“Kalnāju Ferma” farm – carrying capacity of nature VS economic benefit, Latvia
Starting as Farm “Šovītes” at the beginning of the project, “Kalnāju Ferma” is keeping a herd of ca 50 meat cows with the aim to produce high quality organic beef. The cattle feeds on 80 ha of grasslands, which is former arable land managed by the local collective farm during the Soviet times.
Since then, the land was gradually overgrowing with natural vegetation. As the land was not managed for many years, it overgrew also with shrubs. When starting the cattle business, the owner of the farm had to improve the quality of the grassland. The decision was to not only remove shrubs, but also increase natural diversity of the grassland to improve the quality of grass fodder. Additionally, economic aspects play a significant role – the owner has calculated that natural self-sustaining grassland requires less investment in a long-term compared to a cultivated grassland.
- Grassland restoration works finished in an area of 80 ha – trees and shrubs have been felled, stoned removed, stumps and roots milled and soil levelled, grass seeds mixture sown. Grassland management plan for the farm was developed.
- The Integrated planning tool tested on the farm level. Project team initiated stakeholder testing and discussions for further improvements of the Tool.
- Notice board was built.
- 3 visitor days have been organised (on June 2016, August 2017 and October 2018). Events received more than 40 visitors.