Robin Downs Farm uses regenerative agriculture techniques which aims to improve soil and water health. Regenerative agriculture improves resource efficiency and leads to more sustainable agricultural ecosystems.
Sustainable agriculture starts with healthy soil. The decline of arable soil is an ongoing issue throughout Australia and the world. Healthy soil plays a role in capturing carbon. At Robin Downs we aim to keep our soil covered with a combination of perennials plants and annual legumes which helps with better rainfall infiltration and clear water run-off. It also encourages greater diversity and protects against summer drought. Maintaining a diverse cover of growing plants above the soil increases diversity of biology and microbes under the soil, resulting in healthy grazing landscapes.
By placing livestock in grazing environments, regenerative agriculture practices allows cattle to help restore the soil. As they graze, cows trample over vegetation and push nutrients from old organic plant material into the soil and stimulates new plant growth. Cow manure is a natural fertilizer adding vital nutrients back into the soil. After grazing, cattle are rotated to different paddocks regularly allowing new plants to grow and the paddock to recover. Thus cows can reduce the requirement for tilling practices and synthetic fertilizers and chemicals.
Robin Downs was partially planted with Blue Gums progressively from1996 and harvested in 2018/2019. Selected tree were left for the creation of Dunns Ecopark campground, and other trees, in conjunction with new fencing, were left for the preservation of native remnant bushland and wetlands.
Once harvested, the remaining stumps were ground into the soil using a stump grinder. Whilst grinding is a slow and tedious operation, this practice adds organic matter into the soil and assists in the long term repair and development of the soil for new pasture establishment. .