7 Options to Make Your Homestead More Eco-Friendly

| 6/22/2016 1:11:00 PM

Tags: sustainability, pollution, composting, crop rotation, rotational grazing, Megan Wild,

Megan WildGiven the recent emphasis on homesteading and self-sustainable living, as well as increasing interest in environmental protection and preservation, homesteaders and farmers of today have a lot to consider. Not only will their actions affect the future of our nation's farms, but they will also have an impact on food quality and production across the United States.

Rotate Your Crops

Crop rotation is a technique that has been used by highly successful farmers for centuries. Rotating your crops on a seasonal basis provides many benefits, but the practice ultimately serves to maintain the health and nutrition of your farmland's soil.

Potatoes, for instance, can produce specific fungi that damages future potatoes. In order to circumvent this, farmers simply plant their crops in different positions than the previous year. The fungi doesn't attack other crops, but planting more potatoes in the same spot will doom them.

Switch to Modern Fuels

Using biodiesel in your farm equipment can go a long way in cutting down on the harmful emissions produced by heavy-duty engines. In fact, studies from the EPA have shown that the emissions of farm implements that use a blend with only 20 percent biodiesel produce lower levels of unburned hydrocarbon materials, carbon monoxide and particular matter when compared to other fuels.

grazing cows in field

Manage the Grazing Habits of Animals

The act of managed or rotational grazing can be likened to crop rotation for live animals. Instead of forcing livestock to graze from the same fields day in and day out, proactive farmers use several different fields, one at a time, as a means of lowering their feed bills, promoting healthy grass and reducing the overall number of parasites on the land. Many common farm animals, especially cows, goats, sheep and geese, can even serve as a replacement for your gas-powered lawnmower.

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