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Free Permaculture Animal Forage Workshop

MARIPOSA – A workshop entitled “Integrating Poultry with Gardens, Orchards and More,” will be offered free of charge on Sunday, Nov. 16, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the One Light Bed and Breakfast Meeting House in Mariposa.

Ken Boche, permaculture designer and teacher, will lead the workshop, which is the last in the 2014 six-part series on Permaculture, and is open to the public.

The workshop will briefly review permaculture design principles and then proceed to how those principles lead to designing and creating habitats into which animals, especially poultry and other small animals, can be integrated.

The most relevant of the design principles is “Analysis and Matching of Needs and Yields,” which creates an understanding of what various animals need and how to create habitats which supply those needs to our chosen animals. It also guides one to understand each animal’s outputs and to place other landscape elements in close proximity to the animals so there is no waste or pollution. This matching also creates less work.

For example, some of the needs of chickens include shelter, grit, dust, water, food, and other chickens. Their yields (products & behaviors) include noise, eggs, meat, feathers, manure, scratching, foraging and more. In creating an integrated chicken forage system, one might include fruit trees (so chickens can eat fallen fruit), low-growing and nutritious perennial plants on which chickens can feed, a shelter where they can both roost at night and where hens can also lay eggs. The manure and feathers will act as fertilizer for the trees & perennial plants.

Another strategy is to create a “chicken-tractor,” a small, movable shelter and fence system where the chickens’ scratching and foraging will clear & fertilize small, garden plot sized areas. These plots are ready for planting small gardens, once the “chicken-tractor” is moved to an adjacent site. This system allows for a continuing supply of garden vegetables for the innovative gardener.

By adding another species, ducks, for example, one must add more elements to the design to account for the differing needs & yields of ducks and chickens, increasing the complexity of the system. With biodiversity comes stability of whole systems.

Ken BocheThese and other concepts and examples will be explored at this exciting learning session, and the public is encouraged to attend.

One Light B&B is located at 3526 State Highway 49 South, between Bootjack and Woodland, in Mariposa, directly across from the round dragonfly sign.

Call 209-742-4597 for more information.

The workshop is free, donations gladly accepted.

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