Hello From Piwakawaka Valley

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7 years 7 months ago - 7 years 7 months ago #527152 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Hello From Piwakawaka Valley
Hello and congrats on your own bit of green (well, yellow!) land. I just had a look at your blog and found the article on permaculture zones really interesting - I think that is a great way to think about your property. We are still in early days at our place (coming up to 2 years in December) and still getting it to what we want it to be so that is something I think I can take on board when planning.

One thing that you could think about, even though dealing with the gorse might be a job for the future, if you want those areas to be paddocks at some point shade trees will be of benefit for your stock, and if you're into native wildlife then native trees are great, but aren't always the fastest growers, so if there is anyway to fight your way into the thickets and do a bit of planting sooner than later then that could get you a head-start. I've read that gorse can be a great nursery for getting natives started - not sure how that works so might be something to read up on; I know it is used in that way in some places. We have been planting a few trees this spring and it is something I wish we had done as soon as we got here.

Good luck, have fun, and can't wait to hear how things progress! :)

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.
Last edit: 7 years 7 months ago by Wren.

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7 years 7 months ago #527159 by Mudlerk
Dana, from the photo, looks like you already have some greenery poking up [or down, rather!] through the gorse, so maybe more desirable plants are on their way to taking over. If you do want natural regeneration, be sure not to burn off...that destroys the 'good' plants along with the gorse. On a lot of the formerly gorse-covered hills round Wellington, once they stopped clearing it annually, the native bush has come through and smothered it. Apparently the gorse, being, as LongRidge pointed out, a legume, feeds nitrogen to its successors, spelling its own doom! Take a couple of decades, though...and there have to be native seed sources not too far away.

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7 years 7 months ago #527164 by Hawkspur
The gorse dies off when it loses light to taller plants, performing the role of primary succession plants like manuka etc , providing shading and shelter to young seedlings, so it is much better for native succession than things like blackberry which don't mind low light levels. Secondary succession native plants like mahoe may poke over the top of undisturbed gorse within just 10 years, and within 30-50 the gorse is mostly kaput as the canopy has closed over it, depending on the available seed for birds to spread and soil/climate, but this can be sped up by interplanting natives at less than 1.5m spacing if you fancy clambering through the gorse. If yours is older, it will be easier to get through as it will have opened up. The younger dense stuff is the worst.
We are mainly letting the birds do ours, but plan to supplement plant in some areas, to either get things kickstarted with plants the birds no longer will find in the area, or where even gorse struggles on the drier steep faces.

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7 years 7 months ago #527180 by LongRidge
piwakawaka. Any goat can be used for meat, but some don't get big as quickly as others. If you are going to sell to a meat company, the weight is used as an indication of length of the goat, rather than age. Because the goats are processed on a sheep sized processing chain they must not drag along the ground, and Saanens and other breeds can grow to be very long. So 25 kg dead has been decided to be the biggest weight they will take. Boers grow to 25 kg easily, and they do not get too long, but because there are not enough in NZ to make lots of meat works for Boer goats, they are lumped in with the others.
Goats do not travel well. The last lot we sent off, it took three and a half hours to unload the truck because they all had to be individually dragged out of the far end of the truck, where they had stacked themselves. Thus we in NZ as goat meat exporters need small works close together and set up for goats, so say 10 works with a million goats each in the close vicinity. Your nearest goat works is Oamaru.
If you don't have gorse, then fibre or milk are better options for goat farming, with culls going to the works as a bye product.
If I were starting with goats, and had the time and inclination, and could kill 4 day old kids, I would run milking goats. If they are milked continuously some are able to stay in milk forever, so killing kids is not as much of a problem as it is with bobby calves.
If you are able to not get emotionally attached to your pets, because that will happen if you let it, most certainly try Boers. You may have far fewer problems than we have, especially with the emotional side.
Note to self .... we can't kill Lulu because she was raised by Yellow 2 pet Suffolk who was a virgin, nor Donna who was found just born at the bottom of our drive and had to be tube fed for 4 weeks until she decided that she could suck a teat, nor the rest of them :(

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7 years 7 months ago #527226 by spark
Replied by spark on topic Hello From Piwakawaka Valley
I understand that gorse seed can remain dormant in the soil for 50+ years :ohmy:
Bare ground (like what you get after a good burn off) provides the right conditions for gorse seed to germinate, and to make matters worse, the heat from the prior fire awakens some of the dormant seeds, readying them for germination...

So, if you are going to burn gorse, you almost certainly will get gorse regrowth, which you will need to deal with (wait for gorse seedlings to emerge after the fire, then spray and direct drill new pasture seed?)

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