are dead. Static system. How to bring back the life? Trees are living things, they have life cycles. You can’t go in and say that they want to keep this tree forever.
  • Insert by Karen and Candela: Pine trees are good pioneers for the region. Here they a purpose. Dune preservation. Add biomass to forest systems when they fall over through storms.
  • Joel says yes any biomass is better than no biomass. But the variety is better and pines tend to take over so management is necessary. Many seeds on the forest floor. They are waiting for disturbance. Latent seedbank. If we change what is going on, change the management, we change the vegetation.
  • If we wanted this to be silvopasture: wider spaced good quality trees for lumber. Chop up bushes and pile around the trunk like a hugelkultur bed around the base of the trees to protect from the pigs and also prevent the sprouting of side branches plus also add biomass and nutrients to the soil around the tree.
  • A lot of work yes but you just start. Survey ribbon. First observe. Choose the good trees. Mark them with ribbons. Take time for it.
  • Don’t make long term decisions with the chainsaw running.
  • If the pigs start nibbling on the trees, they are there too long. If it is dry they will not disturb much, if it is wet yes they will dig much so observe and move them when necessary. They will integrate compost into the soil. They will start opening it up, eat low hanging leaves. With time the grass will start to appear, then you get silvo pasture.
  • Don’t worry too much about speed, yes direction. If you are getting brambles or weeds you are either under disturbing or over disturbing.
  • 12 days is absolute cut off to move pigs. There is no formula though, it depends on each land, climate, vegetation etc.
  • For example start with 30 pigs in a hectare. Have enough to justify going to check on them every day.
  • If you have wild pigs, careful they don’t mix with the breeding pigs. We are only allowed to shoot them through winter in Spain. In Portugal it depends on the moon phase. Every country has its own laws.
  • Keep the pigs in with electric fence, nylon strings as insulators around trees in the corners, 10.000 volts to train them. Put a spring in the middle of the string for training so that it doesn’t break every time they run through it, but they will feel the spark. After 4 times through that, you have got them, they won’t repeat it.
  • How will you load them, to move them? They walk faster than a cow. You can move them a pretty good distance. They will follow someone with a bucket of corn. First let the pigs go hungry. Then set up a funnel with gates. Put some feed out at the other end of the funnel. Not made with ropes because they can break that. Chains with pigtails or pipes. Coral them. Load them up.
  • Pigs kill the bushes, pigs eat above their shoulders and the bushes need more time to recover.
  • Marketing standpoint, pigs win over sheep over goats, due to ethnic flavours. Pigs make the grass appear the fastest due to the disturbance, and they have the best income per hectare (better liked as meat than sheep and definitely than goat).

Menorca 10 May 2019 – Masterclass Day 3

Joel Salatin – Interior – El Mercadal Auditorium – Marketing

  • A lot of emotional investment in our products.
  • Nothing happens really until there is a sale.
  • Marketing is extremely important.
  • The retail dollar = 4 income streams: Production, Processing, Marketing & Distribution
  • Full retail value — Most farmers are only making income from one of these streams.
  • Weather, pests, disease… really influence the production stream. But drought does not affect the stainless steel processing vat, the grasshoppers don’t eat the tyres on your distribution truck, fungus does not destroy the wifi connection you have with your clients.
  • First question: how small can it be? Start with 1 client.
  • Who is your customer going to be? We are looking for people that are interested in nutrition and wellness, how old are they, what does she do for recreation, how many kids does he have, where do they shop, eat
  • You have to picture that person as specific as possible. What is it that we want to convey to our customer? Play with your product. Be familiar with your own product. Coaching is fashionable. Become a coach. A guru. It’s surprising how little people know about food and nutrition any more.
  • Price with respect. Two ways of looking at it: underprice (the weight of the world is on my shoulders) or overprice (I feed the world).
  • A rule of thumb for pricing: if 10% of your clients are not complaining about your price, it is too low! If nobody says anything ever, then you are leaving money on the table.
  • Psychology of pricing = price pointing
  • Success and failure is often not about the big times, it is about the little things
  • Get more time efficient, even 5 mins per day, or 10 cents per egg, it adds up to quite a lot at the end of the year.
  • Diversify. We want the customer to be more dependent on us. Easier to find 100 people who will spend 1000 $ with you than find 1000 people to spend 100 $ with you. The hard part is to get a client in the first place.
  • Make the clients you have happier, offer them more options. You can’t be good at everything equally though so don’t overstretch. Many have niches in our livestock or fruit. The more the client can buy from us, the more they depend on us and they will be really loyal. Give them meat, fruit, veg, eggs, honey
  • Getting a person to detour from normal shopping channels for just one product is really hard. Collaborate with other farmers. Sell apple juice from your friend’s farm. Our customers are a knowledgeable tribe. You are selling to a specific niche of client, they are conscious of nutrition, so 1 client of yours is worth 100 of a normal supermarket client.
  • We are also processing our old animals into organic pet food working with pet food producers. We give eggs to a local pasta producer and now can sell pasta. We get cheese, chicken stock etc. — collaboration is a big deal.

Sales Force

  • Question is: how can I pay for another person if I can hardly pay myself?
  • An entrepreneur smells opportunities, based on experience. Example is the Metropolitan Buying Club, pick up point, every product on the truck is already sold. 5% commission rather than 20$ per hour. No wage guarantee, no risk to your enterprise, the bigger a check a check you write to your partner, the bigger the check is you are going to receive.
  • Strengths finder: program that finds a partner that is strong where you are weak and focus on your strength.
  • Differentiation: You need a Aha-product. Orthodoxy is built on homogeneity. We want to show we are different. Aha!
  • Customer friendly, bulk prices, custom butchering: our client could phone the butcher and order and then they could pick it up from us — is this customer friendly or is this a hurdle?
  • Richard, the distribution driver, said, “…make it simpler…”
  • The customer is terrified of talking to the butcher. They had to make decisions! The paradox of choice. Don’t give too much choice.
  • How easy are you to buy from? Difficulty of boxes/subscription services: it is always the same if you have a lot of one thing. You need a gateway product: eggs. It’s our most price sensitive food: every person has eggs every day of the year.
  • Turkey is the least price sensitive. People pay more for it. Eggs are therefore the product where the margin is hardest to gain, but eggs are the ticket in.
  • What is it that you can sell that is a little thing? We started with hot dogs. It’s an entry level product. People in the US don’t know how to cook food anymore.
  • All change is incremental. Let our customers have incremental entry level in price and in product. Transition. Value adding! Turn a chicken into boneless breast filet. Do the same with half a bull and turn it into hot dogs. Raise the floor of the salvage product.

Darren J. Doherty – Interior – El Mercadal Auditorium – Creating Profit out of Practice (2)

(Questions first, as problem with proyector)


  • Question 1 – Source, quality and quantity?
  • Quantity of different qualities. Livestock: some will tolerate lesser grade of quality. Chicken and humans need high quality.
  • Inline or online drippers have different abilities to deal with different qualities of water. Yeomans used to say 15 to 20% of your land should be under water.
  • Now we are 50 yrs later: land value and returns are very different, aquifer depletion is an issue. Machinery cost and diesel etc have gone up loads. So to develop water resources is very different.
  • How much water do we need? Or I am going to get as much water as I can and the design a system? Turn it around: start with a water audit. How much do we need to use now for the existing systems and what quality of water do we need. And then look at what we have got.
  • For adding any new enterprises you need to look at the metrics of which agricultural product will give you the highest dollar value for your investment. Highest value product per litre is honey. Irrigated rice in the desert is a disaster. Irrigated vegetables very high value especially when biointensive and deep mulch. But if you have high calcium and high pumping costs etc your price of water gets too high.
  • There are different filtration systems or magnets, lot of our farmers are perfectly happy with them.
  • Change the inline drippers for online. They are easier maintenance and it is visible when they are clogged up.
  • Other sources: absorbed rain water!!
  • Cover your soil! When bare rock, you have to pick your battles!
  • Land capability assessment: which area the best, 1 to 8. Most return for least investment is on 1. Focus heavily there. Reinvest in other areas that are harder to work on.
  • Category of Water #1 = Infiltration — this is the lowest cost strategy.
  • Category of Water #2 =Surface water storage (ponds or waste water) — is a capital infrastructure and also check the salt! Reduce the amount of salt coming in.
  • I’m not opposed to the use of septic tank as primary treatment to then polish that water by additional processes, using transpiration, less water out than in.
  • Best system is Jay Abrahams in the UK ‘WET System’. A food and fibre production system.
  • Brad Lancaster is also really good but a lot of that is about separation and that is a lot management, first use a septic tank and save on management.
  • One of Jay’s early systems treated 3.8pH water from apple cider production, it would burn you! 500.000 gallons of that quality water and he can swim in the last pond! As a professional microbiologist working in municipal effluent treatment plants he was also taught to use gravel, but Jay was inspired by Bill Mollison’s ‘Permaculture: A Designers Manual’ and looked at swales and soils with their almost infinite surface area as an inspiration — add root systems, add organisms, it gets bigger in surface area inside of itself. Economy of scale and scope. It hasn’t grown physically but its scope has grown lots. Nothing too fancy, just a good relationship with nature, solid system.
  • Category of Water #3 =Groundwater
  • Category of Water #4 =Rivers and channels
  • #REXi3LaLomaViva course in June in Granada (La Loma Viva) and the #REX 13-week online course are where we help you make your own farm plan.


  • 5 Kingdoms of nature drive soil characteristics
  • You can drive a soil in a certain direction with different management techniques. Woody plants and non woody plants are different.
  • The best agriculture lands were not forests before.
  • 50% carbon in a tree itself. When it drops its branches and leaves it is digested by saprophytic fungi. They breathe – just like us! They use up carbon but they also exhale.
  • When you clear the forest it is just sand. The carbon cycle in a mature forest is in homeostasis and it depends on the trees. If you take the trees away there is nothing.
  • Grasses cycle carbon in a different way. They exude carbon into the dense root system, store hardly any in themselves. By-product are sugars — polysaccharides.
  • Corollary: there is much more carbon going into the soil as opposed into woody tissue.
  • Pampas, prairie etc. all these great plains they used to be perennial grasslands. Helps us understand that planting trees is not always the answer.
  • Find the right partner, from the get go that would be non woody plants.
  • ProSilva Forestry Principles
  • Where are the systems at ecologically? Which intervention can we take to improve the system.
  • Forest ecology and a human ecology. We would do a lot better if we would model the forest in our economies.
  • Biomimicry: look at what nature does to protect itself or to function and then make a tool or machine that copies that. Example is: protector cactus / arbor shield.


  • Understand the connection between the buildings.
  • Retrofit.
  • Make flow diagrams of all the operations that occur.
  • Sell your shed (venue for weddings)
  • Use your verandah (organize meals and tasting sessions) — multifunction and build community around your brand.
  • Get outside – don’t put your livestock inside!
  • All buildings are degrational infrastructure. Not regenerative. They decay. Keep the animals and their structures moving.
  • Keep the animals cool. If we are going to be producing livestock, let’s make their life as nice as we can.
  • — Autistic woman, leading woman in extreme empathy towards animals too.
  • Animal welfare is mostly reason for people going vegetarian or vegan, one of the best ways to meet these concerns is to kill the animal on the farm it has lived on. Most stress is in generated in that moment when they are put in a crate and driven away to the slaughterhouse.
  • It is stressful for them but also for us: we eat stress hormones. Normally it is illegal. Sometimes legal differences between chickens and poultry to cows and pigs. Sometimes legal to kill poultry in your property.
  • People who are eating meat would do good in killing an animal from time to time to get more empathy.
  • Don’t stack too many enterprises too soon too fast. Get mastery after innovation, document and monitor. Do analysis. Go through a map/chart and observe your leakages if any. What are all the side products


  • 5 different styles of fencing
  • 1. Perimeter: permanent.
  • 2. Yards/Corrals
  • 3. Laneways
  • 4. Subdivision
  • 5. Temporary
  • Where are fences placed according to the landscape. What is appropriate? What do we want to fence in and out?
  • Dry stone walls on the Balearics: value is very personal and also determined by regulation. Here the value is a habitat value. Aesthetic and cultural value. We would keep the stone walls that are still in good condition. But if we are going to build new fences then the position often changes in slope, soil type and land capability.
  • Kiwitech International Ltd. electrical fencing and water supply. #Technograzing. Low input.
  • The biggest cost in electric fencing is the post and erection.
  • Purpose of a post is to keep the wire off the ground. Don’t listen to post manufacturers, they will say post needed every 3 to 6m. It can be as far away as you can, use springs to keep the tension.
  • Portable energizer are extremely powerful these days.
  • Try to not have vegetation touching the wire, maybe you have to cut a strip back or keep the vegetation lower than the lowest wire.
  • Use as powerful an energizer as you can afford.
  • For perimeter systems use actual wire: lot less resistance. Flexibility to move wires for different species.
  • Map your property and give fences codes and note the hectares on each field/paddock.
  • Use kilos per hectare if you are a livestock producer. 100 head may weigh whatever. Kilos is better. Analysis based on spatial observation and documentation.


  • Landscape function — Soil surface analysis and soil surface indicators — David Tongway
  • Monitor from the air, with drones. Price has come down a lot. DroneDeploy offers flight plans you can follow and resolution is fantastic, very detailed when you zoom in. Democratizing information. Spectral analysis. Colour of the vegetation tells you how much it is photosynthesizing, ground cover — shows us where the grass is the ripest. You can then decide where to put your animals. Every soil gives you a different colour which will give a different reading. Citizen science!
  • You need living things in the soil and on the soil. Elaine Ingham: in the soil if you don’t have livestock, you are the livestock: energy or humanure or import organic matter from elsewhere really hard to farm carbon without animals. Even worms and soil organisms.
  • Brittle landscapes are very fragile. Mosaic disturbance regimes needed.
  • Biology versus Iron and Diesel — Thistle root system huge even still at 3m — 4mm of black soil around the roots as a result of sugary exudates, mycorrhizal fungi and moisture; red soil with higher carbon counts. Thistles are to be respected for that.
  • What is more effective as a subsoiler? The subsoiler or the thistles? The thistles! And for free! But we do have to manage it.
  • Thistles are bitter because they are bringing up minerals and laying them up on the soil. Worthy of respect.
  • Less basal area though in future phases because we won’t need them anymore. Utilize them for their characteristics. Multiple things have to be done at once though.
  • Cereals without cultivation. Subsoiler that injects seed and biological fertilizer in one go: can’t buy it but yes buy it 😉 It’s multi-functioning machinery use.
  • Pasture cropping – Colin Seis – revolution in cereal production. Colin said to sow the seeds on either side of the subsoiler, to kill the plants you want to kill by aerating and sow the plants you want to live in between.

END (Two more Regrarians Platform layers missed, I had to leave to catch the ferry to Mallorca)Bravo Aline Van Moerbeke for this amazing work!

Leave a Reply