mapping sustainable futures

The Story of Marie’s Farm ‘THE BUFFALO’ from dairy cows livestock farmer to water buffalo cheesemaker specialist.

In this edition of the Daily News, Peatland edition, our correspondent John Miller delves into the fascinating world of sustainable farming practices being employed by ‘The Buffalo’ farm.

In the Northwest of Peatland, passionate farmer Marie embarked on a remarkable journey after inheriting her father’s farm. During recent years her vision has changed focus to sustainable practices and the preservation of the local ecosystem. Marie’s farm occupied a beautiful expanse of land, covering an area of 60 hectares with dry grasslands that offered the ideal habitat for dairy cows.

The PEAT research group visits Marie's farm and measures an average of 70 cm of Sphagnum peat.

After the visit of the PEAT research group, Marie became passionate about the restoration of wetland ecosystems, and initiated a rewetting project in the year 2018. By allowing the natural hydrological conditions to be reinstated, she aimed to promote a thriving peatland environment.

Prior to the rewetting project, Marie hosted a herd of 100 dairy cows, grazing for 120 days/year and relied on synthetic fertilizers to support her farming endeavors. On average, she applied 75 kilograms of synthetic fertilizer (Urea) per hectare annually, plus the same amount of animal manure which she used to buy from her neighbour at the Carpe Diem farm aiming to maximize crop yields.

< The PEAT research group visits Marie’s farm and measures an average of 70 cm of Sphagnum peat.

After the restoration of the wetlands, she had to substitute her herd to 60 water buffaloes, since they are much more water friendly, and disease resistant the animals grazed 214 days per year, from April until November. This decision was necessary to create a harmonious relationship between the animals and the ecosystem. Next to this, she also stopped relying only on heavy machinery to nurture the milk, and this saved her 13.800kWh of electricity/2800 liters of Diesel fuel, per year.

With her commitment to sustainability, Marie stopped using synthetic fertilizers and embraced natural alternatives, relying only in the animal manure produced by the water buffaloes. This shift reduced the farm’s environmental impact and nurtured the health of the soil.

The primary crop on her farm is buffalo milk, derived from the water buffaloes’ high-quality milk production. From this milk, Marie skillfully crafted a variety of artisanal buffalo cheeses, showcasing the richness and distinct flavors of her farm. Visitors from near and far marveled at the abundance of nature and savored the delightful flavors produced by Marie’s passionate actions.

And that’s a wrap for today’s farm news brief. I, John Miller, hope you found these story from the agricultural world both informative and inspiring. Stay alert for more captivating insights into the remarkable world of farming. Remember, the seeds we sow today shape the future of our planet.

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