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Rongoa pastures healthy animals resilient farms

Dr Marion Johnson

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Executive summary

The rongoa pastures, healthy animals, resilient farms report is an introduction to the ideas and the rationale behind the development of mixed pastures that contain New Zealand native species. Agroecology, which is gaining acceptance worldwide as a regenerative method of farming suggests that pastures  should be developed and maintained with the minimum of external inputs, using local species that grow well on native soils and improved species that match the climate. Evidence from Europe of the history, the desirability of mixed pastures and the effects on animal health is presented to support the argument for diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand. As a starting point to develop pasture mixes that include native species,  herbs and grasses  which have some reputation as rongoa rākau in human traditional medicine have been proposed as have species that were preferentially eaten  when stock were first introduced into Aotearoa New Zealand.

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