following papers are a culmination of a lifetime's experience, both
physical and intellectual, in a dryland conservation farming management
by Michael Brosnan.
mostly in New Zealand, the same principles can be applied to drylands
in continents and land throughout the world. Look
principles and enjoy a progression to productive and sustainable land
management for generations. Read on if you dare.
pursued organic, sustainable, and dry land conservation
methods/knowledge in New Zealand, Africa, India, and especially China.
I have a great fondness for China, even learning Mandarin at
university, so I could talk and relate to the farmers.
My parents were devotees of organic and natural systems, so I
was born with organic genes in Dunedin back in 1932.
a writer, I am basically self taught, having, by the age of 14, studied
Huxley, Orwell, Bertrand Russell, Kafka, Steinbeck, Dickens, Louis
Bromfield, Friend Sykes, Tolstoy, most of the Russian classics, and
much more and0 recently having done two years creative writing courses at
By the age of 14 "SCHOOL" was a joke, so
managing to con my mother into leaving, I flew off to the mountains
where my soul soared, and I knew that this, nature was to be my life.
Harking back to my parents and having read Lewis Bloomfield (Malabar
Farm, 1924), Friend Sykes,( England ) and others as a boy, I
realized organic farming was the logical way to go.
interested in having a JOB, I pursued various well paid contracting
work, with a view to owning a business. Shearing, rabbiting,
possuming, forestry / tree felling, butchering.
adventure at 18,was four years, off and on, deep sea trawling. There, I
learnt seacraft and navigation, with a view to buying a boat in Britain and sailing
it back to New Zealand to start a cray fishing business.
These were all well paid, contracting type work,with a view to buying
my own business.
1955 at twenty three, after marrying Fleur, I changed tack and bought
80 acres on the slopes of Mt Cargill Dunedin, and pursued the noble
art of dairy farming, if only in a small way. We started with 29 cows.
There we had four wonderful children, and built a new house.
1965 we bought "Riverside"1600 acres of dryland in Hakataramea Valley,
where in a 15 inch rainfall; it had been raped by cropping, rabbits,
and bad management, with a few motley sheep (1000) adding to the
problem, it had been turned into virtual desert.
As a lad I had worked at
"Redbank" on The Maniatoto for Jim Patterson who had 90% of the
property in Lucerne (what an inspiration). This was the
main reason I bought "Riverside" - similar sweet dry
Within three years I had 600 acres in Lucerne and was running
top corriedale sheep.
The numbers on this semiarid
piece of land peaked at 5000 ultra fine merino sheep and up to 200
cattle returning a good living for our family. So much of this is though learning about organic matter and how to
retain the available moisture in the soil
The papers are an attempt to show you a life's journey into organic,
sustainable, dryland conservation methods. Up
to 1000 people a year, from all over the world came to "Riverside" to
experience what this "lad" had received from the university of
the universe - my school!
"I AM STILL YOUNG ENOUGH TO BE DANCING, LEARNING, AND LOVING LIFE".
|My present resting place in the swirl of the universe