It is June, it is summer, it is hot and: Goslings coming out! The birds come out for the first time, discovering the world of green on their own, the main source of their food for weeks inside. They get their first shower with the garden hose and we built a new home for them. They will now sleep outside at night, though still with a heating lamp, just in case. We shall observe what happens, how they behave in this new context. Another set of goose steps in our journey together…..
Here’s a few videos of the first adventure in their new home and reality: the wide, wild world:
Soon I will take them for walks on the savannah and down to the pond… Meanwhile, to celebrate the goslings coming out, here’s a digital brainfart on the domesticated geese, whose ancestors were Greylag:
Cultural History of the Scandinavian Domesticated Greylag Goose in Permaculture Terms:
The domesticated Greylag goose (Anser anser) has a rich cultural history in Scandinavia and has been integrated into permaculture systems in various ways. Here, we explore its cultural significance and how it fits into permaculture principles:
- Traditional Livestock:
- The domesticated Greylag goose has been raised in Scandinavia for centuries as a traditional livestock species. In permaculture terms, it is considered a valuable component of a diversified and sustainable farming system, contributing to both food production and ecosystem management.
- Historical Role:
- Historically, Greylag geese were used for their meat, feathers, and eggs. They played a vital role in the diet of Scandinavian communities and provided essential resources for clothing and bedding. Permaculture emphasizes the importance of diverse, locally adapted food sources, and the Greylag goose aligns with this principle.
- Ecosystem Services:
- In permaculture, there is an emphasis on designing systems that mimic natural ecosystems. Domesticated Greylag geese can provide ecosystem services by grazing on grasses, weeds, and insects. Their foraging behavior can be integrated into permaculture designs for weed and pest control, reducing the need for synthetic inputs.
- Nutrient Cycling:
- The manure from Greylag geese contains valuable nutrients for soil fertility. Integrating geese into a permaculture system helps close nutrient loops and enhances the sustainability of the system. Their manure can be used to fertilize gardens and orchards.
- Heritage Breeds:
- In permaculture, preserving and promoting heritage breeds is essential for biodiversity and resilience. Some regions in Scandinavia have focused on conserving traditional Greylag goose breeds, aligning with the permaculture principle of valuing and protecting diversity.
Biology of the Scandinavian Domesticated Greylag Goose in Permaculture Terms:
Understanding the biology of the Greylag goose is crucial when integrating it into permaculture systems:
- Adaptation to Climate:
- Greylag geese are well adapted to the Scandinavian climate, making them a resilient choice for permaculture systems in the region. Their ability to withstand cold winters and take advantage of abundant forage during the short growing season is valuable for year-round system function.
- Foraging Behavior:
- Greylag geese are herbivores and graze on grasses, sedges, and aquatic plants. Their selective grazing can be harnessed in permaculture to manage vegetation in ponds, orchards, or pastures, reducing the need for mechanical or chemical interventions.
- Reproductive Strategy:
- Understanding the reproductive biology of Greylag geese is essential for sustainable management. Permaculture practitioners can design nesting areas and wetland features to support breeding pairs, promoting self-sustaining populations within the system.
- Social Structure:
- Greylag geese are social birds that often form flocks. This behavior can be integrated into permaculture by considering group dynamics and spacing when designing grazing areas and shelters to ensure the geese are comfortable and content.
- Health and Welfare:
- Permaculture systems prioritize the well-being of animals. Providing adequate nutrition, access to fresh water, and shelter during extreme weather are crucial aspects of caring for domesticated Greylag geese within a permaculture context.
- Integrated Pest Management:
- In permaculture, geese can serve as part of an integrated pest management strategy. Their presence can help control weeds and pests, reducing the need for chemical interventions.
In conclusion, the cultural history and biology of the Scandinavian domesticated Greylag goose align well with permaculture principles. They have played a significant role in traditional agriculture, contribute to ecosystem services, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity, and can be integrated into permaculture systems as a sustainable and resilient livestock species. Understanding their biology and behavior is essential for their successful incorporation into permaculture designs…”.